Contact Teacher: Mrs M Wilburn, Geography Team Leader

Exam Board: AQA


Geography stimulates a curiosity in and a sense of wonder about the world and its people. It helps make sense of a complex and ever changing world. It explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected. It builds on pupils own experiences to investigate places at all scales, from the personal to the global.

How does the way in which your curriculum is organised support the school vision and enable all of our pupil characteristics to be catered for?

A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils 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 pupils 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 framework and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.

Geography Learning Journey

This is a visual representation of how students' knowledge and skills develop through the Geography curriculum.

(click on the image below to view a larger version)

Geography Learning Journey 2

Why study Geography?

Geography is the unique bridge subject as it bridges the gap between the social and earth sciences. Human, physical and environmental aspects of geography will enhance your knowledge of the interactions between people and places in the world. The course provides plenty of room for discussion and extended research which will help you become an independent thinker. You will learn in a wide variety of ways such as using maps, GIS skills, data analysis, photos, videos and podcasts as well as through four days of fieldwork.

It is a flexible, broad based subject that integrates well with a variety of other subjects from the sciences to the arts. Geography is highly valued by universities as an A-level choice. It also opens up a wide range of career opportunities such as sustainability and green issues, hazard management, urban regeneration, law and human rights, global business or medicine.

Course details

The A-level is made up of four units:

Unit 1: Physical Systems

Unit Landscape Systems: Choose one from: Glaciated Landscapes, Dryland Landscapes, Coastal Landscapes (How do they form? How does nature change them? How does human activity change them?)

Unit Earth's Life Support Systems: Compare contrasting biomes (Tropical Rainforest and Arctic Tundra) (How do the two biomes differ? How does physical and human factors affect each biome?)

Unit 2: Human Interactions

Unit Changing Spaces, Making Places: (How do patterns of social inequality vary within and between places? How does the economy change places? How do places try to 'rebrand' themselves?)

Unit Global Connections:

Either: Trade in the Contemporary World or Global Migration (what are the patterns of migration/trade? What are the issues?)

Either: Power and Borders or Human Rights (What is the role of global governance in conflict? How has human rights contributed to development?

Unit 3: Geographical Investigation

What is it? What are the causes? What are the threats? What are the solutions?

Choose two of five: Climate Change, Disease Dilemmas, Exploring Oceans, Future of Food, Hazardous Earth

Unit 4: Independent Investigation

Students complete an individual investigation based on a question or issue identified by them on any part of the specification that interests them. 

How the course is taught and assessed

Teaching will take place in the classroom as well as opportunities to learn outside the classroom via both human and physical fieldwork. In class there will be some teacher led sessions, other lessons you will carry out independent research, hold debates, give presentations, team teach and analyse maps, photos and data to develop understanding of issues. Organisation, self-motivation and an interest to find out about contemporary issues is crucial.

01 Physical systems and 02 Human Interactions (1 hour 30 minute written paper each) 24% of total A-level each

03 Geographical debates (2 hours 30 minute written paper) 32% of total A-level

04 Independent Investigation (Non-examination assessment) 20% of total A-level

Entry requirements

Obtaining at least a grade 6 at GCSE Geography is generally required to be accepted on the course.