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Geography Curriculum


Year 7

In Year 7 students begin to investigate the world around them by studying a variety of Human and Physical Geography topics. The first unit students study is Geographical Skills, which introduces them to maps on a variety of scales, including OS maps. Students develop an understanding of how to read and utilise maps effectively. This unit is revisited throughout the curriculum, in order to embed skills and deepen understanding. Students then study a unit linked to World Development. This core content creates a foundation for many other units in Geography. The unit exposes students to development indicator data in order for them to identify global inequalities. The unit also considers how these inequalities could be reduced. Students will then study a Rivers unit, which provides students with core content relating to physical landscapes and the processes linked to the creation of landforms. In addition, students will consider how human activity influences coastal processes and how coastal processes influence humans, in different areas of development. Students will develop an understanding about The Economy, on a global scale, in order to understand the transition of countries through stages of development. Lastly, students will engage in Fieldwork studies, in order to understand the importance of collecting and analysing geographical data, in order to reach conclusions which are linked to geographical theory.

Year 8

Year 8 Geography builds directly on the core content exposed to students in Year 7. The first unit is Coasts, which has direct links to Rivers. Students develop their understanding of physical processes further through the application of this knowledge to a different context. Students also learn how coastal management is used to defend the human environment. Students further develop links to World Development through their understanding of Population and Migration. In our globalised world, this is becoming more important. Students also reflect on different population structures and how this impacts countries at different stages of development. In order to understand how the human and physical environments interact in a more hazardous way, students will explore the unit of Tectonics. This includes the study of earthquakes and volcanoes. Students begin to understand the factors affecting the impacts of natural hazards and how humans work to mitigate against these risks. Students then explore two of the most significant Biomes on the planet- Hot Deserts and Tropical Rainforests. Students embed further their skills from Year 7.  Lastly, students will engage in Fieldwork studies, in order to understand the importance of collecting and analysing geographical data, in order to reach conclusions which are linked to geographical theory. This builds on the work from Year 7.

Year 9

By Year 9, students have a strong knowledge of core content and skills. Throughout Year 9, students learn to develop their geographical thinking to more advanced level. Students begin Year 9 studying Climate Change – one the most well-known issues facing humanity today. Students gain an understanding of the evidence, causes (natural and human) and management of climate change, whist debating the key issues. Students then study Life in an Emerging Economy and Issues of Urbanisation. These units focus on issues that arise in urban areas with LICs, NEEs and HICs, as a result of population changes. These units also refer to the economy and the links to development (linking to Year 7 and 8 content). Students then consider the issue of providing resources to a growing population, with a focus on Energy. Lastly, students will engage in Fieldwork studies, in order to understand the importance of collecting and analysing geographical data, in order to reach conclusions which are linked to geographical theory. This builds on the work from Year 7 and Year 8.

 GCSE Geography

Once students reach GCSE Geography they will have already gained the Geographical Skills and core content needed in order to be successful at GCSE. Therefore, the teaching for GCSE aims to challenge students to further develop their geographical understanding within a variety of different contexts. Students continue to embed their skills and understanding. Students achieve marks in GCSE Geography for their Knowledge (K), their Understanding (U) and their Application (A) to familiar and unfamiliar contexts.


Year 10 and Year 11

The GCSE is divided into three papers. Below is a summary of the core content:

Paper 1 (35%) – Living with the Physical Environment (1.5-hour exam)

  • The Challenge of Natural Hazards.

    Students develop their understanding of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tropical storms, extreme weather events and climate change. Students focus on a similar structure for each: causes, impacts and management (supported by specific case studies).

  • The Living World.

    Students study the distribution of major biomes and their characteristics. They also study ecosystems and the impact of human activity upon the delicate balances within a food web. Students study Hot Deserts and Tropical Rainforests in depth, focusing upon distribution, climate, animal and plant adaptations, deforestation (causes, effects, management), desertification (causes, effects and management) and three case studies (Amazon Rainforest, Mojave Desert and The Sahel).

  • Physical Landscapes of the UK.

    Students will study marine and fluvial landscapes within the UK. These complement one another and focus on processes of erosion, weathering, transport, deposition and mass movement. The unit explores the landforms created by these processes and considers how management can reduce the impacts of natural processes on the human environment.

    Paper 2 (35%)- Challenges of the Human Environment (1.5-hour exam)

  • Urban Issues and Challenges

    Students study this unit through two major case studies: Rio and Leeds. Students explore the opportunities and challenges faced by each city, as well as the ways in which the challenges are being managed. There is a focus on sustainability and what the future may hold. The case study nature of the unit allows students to study the unit in a more holistic and challenging way.

  • The Changing Economic World

    Students consider the unequal nature of our world, focusing on the difference in country development. Students develop a deeper understanding of development indicators (for example, their reliability), causes of uneven development and ways in which the development gap is being reduced. Students study the country of India as an example of a developing NEE. Students will also study the economy of the UK.

  • The Challenge of Resource Management

    Students study three resources: Food, Water and Energy. Students reflect on the uneven distribution of these resources and the impact on social and economic well-being. Students then study the Food Option unit in more depth, learning about factors affecting food supplies and how we can increase food supplies in the future, in a sustainable way.

    Paper 3 (30%)- Geographical Applications (1.15-hour exam)

  • Issues Evaluation

    In the March of each year, a pre-release material is issued to schools, presenting to us a geographical issue. Students will study this issue and then be examined on this in their Paper 3 exam.

  • Fieldwork

    Students will undertake fieldwork at GCSE, focusing on two contrasting environments. Students will study longshore drift and the impacts of tourism. The learning from this fieldwork is examined in the Paper 3 exam.

Departmental Staff:


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