GEOGRAPHY

Course Content: All students now follow a three year GCSE pathway

Key Stage 4  
Exam Board AQA Exam Board

Paper 1: Physical Geography

Challenge of Natural Hazards

Physical landscapes- Coastal Environments and Rivers

The Living World

1hr 30 min exam- 35% 0f GCSE

Paper 2: Human Geography

The Changing Economic World

Urban Issues and Challenges

The Challenge of Resource Management

2hr 30 min exam- 35% 0f GCSE

Paper 3: Geographical Investigation (30% of GCSE)

Students complete two fieldwork investigations (Human and Physical Geography) which MUST include data collection in the field. This exam will questions students on their fieldwork skills. As well as this students are given some pre-release material eight weeks before the examination to study based on one of their GCSE topics.

Exam- 1 hour 15 mins

Course Content Paper 1: Living with the Physical Environment. (35% of GCSE)

This unit is concerned with the dynamic nature of physical processes and systems, and human interaction with them in a variety of places and at a range of scales.

The aims of this unit are to develop an understanding of the tectonic, geomorphological, biological and meteorological processes and features in different environments, and the need for management strategies governed by sustainability and consideration of the direct and indirect effects of human interaction with the Earth and the atmosphere.

The key topics within this section are

  • Section A- Natural Hazards, Tectonic hazards, Weather hazards and Climate Change
  • Section B- Ecosystems and Tropical Rainforests and Hot Deserts
  • Section C- Physical Landscapes in the UK, River Landscapes in the UK and Coastal Landscapes in the UK

Paper 2: Challenges in the Human Environment (35% of GCSE)

This unit is concerned with human processes, systems and outcomes and how these change both spatially and temporally. They are studied in a variety of places and at a range of scales and must include places in various states of development, such as higher income countries (HICs), lower income countries (LICs) and newly emerging economies (NEEs).

The aims of this unit are to develop an understanding of the factors that produce a diverse variety of human environments; the dynamic nature of these environments that change over time and place; the need for sustainable management; and the areas of current and future challenge and opportunity for these environments.

The key topics within this section are

  • Section A- Urban issues and challenges
  • Section B- The changing economic world
  • Section C- The challenge of resource management

Paper 3- Geographical Applications (30% of GCSE)

The Geographical Applications unit is designed to be synoptic in that students will be required to draw together knowledge, understanding and skills from the full course of study. It is an opportunity for students to show their breadth of understanding and an evaluative appreciation of the interrelationships between different aspects of geographical study. A resource booklet is issued 12 weeks before the examination to enable students to plan for the questions.

Useful Links GCSE Bitesize for all up to date topic information

www.Coolgeography.co.uk

 

Key Stage 5  
Exam Board
  • Grade 5 in Geography for acceptance on to the A- Level course
  • Plus four other GCSEs at Grade 5 or above, Science and Maths are preferred with grade 6’s
  • Genuine interest in the subject is a must
Course Content Two Year Course

Component 1 Physical Geography

Section A: Water and Carbon Cycles– This section of our specification focuses on the major stores of water and carbon at or near the Earth’s surface and the dynamic cyclical relationships associated with them. These are major elements in the natural environment and understanding them is fundamental to many aspects of Physical Geography. This section specifies a systems approach to the study of water and carbon cycles. The content invites students to contemplate the magnitude and significance of the cycles at a variety of scales, their relevance to wider geography and their central importance for human populations. The section offers the opportunity to exercise and develop geographical skills including observation, measurement and geospatial mapping skills, together with data manipulation and statistical skills including those associated with and arising from fieldwork.

Section B: Coastal Systems and Landscapes- This section of our specification focuses on coastal zones, which are dynamic environments in which landscapes develop by the interaction of winds, waves, currents and terrestrial and marine sediments. The operation and outcomes of fundamental geomorphological processes and their association with distinctive landscapes are readily observable. In common with water and carbon cycles, a systems approach to study is specified. Student engagement with subject content fosters an informed appreciation of the beauty and diversity of coasts and their importance as human habitats. The section offers the opportunity to exercise and develop observation skills, measurement and geospatial mapping skills, together with data manipulation and statistical skills, including those associated with and arising from fieldwork.

Section C: Hazards- This optional section of our specification focuses on the lithosphere and the atmosphere, which intermittently but regularly present natural hazards to human populations, often in dramatic and sometimes catastrophic fashion. By exploring the origin and nature of these hazards and the various ways in which people respond to them, students are able to engage with many dimensions of the relationships between people and the environments they occupy. Study of this section offers the opportunity to exercise and develop observation skills, measurement and geospatial mapping skills, together with data manipulation and statistical skills, including those associated with and arising from fieldwork.

How it’s assessed

  • 2 hours 30 minutes exam
  • 120 marks
  • 40% of A-Level

Component 2 Human Geography

Section A: Global Systems and Global Governance– This section of our specification focuses on globalisation – the economic, political and social changes associated with technological and other driving forces which have been a key feature of global economy and society in recent decades.

Increased interdependence and transformed relationships between peoples, states and environments have prompted more or less successful attempts at a global level to manage and govern some aspects of human affairs. Students engage with important dimensions of these phenomena with particular emphasis on international trade and access to markets and the governance of the global commons. Students contemplate many complex dimensions of contemporary world affairs and their own place in and perspective on them. Study of this section offers the opportunity to exercise and develop both qualitative and quantitative approaches to gathering, processing and interpreting relevant information and data including, those associated with and arising from fieldwork.

Section B: Changing Places- This section of our specification focuses on people’s engagement with places, their experience of them and the qualities they ascribe to them, all of which are of fundamental importance in their lives. Students acknowledge this importance and engage with how places are known and experienced, how their character is appreciated, the factors and processes which impact upon places and how they change and develop over time. Through developing this knowledge, students will gain understanding of the way in which their own lives and those of others are affected by continuity and change in the nature of places which are of fundamental importance in their lives. Study of the content must be embedded in two contrasting places, one to be local. The local place may be a locality, neighbourhood or small community either urban or rural. A contrasting place is likely to be distant – it could be in the same country or a different country but it must show significant contrast in terms of economic development and/or population density and/or cultural background and/or systems of political and economic organisation.

Section C: Population and the Environment- This optional section of our specification has been designed to explore the relationships between key aspects of Physical Geography and population numbers, population health and well-being, levels of economic development and the role and impact of the natural environment. Engaging with these themes at different scales fosters opportunities for students to contemplate the reciprocating relationships between the physical environment and human populations and the relationships between people in their local, national and international communities. Study of this section offers the opportunity to exercise and develop observation skills, measurement and geospatial mapping skills, together with data manipulation and statistical skills, including those associated with and arising from fieldwork.

How it’s assessed

  • 2 hours 30 minutes exam
  • 120 marks
  • 40% of A-Level

Component 3 Geography Fieldwork Investigation

Students complete an individual investigation which must include data collected in the field. The individual investigation must be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student relating to any part of the specification content.

How it’s assessed

  • 3000 – 4000 words
  • 60 marks
  • 20% of A-Level
  • marked by teachers
  • moderated by AQA