Department Leader: Adam Jillings

Geography students are encouraged to look at the world around them in a way that allows them to question everything students see, hear, watch or experience in their lives.  Students should always ask the fundamental questions of what is happening and why. They will be equipped with the knowledge to understand how human interactions with each other and their surrounding natural and man-made surrounding make the world like it is to provide them with their answers.

Students will investigate Geography through 11 units across their three years of KS3. Each unit will carefully develop and enhance a range of skills that allow them to become effective geographers and learners in general.

Year 7: Students commence with a study of the globe, where they will sharpen their knowledge of where places are in the world and begin to understand the essence of Geography being everywhere. The following unit deals with Map Skills, arming the students with the key skills that will support them in their journey of thinking like a Geographer. Students will consider the concept of ‘place’ which is a key theme that runs throughout the Geography curriculum. Year 7 then move onto World Development issues to gain an appreciation of the inequalities that exist in the world and an understanding of how to manage these issues globally. This is a key unit that underpins much of their Geography study in KS3, 4 and 5. Following on we explore the unit of Rivers where students develop an understanding of the fundamentals of physical Geography focusing students upon the natural landscape and humankind’s continuous battle against nature.  Finally, students then move on to looking at the World of Work, looking at the development of industry over time, and how globalisation has changed the world that we live in.


Year 8: Students will explore a range of more complex units, commencing with learning about Coasts, focusing on the processes and the features they form. A focus is given to coastal erosion and management, linked to named examples in the UK. Year 8 will then continue with Unstable Earth considering the fascinating, yet deadly events of earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. There is a further emphasis on their understanding of how humankind is intertwined with natural processes. This unit is followed by the issue of Population Change when they will explore the causes and effects of a staggering 7 billion people living on our planet, before examining the impacts of this on the UK by looking at the important issue of immigration. Weather and Climate forms their final unit, and students will be expected to understand the factors that influence the weather and how climate change is having a global impact. This unit is linked with an exploration of the climatic factors that influence key ecosystems and environments globally, with a special focus on the desert and rainforest.  


Year 9: Year 9 begin the year by focusing on Life in an Emerging Economy, drawing on their understanding of development to investigate how we can tackle the issues associated with developing countries and rapidly expanding cities. They will look at the distribution of emerging economies and focus on the processes that occur within these complex locations. Students then move on to one of the most important contemporary Geographical issues, Climate Change. They will explore the causes, evidence for, and the impacts of climate change, linking this to a variety of named places globally, and nationally. They will then consider the options that we face in reducing our carbon footprints and adapting to life in a changing world. Students will then move on to a final KS3 unit of Resource Management, taking on board the challenges of providing water, energy, and food to the UK population, and the 7 billion globally. They will consider the sustainability of the options ahead of us as populations continue to boom.


Homework: Homework will be set regularly. Various tasks will be set, but the main focus will be the Knowledge Organisers and Geography Revision Booklets which students will use to learn key content in preparation for testing and exams. Additionally, the homework may include either follow up work done in class, or to improve geographical 'general knowledge'. Students may be expected to use the internet or the library to research a topic, and homework will take many forms from preparing presentation work for assessment to writing articles, investigating ideas or researching places and events.


Assessment: Teacher assessments will be set every term and will test a variety of skills. These will be used to assess progress and help determine the end of Key Stage 3 level of achievement. Students may be given time both in lessons and at home to complete the assessments and deadlines must be met. Students will also sit Mid-Year and End of Year Assessments which will be set on previous topics studied.

This is an issue based, investigative qualification, with an emphasis on problem solving and enquiry. Pupils will study:

Unit 1: Living with the Physical Environment

  • The Challenge of Natural Hazards– focusing on the causes and impacts of, and the responses to tectonic and atmospheric hazards globally.
  • Physical landscapes in the UK - focusing on key processes, features and management of rivers and coasts in the UK.
  • The Living World – focusing on the opportunities and challenges faced in the rainforest and the desert.

Unit 2: Challenges in the Human Environment

  • Urban Issues and Challenges – focusing on the opportunities and challenges faced by our ever-growing cities.
  • The Changing Economic World – focusing on how development is distributed globally, and the changing economic development globally.
  • The Challenge of Resource Management – focusing on the challenges faced within the UK and globally related to water, food and energy.

Unit 3: Geographical applications and skills

  • Issue evaluation – this is based on pre-release material sent by AQA in March of their exam year.
  • Fieldwork – based on fieldwork visits to the East Coast.



Unit 1: Living with the Physical Environment   Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes   35% of GCSE                   

Unit 2: Challenges in the Human Environment   Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes   35% of GCSE

Unit 3: Geographical applications and skills    Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes 30% of GCSE



Why do Geography?

  • Huffington Post: “Geography students hold the key to the world’s problems”
  • University of Southampton: “More than any other discipline, geographers have a breadth of knowledge”

Likely careers:

  • Policy makers, town planning, disaster management and response, teaching, physical research, development and poverty support, aid agencies/charities, strategy planning (e.g. Army/Navy); travel industry; recycling, conservation, cartography, sustainability – energy, water, waste, environmental consultant, GIS etc.


The following revision guides are particularly useful for GCSE students:

  • Collins AQA revision guide: 978-0008166274
  • CGP AQA revision guide: 978-1782946106
  • GCSE 9-1 Geography AQA Revision Guide: 978-0198423461

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