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Time Allocation
Geography is a GCSE option; therefore, during KS4, 2hrs per week are allocated to its study.  

Exam Board: Edexcel B 

Why you should consider studying Geography
The world is always changing and this new exciting GCSE syllabus gives you the chance to learn about those changes.  This subject will particularly appeal to you if you want to learn and understand more about the world we are currently living in, what past processes have shaped it and how we are impacting the future and sustainability of the world. You will develop skills that will help you in other subjects and in employment, such as ICT and research skills, decision making and investigation skills, as well as completing practical work outside of the classroom challenging students to go beyond and think critically.  

What you will learn by studying Geography

Year 9 
In year 9 students will study Component 1 of the Edexcel B Geography Specification. This component on ‘Global Geographical Issues’ draws across physical and human processes and people-environment interactions to consider key contemporary global geographical issues. The component is divided into three sections: 


Topic 1: Hazardous Earth – an understanding of the global circulation of the atmosphere and changing climate. Plus two depth studies of an extreme weather hazard (tropical cyclones) and tectonic hazards at contrasting locations. 


Topic 2: Development dynamics – an understanding of the scale of global inequality. Plus a depth study of how one emerging country is developing and the consequences for people, environment and the country’s relationship with the wider world 


Topic 3: Challenges of an urbanising world – an overview of the causes and challenges of rapid urbanisation across the world. Plus one depth study of a megacity in a developing or emerging country. 


Year 10 
In year 10 students will study Component 2 of the Edexcel B Geography Specification. This component on ‘UK Geographical Issues’ draws across physical and human processes and people-environment interactions to consider key contemporary geographical issues for the UK. The component is divided into three sections: 


Topic 5: The UK's evolving human landscape - an overview of the changing and varied human landscape of the UK, including the socio-economic and political processes that influence it. Plus a case study of a major UK city - Dynamic UK cities. 


Topic 4: The UK's evolving physical landscape - an overview of the varied physical landscapes in the UK resulting from geology, geomorphic processes and human activity over time. Plus two depth studies of distinctive landscapes – Coastal change and conflict and River processes and pressures. 


Topic 6: Geographical investigations - two investigations, including fieldwork and research, carried out in contrasting environments, one on ‘Coastal change and conflict' and one on 'Dynamic urban areas'. 


Year 11 
In year 11 students will study Component 3 of the Edexcel B Geography Specification. Within this component on ‘People and Environment Issues – Making Geographical Decisions’ students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the processes and interactions between people and the environment and investigate related issues at a variety of scales. The component is divided into three sections: 


Topic 7: People and the biosphere – an overview of the global distribution and characteristics of large-scale ecosystems, why the biosphere is important to human wellbeing and how humans use and modify it in order to obtain resources 

Topic 8: Forests under threat – a detailed study of tropical rainforests and the taiga, looking at processes and interactions and issues related to their biodiversity and to their sustainable use and management 


Topic 9: Consuming energy resources – a study of renewable and non-renewable energy, its supply and demand, access and energy security issues, its sustainable use and management. 


External Exams on all three components.   

Throughout the three years, students will develop a range of geographical skills throughout their course of study. These skills may be assessed across any of the examined components and include: atlas and map skills, graphical skills, data and information research skills, investigative skills, cartographic skills, numerical and statistical skills.  

How assessment is organised

Formative assessment
Students will be assessed throughout the course through the form of written assessments. Homework will also be set once a week. This may include research of wider examples, preparation for lessons, or answering exam-style questions.  

Summative assessment
Each component of the Edexcel B Geography Specification is assessed through a 1½ hour exam. Component 1 and 2 exams are each worth 37.5% of the total GCSE while the component 3 exam is worth 25%. All three exams will take place at the end of year 11. Students will be required to use resources such as maps, photographs and diagrams in Components 1 and 2 alongside their own examples and case studies in order to answer the questions. Component 3 is a decision-making exam, based on a resource booklet about a geographical problem. There are up to 4 marks awarded on each paper for spelling, punctuation, grammar and use of specialist terminology. Therefore, our progressive curriculum will help to develop literacy skills not only applicable for the exam but equally to succeed beyond school.  

Fieldwork and Assessment
Fieldwork is an essential part of Geography. As part of the GCSE, students will complete two separate days of fieldwork; one day is spent at Walton-on-the-Naze examining human interactions with the coastal environment, and the second is spent comparing the contrasting Urban areas of Canning Town and Richmond. Unlike previously, this is assessed as part of the Component 2 Exam and not in Controlled Assessment. This does not alter the importance of this fieldwork experience.  

What opportunities will a GCSE in Geography lead to? 

  • Geography really is an education for life.  
  • Employers and universities value the broad range of transferable skills that geography delivers and is therefore highly regarded. 
  • Geography fits neatly with other subjects such as science, maths, arts and humanities 
  • Geography GCSE is excellent preparation for a career in planning, management, tourism, development, journalism and environmental studies to name just a few! 

What skills profile a GCSE Geography student should have
Students opting for Geography should be interested in current affairs. They should also be ICT literate, able to analyse and evaluate information and have a keen interest in the world in which we live. 

Famous Geographers include:  Michael Palin, Prince William, Mother Teresa, Michael Jordan, Nick Hodgson from the Kaiser Chiefs, Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell.

For more information, contact Mr Collinson - Curriculum Leader for Geography.