Our world is one of great beauty, complexity and increasing challenge. Geography is the subject which opens the door to this varied world and prepares each one of us for the role of global citizen in the 21st century. By studying geography, people of all ages can appreciate how places and landscapes are formed, how people and environments interact, the consequences of our everyday decisions, and how a diverse range of cultures and societies exist and interconnect. Geography is a subject which builds on young people’s own experiences, helping them to formulate questions, develop their intellectual skills and find answers to issues affecting their lives. It introduces them to investigative tools such as maps, fieldwork and the use of powerful technology such as GIS. It opens their eyes to the beauty and wonder around them and acts as a source of inspiration and creativity. More than this, it ensures that they appreciate and understand the complexity of attitudes and values which shape the way we use and misuse the environment. Through geography, students understand the importance of valuing and caring for the planet and all its inhabitants.
Students begin their learning journey in year 7 with the development of a sense of place and location on a local, regional, national and global scale. They will move on to look at the physical and human processes that shape our planet and will begin to consider issues of sustainability. Students will look at case studies of countries at a range of different levels of development and will also be introduced to the art of constructing their own geographical investigation. At year 8, students both deepen and broaden their geographical skills. They begin with a study of how water shapes both the land and the coast, before moving on to an investigation of tectonics, population and migration and life in an emerging country.
At GCSE, Geography will give you the opportunity to find out about many aspects of change on our planet, a knowledge base that will inform the rest of your life. The course will give you the chance to get to grips with some of the big questions which affect our world and understand the social, economic and physical forces and processes which shape and change our world.
The breadth of the subject means it complements many other subjects. There are many areas that overlap with the science curriculum which supports students in gaining knowledge. Geography also has a great skills curriculum with numerical, data analysis and evaluative skills developed on the course. These transferable skills are one of the main reasons Geography graduates enjoy higher than average employment rates.
Students who choose geography will follow the new AQA Specification for GCSE geography. The course will consist of three key components, Living with the Physical Environment, Challenges in the Human Environment and Geographical Applications. The topics that the students will study are as follows:
Living with the Physical Environment
- Tectonic Hazards
- Weather and Climate
- Ecosystems and Tropical rainforests
- Cold Environments
Challenges in the Human Environment
- Urban issues and challenges.
- Changing economic world.
- Resource management with a focus on either water, food or energy.
- Field work and numeracy skills.
- Decision making exercise based on pre-release material.
Students looking to study GCSE Geography will need the following qualities:
- A genuine interest in the world around you and the people on the planet
- The ability to write clearly and concisely
- The ability to use numerical data accurately and to present results appropriately
- The willingness to work hard and research topics independently
How do we measure the impact of the course?
There are 3 exams at the end of the course. Paper 1, 1 hour 30 Mins (35%), Paper 2 1 hour 30 Mins (35%), Paper 3, 1 hour 30 Mins 30%
Papers one and two are divided into 3 sections, and will be a mixture of multiple choice, short answers and for each section there will be one case study answer that will be worth 9 marks.
Paper three is divided into two section. Section A will be a decision making exercise based around pre-release material and section B will be questions based around students’ experience of field work.