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This specification highlights the critical importance of Geography for understanding the world and for stimulating an interest in places. The specification develops an understanding of physical processes and factors that produce a diverse range of landscapes. This includes the interdependence of physical environments and the interaction between people and the environment as well as an understanding of the need for sustainable management of both physical and human environments.

The department makes use of a range of learning techniques including investigating, problem solving, decision making and role play. A range of resources are used: maps, satellite images, photographs and video films on DVD and the internet. Information Technology is used for research and for presenting and analysing data.

Physical Geography  - Living with the Physical Environment

Physical landscapes in the UK

  • Coastal landscapes
  • River landscapes

The Challenge of Natural Hazards

  • Tectonic hazards
  • Weather hazards
  • Climate change

The Living World

  • Ecosystems
  • Tropical Rainforests
  • Hot Deserts

Human Geography – Challenges in the Human Environment

Urban issues and challenges

  • Urban populations and change
  • Urban growth and issues for countries in different stages of development
  • Urban change in the UK
  • Sustainable urban living

The changing economic world

  • Global variations in development and quality of life
  • Reducing the development gap
  • Impacts of economic development and change

The challenge of resource management

  • UK Resource demand and provision
  • Global energy resource issues

Geographical Applications

  • Geographical skills
  • Issue evaluation
  • Fieldwork skills

Assessment Information

The GCSE course followed is the AQA GCSE (code 8035) Geography course.

There are three examined components to the course.

Paper 1 Living with the Physical Environment (1.5 hours) (35% weighting)

The first examination paper ‘Living with the physical environment’ involves the study of tectonic, weather and climate hazards. It also includes climate change, tropical rainforests and either a desert or a cold environment as well as a study of the physical landscapes of the United Kingdom to include coastal, river and glacial landscapes.

Paper 2 Challenges in the Human Environment (1.5 hours) (35% weighting)

Paper 2 is entitled ‘Challenges in the human environment’ and covers urban issues and challenges in different parts of the world, the changing economic world to include development and industrial change in the UK and abroad and the challenge of resource management relating to food, water and energy .

Paper 3 Geographical Applications (1.25 hours) (30% weighting)  

The final examined paper is a skills-based paper involving an issue evaluation relating to a pre-release case study, geographical skills relating to maps, statistics and graphs and fieldwork skills acquired through two field studies that must be carried out. Fieldwork is a compulsory element of the course and students will need to have completed fieldwork from both a physical and a human environment.       

Useful links

AQA Geography GCSE