The study of Geography stimulates an interest in and a sense of wonder about places. It helps young people make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world. It explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected. It builds on students’ own experiences to investigate places at all scales, from the personal to the global.
Geographical enquiry encourages questioning, investigation and critical thinking about issues affecting the world and people’s lives, now and in the future. Fieldwork is an essential element of this. Students learn to think spatially and use maps, visual images and new technologies, including geographical information systems (GIS), to obtain, present and analyse information. Geography inspires students to become global citizens by exploring their own place in the world, their values and their responsibilities to other people, to the environment and to the sustainability of the planet.
Key Stage 3
There are a number of key concepts that underpin the study of Geography. Students need to understand these concepts in order to deepen and broaden their knowledge, skills and understanding.
- Physical and Human Processes
- Environmental Interaction and Sustainable Development
- Cultural Understanding and Diversity
These are the essential skills and processes in Geography that students need to learn to make progress.
- Geographical enquiry
- Fieldwork and out of class learning
- Graphicacy and visual literacy
- Geographical communication
During Key Stage 3 students will be offered the following opportunities that are integral to their learning and enhance their engagement with the concepts, processes and content of the subject.
- Build on and expand their personal experiences of geography.
- Explore real and relevant contemporary contexts.
- Use a range of approaches to enquiries.
- Use varied resources, including maps, visual media and geographical information systems.
- Undertake fieldwork investigations in different locations outside the classroom, individually and as part of a team.
- Participate in informed responsible action in relation to geographical issues that affect them and those around them.
- Examine geographical issues in the news.
- Investigate important issues of relevance to the UK and globally using a range of skills, including ICT.
- Make links between Geography and other subjects, including citizenship and ICT, and areas of the curriculum including sustainability and the global dimension.
In Year 7 pupils study; Map Skills, The British Isles, Flooding, Population and Settlement and Volcanoes and Earthquakes. Through these five topics pupils are encouraged to ask key geographical questions such as; ‘What are the effects of flooding?’ and ‘How are volcanoes formed?’ Pupils have also developed many important geographical skills, including map work skills, data interpretation, graph construction and report writing.
In Year 8 Geography pupils study coastal and river environments, crime, ecosystems, weather and climate. Through these topics pupils have been encouraged to ask key geographical questions such as; ‘What are the effects of over fishing?’ and ‘How is the coastline formed and shaped?’ During Year 8 pupils also do an extended country study of China. They look at the Geography of China and its rise as a key player in the global economy. Pupils have also developed many important geographical skills, including map work skills, data interpretation, graph construction and report writing.
In Year 9 Geography pupils study; Development, The Global Fashion Industry, The Olympics, USA and Environmental Issues Through these topics, pupils have been encouraged to develop their global awareness and answer key questions such as; ‘Why are some countries more developed than others?’ and ‘How can large trans national corporations such as Nike create globalisation?’ Pupils have developed important skills, including map work, data interpretation, graph construction and report writing. Pupils have been encouraged to clarify their own values to the issues raised.
Key Stage 4
The Edexcel Specification A is followed at GCSE. In Year 10 the following Units are covered:
Unit 2: The Natural Environment
This unit is based on physical geography.
• Coastal Landscapes
• River Landscapes
• Tectonic Landscapes
• A Wasteful World
Unit 3: The Human Environment
This unit is based on human geography. Pupils study
• Economic Change
• Settlement Change
• Population Chang
• A Moving World
In Year 11 the following Units are covered:
Unit 1: Geographical Skills and Challenges
This unit will builds on the skills that pupils have developed in Years 7, 8 and 9 and gives new challenges and the opportunity to develop more advanced skills appropriate for a GCSE geographer.
Pupils also learn about two of the major issues facing the world today – climate change and sustainable development.
Unit 4: Investigating Geography
This unit is also called Controlled Assessment. All pupils carry out a river investigation at Juniper Hall in Surrey.
Each of Units 1-3 has an exam which lasts for 1 hour and is worth 25% of the total marks.
The exam has two tiers:
1. Higher – allowing pupils to achieve grades D-A*
2. Foundation – allowing pupils to achieve grades G-C.
All exams are sat at the end of Year 11.
The Controlled Assessment is completed in the Autumn Term of Year 11 and is worth 25%.
Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5 we follow the Edexcel Specification. This is a 4 unit A Level. The specification covers a range of physical, human and environmental topics giving them knowledge, understanding and skills for further education. The specification stresses the connections between the different aspect of Geography and focuses on the 21st Century by covering topics such as the rise of the superpowers and climate change.
Each year the students attend a Week long residential fieldtrip to the Lake District.
Summary of content:
Assessment – all externally
1. World at Risk– global natural hazards, focus on the world’s greatest environmental challenge-climate change and global warming
2. Going Global-economic change e.g. globalisation and related issues of population change and migration, megacities, greener policies. Focus on China, EU
1 hour 30min exam including resource materials
Ans all 6 Qs in Section A
(objective response qs) +
1 from Sect B (longer essay
Qs in 2 parts)
Crowded coasts– population and activity concentration, risks, impacts, management
Rebranding places- regenerating and re imaging urban and rural areas from National Parks to inner cities
1 hour exam including
resource materials. 2 essay
Qs. Each Q made up of 3
parts. Must use resources
given, own ideas and fieldwork
Use, conflicts and management of resources:
Energy security: fossils and renewables present patterns and problems and future options.
Water conflicts :supply , stress, insecurities
Biodiversity under threat-eco-regions conflicts, management options
Superpower Geographies– power, influence, change, impacts e.g. USA, EU, China
Bridging the development gap between rich and poor: trade, aid, debt
The technological fix– types of technology, access, uses-dams, cars to internet!
2hour 30min exam including Synoptic investigation and
resource materials. Pre-released materials for Sect B.
Answer 2 qs from 5 from Sect A(Contested Planet) =50marks
and all parts Sect B(Synoptic Investigation, essay style)=40marks assessing the Players, Actions
and Futures of a topic given
Research one option from six choices:
Tectonic activity and hazards
Cold environments- landscapes and changes in glacial/ periglacial areas.
Life on the margins- food supply problem, desertification.
World of cultural diversity- landscapes, changes, role of globalisation, approaches to the environment e.g. consumerism versus green movement.
Pollution and human health at risk-health patterns and challenges globally, specific input of pollution creating risk, management issues.
Consuming the rural landscape-leisure and tourism impacts and issues in rural areas: wilderness to urban fringe.
1 hour 30min exam
Pre released focus topic outline.
Only one question answered
relating to chosen research option.