Head of Department: Mr T Ash
Teachers: Mrs C Dodds, Mr S Carr, Mrs L Brooker, Mrs J Thomson
Geography is studied by all students in Years 7-9 after which it becomes an option. Geography is one of the most popular choices at both GCSE and A level in the school. Our aim is to provide a varied diet of exciting and relevant topics that enthuse and inspire the students. Fieldwork is an integral part of the subject and we run a range of excursions that include day trips, residential and visits abroad including a very popular trip to Iceland. We also integrate practical work into our lessons and homework and these have been well received by the students. We enjoy a continuing record of exam success where motivation and commitment will be rewarded.
- Year 7 Farm Trip, Year 8 Coasts Trip, GCSE Field trips, A Level residential trip.
- Year 10/11 residential trip to Iceland.
- In conjunction with the local Geographical Association we participate in a programme of presentations presented by university lecturers on themes relevant to the A level course. This raises their geographical understanding as well as providing an insight into university style lectures.
I'm a great believer in geography being destiny. (Abraham Verghese)
Years 7, 8 and 9
Year 7: My Place and map skills, Plate Tectonics (volcanoes), Development and Ghana, Weather, Tourism and Food with a field trip to a local farm in Sevenoaks.
Year 8: Ice and Antarctica, Megacities, Climate Change, Russia and Coasts with a field trip to Eastbourne.
Year 9: Rivers, China, Geology, Natural Environments and Plate Tectonics (earthquakes) – this last topic is the beginning of the GCSE syllabus.
Link to national curriculum page:
GCSE: Years 10 and 11
GCSE Course Content
- The challenge of natural hazards: Tectonic hazards, Tropical storms, extreme weather in the UK and Climate change.
- Urban issues and challenges: Population change and urban growth.
- The living world: Ecosystems, Tropical rainforests, Hot deserts and Cold environments.
- Physical landscapes in the UK: Coastal landscapes, River landscapes and Glacial landscapes.
- The changing economic world: Global variations in economic development, the effect of economic changes on employment patterns and regional growth in the UK.
- The challenge of resource management: Issues relating to the growing demand for food, water and energy.
Assessment / Examination
The course runs over two years with terminal exams at the end of year 11.
- Unit 1, Living with the physical environment, written exam of 1 hour 30 minutes consisting of 88 marks representing 35% of the GCSE.
- Unit 2, Challenges in the human environment, written exam of 1 hour 30 minutes consisting of 88 marks representing 35% of the GCSE.
- Unit 3, Geographical applications, written exam of 1 hour 15 minutes consisting of 76 marks representing 30% of the GCSE.
There will be at least two field trips during the course. These will form the basis of two geographical enquiries which support the content in the Physical and Human units above. This will be tested within the exam structure and does not require coursework.
Exam Board: AQA
Link to Specification:
A Level: Years 12 and 13
Entry requirement: A good pass (6 or above) in GCSE Geography or Geology is an advantage; however, many students have studied the subject successfully with little previous knowledge. Many of the units build on knowledge from other subject areas such as science, business studies and history. There are also topics that are not covered as part of the GCSE course followed by our students. Provided that you are willing to work hard there is no reason why you should not consider taking Geography.
This contemporary course is designed to engage with the relationships of human populations to each other over space and time and their relationship with their physical environment at a variety of scales from the local to the global.
The subject content follows an issues and impacts approach. It is designed to allow progression through the course and beyond to link with the demands of higher level study.
Concepts covered at GCSE may be revisited but not repeated.
Please be aware that the residential fieldwork trip is an integral part of the course and is an opportunity to cover the necessary data collection for the coursework component, therefore there is a monetary commitment to taking this course.
Year 12 Curriculum Outline
- Water and carbon cycles
- Global systems and global governance
- Coastal systems and landscapes
Assessment: Students will follow a rigorous programme of exam practice and feedback.
There are no external exams in year 12 in this course but there will be mock examinations.
Year 13 Curriculum Outline
- Changing places
- either Hazards or Ecosystems under stress or Cold environments.
- either Contemporary urban environments or Population and the environment or Resource security.
Component 1: Physical geography, written exam lasting 2 hours 30 minutes consisting of 120 marks representing 40% of the A-level.
Component 2: Human geography, written exam lasting 2 hours 30 minutes consisting of 120 marks representing 40% of the A-level.
Component 3: Fieldwork investigation: to be 3 000 – 4 000 words in length consisting of 60 marks representing 20% of the A-level. It will be marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.
Link to the, as yet limited, exam papers:
- The A Level course content incorporates examples of careers in all of its components, from river management to urban planning. The human interaction with the world around us is central to Geography and raises awareness of the possibilities and consequences of living on our planet.
- Field work trips bring students in touch with people at work in the tourist industry in Brighton and the South Bank, business in Docklands. They also study the work of people involved in coast and river management in Somerset.
- The wide variety of skills taught in Geography equips students with transferrable skills that are relevant to many careers.