Geography Documents

“The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.”

Barack Obama


Geography is the study of the physical features of the earth and its atmosphere, and of human activity as it affects and is affected by these, including the distribution of populations and resources and political and economic activities. The world is an amazing place and we aim to awaken students to that same sense of awe and wonder that led us to become Geographers, whether it is ripple in the sand or the largest mountain range in the world.

The Geography Curriculum is designed to enable students to be curious, compassionate and interested in the world. They will develop an understanding of the substantive knowledge of both human and physical processes and the interactions between these that shape natural and human environments over different times and scales.

We study a broad range of physical, ethical and moral key issues that are facing our planet in order to develop a passion and belief that as global citizens they can action change at a variety of scales. We use a range of contemporary globally significant examples and case studies to illustrate the concepts and enrich the students understanding and enthusiasm. We take opportunities to study outside the classroom and the college site in every year.

Students will also develop procedural knowledge skills which will enable them to be successful in Geography but also transferable to other subject areas and life beyond the classroom.




Student begin with the building blocks of Geography by defining place and understanding the factors that affect our local place including fieldwork on our local coastline. Students learn how to locate places map skills including using Atlas’ and OS Maps. We compare and contrast different places and landscapes on a range of scales and a range location across different continents. We investigate the physical factors that shapes these such as tectonics and human factors that shape these such as international development and migration. 

In Year 8 students continue to develop understanding of places and processes in different spheres such as through weather and climate, ecosystems and urbanisation and economic activity. Throughout their journey students are challenged to understand concepts and evaluate cause, effect and response.

In Year 9 students investigate substantive knowledge of global human processes of development, globalisation and international decision making in more depth, building on KS2 and providing the building blocs for GCSE and beyond. Students then investigate the coastal and river process that have shaped the UK and their local environment.


Throughout KS3 students are taught through the fundamental concepts of Geography. These include exploring different places at different scales and how they have changed over time. These places are shaped over time by human and physical processes. Students are challenged to think about how places and people are interdependent for example how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems. Students also investigate how these processes (mainly human) can cause inequality. People and places are also at risk and therefore we always need to think sustainably and encourage students to realise they can action change.

Geographical skills and fieldwork

Student will build on their knowledge of maps and atlases and apply and develop this knowledge routinely in the classroom.

Student will be able to interpret Ordnance Survey maps in the classroom and the field, including using grid references and scale, topographical and other thematic mapping, and aerial and satellite photographs are introduced in Year 7 and revisited throughout their learning journey.

They will use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) such as Arc GIS and Google Earth to view, analyse and interpret places and data.

Use fieldwork in contrasting locations such as South Milton Sands, Eden Project, Totnes to collect primary data, analyse and draw conclusions from geographical data, using multiple sources of increasingly complex inform.



Students follow the AQA GCSE Specification. This separates Geography into three broad disciplines. Living with the Physical Environment, Challenges in the Human Environment and Geographical Applications and Skills. Whilst this allows students to study discrete topics in Geography in an accessible format. It builds on the foundations laid in Key Stage 3 of place it also challenges them to think synoptically and make links between the different topics.

“Our specification enables a variety of teaching and learning approaches. This exciting and relevant course studies geography in a balanced framework of physical and human themes and investigates the link between them. Students will travel the world from their classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom (UK), higher income countries (HICs), newly emerging economies (NEEs) and lower income countries (LICs). Topics of study include climate change, poverty, deprivation, global shifts in economic power and the challenge of sustainable resource use. Students are also encouraged to understand their role in society, by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes. We created this specification with help from teachers and subject experts and we’re confident you’ll enjoy teaching it as much as your students will enjoy learning. Upon completion of this two year course, students will have the skills and experience to progress onto A-level and beyond.”

AQA Specification

Living with the physical environment

Challenges in the human environment

Geographical applications

Field work

Students complete two fieldwork enquiries in human and physical environment. These include a visit to an urban area and coastal or river landscape.



Students will follow the Edexcel A Level Specification. This contemporary course covers the traditional Geographical substantive knowledge with a similar structure to the GCSE. However, it challenges them to delve deeper into the complexities and inequalities and interactions between the human and physical systems. They have to think synoptically at a very high level and analyse, evaluate and justify using

“Engaging and contemporary issues-based approach

Our specifications offer an issues-based approach to studying geography, enabling students

to explore and evaluate contemporary geographical questions and issues such as the

consequences of globalisation, responses to hazards, water insecurity and climate change.

Supports progression to undergraduate level geography

The specification content gives students the opportunity to develop an in-depth

understanding of physical and human geography, the complexity of people and environment

questions and issues, and to become critical, reflective and independent learners.

Straightforward and flexible content structure

This specification has four equally-weighted content areas of study, offering both compulsory and optional content, assessed through three external assessments and one piece of nonexamination assessment.”

                        Edexcel Specification

Paper 1 Physical

  • Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  • Landscape Systems, Processes and Change Coastal Landscapes and Change
  • The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
  • The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security

Paper 2 Human

  • Globalisation
  • Shaping Places -Regenerating Places
  • Superpowers
  • Global Development and Connections –Health, Human Rights and Intervention

Paper 3 Content overview

The specification contains three synoptic themes within the compulsory1 content areas:

  • Players
  • Attitudes and actions
  • Futures and uncertainties.

The synoptic investigation will be based on a geographical issue within a place-based context that links to the three synoptic themes and is rooted in two or more of the compulsory content areas.

NEA/ Independent Investigation

The student defines a question or issue for investigation, relating to the compulsory or optional content. The topic may relate to any aspect of geography contained within the specification. The student’s investigation will incorporate fieldwork data (collected individually or as part of a group) and own research and/or secondary data. The fieldwork, which forms the focus and context of the individual investigation, may be either human, physical or integrated physical-human. The investigation report will evidence independent analysis and evaluation of data, presentation of data findings and extended writing. Students will be expected to show evidence that they have used both quantitative and qualitative data to support their independent investigation as appropriate to the particular environment and/or location.

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