A high quality geography education should inspire in students a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip students with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As students progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
The National Curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all students:
- develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes;
- understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time;
- cover key topics of Map Skills, Rivers, Glaciation, Natural Hazards, Population, Urban Environments, Ecosystems, Weather Hazards and case studies of various countries and places.
Geographical skills will be developed in the following areas:
- collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes;
- interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS);
- communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.
The course of GCSE Geography is created by AQA and covers a stimulating blend of traditional and contemporary geography to suit a wide range of students. It combines the study of physical and human geography in discrete, self-contained topic areas. It will inspire students to become global citizens by exploring their place in the world, their values and responsibilities to other people and to the environment.
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.
Students will develop the links between interdependence of physical environments and the interaction between people and the environment. Students will learn to appreciate the differences and similarities between people, places and cultures leading to an improved understanding of societies and economies. Furthermore students will develop an understanding of the need for sustainable management of both physical and human environments.
Fieldwork will encourage questioning, investigation and critical thinking about issues affecting the world and people’s lives. Students will use varied resources including maps and visual media as well as complex technologies such as GIS and remote sensing, to obtain, present and analyse information ready for the Paper 3 examination.
Students will develop essential skills such as problem solving, decision making, synthesising ideas, identifying issues and communicating findings through the undertaking of a fieldwork investigation, individually and as part of a team. The Geography specification has strong links with other subjects, including citizenship and ICT, and areas of the curriculum such as science which focus on sustainability and the global dimension.
Course will be assessed in the following ways:
Paper 1: Living with the Physical Environment
Section A: The Challenge of Natural Hazards
Section B: The Living World
Section C: Physical Landscapes in the UK
Written Paper – 1 hour 30 minutes – 88 + 3 SPaG marks –35%
Paper 2: Challenges in the Human Environment:
Section A: Urban Issues and Challenges
Section B: The Changing Economic World
Section C: The Challenge of Resource Management
Written Paper – 1 hour 30 minutes – 88 + 3 SPaG marks– 35%
Paper 3: Geographical applications
Section A: Issue Evaluation
Section B: Fieldwork
Written Paper - 1 hour 15 minutes – 76 + 6 SPaG marks – 30%.