Department Leader: Rebecca Collins

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 15 units across their three years of KS3. Each unit will carefully develop and enhance a range of skills, allowing pupils to develop into effective learners and geographers.

Year 7:
Students commence with a study of the globe where they will sharpen their knowledge of various places around the world, beginning to understand the multifaceted nature of geography as a subject. Map Skills will then be taught, arming students with the key skills that will support them in their journey of thinking geographically. Students will consider the concept of ‘place’ which is a key theme that runs throughout the geography curriculum. Year 7 then move onto Development and the World of Work, learning how inequality is prevalent throughout the world, whilst also learning about strategies being used to tackle this issue; development and tackling inequality are topics that underpin much of their Geography study in KS3, 4 and 5. Following this they begin a unit on 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. Furthermore, a unit on the Middle East will be taught, tackling any misconceptions about the region that pupils may hold, informing them about this fascinating and diverse global region. Finally, students complete the year by doing an infiltration study, linking to our Rivers topic, where they will conduct geographical research, learning critical thinking and analytical skills.

Year 8:
In year 8, students will deepen their geographical knowledge, commencing the year by learning about Hazards, learning about the extreme natural events such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. Year 8 will then continue with Population & Migration, exploring the changing global demographic trends, in a world that is today home to almost 8 billion people. Coasts is the next unit that the year 8’s undertake, investigating the processes and the features they form. A focus is given to coastal erosion and management, linked to named examples in the UK. Weather and Climate & Ecosystems is the next unit, and students will be expected to understand the factors that influence the weather and how climate change is having an impact globally. 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. The final unit in Year 8 focuses on the Geography of Africa, examining different case studies, exploring how historical factors such as colonialism impacted African countries in the past, and how its effects are still seen in many African countries today. Additionally, the year 8’s will also learn about Africa’s physical characteristics, various cultures and the continents sprawling cities through engaging with a myriad of case studies.

There may also be potential for a fieldwork trip to the coast in the spring term, linking to prior knowledge from the year.

Year 9:
Year 9 begin the year by focusing on the contemporary Geographical issue of Climate Change. They will explore the causes, evidence for, and the impacts of climate change, linking this to a variety of named places on a local, national and global level. They will then consider the options that we face in reducing our carbon footprints and adapting to life in a changing world. Students then move on to Life in a Newly Emerging Economy, drawing on their understanding of development to investigate how we can tackle the issues associated with developing countries and rapidly urbanising cities. They will look at the distribution of emerging economies and focus on the processes that occur within these complex locations. The following unit is a new, up to date, Contemporary unit covering a range of topical events/issues that the students should be aware of. Topics will focus on current areas that are in the news and link them to topics we have covered so far in the KS3 curriculum. Following this, students will begin to learn about the Issues of Urbanisation, understanding why factors such as resources, infrastructure and space are important to consider when thinking about the rapidly expanding urban environments from around the globe. Students will then move on to Resource Management, taking on board the challenges of providing water, energy, and food to the UK population, and the 7.8 billion people globally. They will consider the sustainability of the options ahead of us as populations continue to boom. Finally, the Year 9’s will conclude the year by using their geographical skills and knowledge to complete a Local Fieldwork Enquiry.

Homework will be set once a week on Seneca. It will include a range of topics from their current study and interleaved with past topics to help with retrieval. The homework will require the pupils to completed revision style sessions, followed by some small exam style questions using their Chromebooks. This will help prepare them for testing and the end of year exam in the Summer term.
Teacher assessments will occur every term and will test a variety of skills. These will take place in the classroom and focus on extended writing pieces that have been built up towards over the term. They will be used to assess progress and help determine and areas where revision would be helpful. Students will also sit end of term 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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