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KS3 Geography – Overview
Geography aims to ensure that all pupils:
·         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
·         are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
·          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.

Subject content
Students will extend their knowledge of the world’s major countries and their physical and human features, learning how geographical processes interact to create distinctive human and physical landscapes that change over time. Students will extend their locational knowledge and deepen their spatial awareness of the world’s countries using maps of the world to focus on Africa, Russia, Asia (including China and India), and the Middle East, focusing on their environmental regions, including polar and hot deserts, key physical and human characteristics, countries and major cities.

Physical processes shall be taught relating to: geological timescales and plate tectonics; rocks, weathering and soils; weather and climate, including the change in climate from the Ice Age to the present; and glaciation, hydrology and coasts.

Human geography shall be taught relating to: population and urbanisation; international development; economic activity in the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary sectors; and the use of natural resources.

Students shall also develop an understanding of how human and physical processes interact to influence, and change landscapes, environments and the climate; and how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems.

Students will also develop their geographical skills in analysing and interpreting different data sources. In this way pupils will continue to enrich their locational knowledge and spatial and environmental understanding. Students shall also build on their knowledge of globes, maps and atlases and apply and develop this knowledge routinely, and they shall learn to interpret Ordnance Survey maps and use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to view, analyse and interpret places and data.

How it will be assessed
Assessment isn’t limited to a narrow range of evidence and is based upon a range of activities, outcomes and contexts. These could include assessing the learning as it’s happening through observation, discussion or focused questioning; involving pupils in the process through peer or self-assessment; as well as an end-of-unit assessment every half-term. These assessments will mirror the style of a GCSE exam paper.


KS 4

About the Course
Component 1: The Physical Environment—Content overview
· Topic 1: The changing landscapes of the UK – including optional sub-topics from which students choose two from three, 1A: Coastal landscapes and processes, 1B: River landscapes and processes and 1C: Glaciated upland landscapes and processes.
· Topic 2: Weather hazards and climate change
· Topic 3: Ecosystems, biodiversity and management
Component 2: The Human Environment—Content overview
● Topic 4: Changing cities
● Topic 5: Global development
● Topic 6: Resource management – including optional sub-topics from which students choose one from two, 6A: Energy resource management and 6B: Water resource management
Component 3: Geographical Investigations: Fieldwork and UK Challenges— Content overview
● Topic 7: Geographical investigations − fieldwork
● Topic 8: Geographical investigations − UK challenges

What will I learn to do?
•Actively engage in the process of geography to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds.
•Develop their knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts and appreciate the relevance of these concepts to our changing world.
•Develop a framework of spatial awareness in which to appreciate the importance of the location of places and environments from local to global.
•Appreciate the differences and similarities between people’s views of the world, its environments, societies and cultures.
•Understand the significance of values and attitudes to the development and resolution of issues.
•Develop their responsibilities as global citizens and recognise how they can contribute to a future that is sustainable and inclusive.
•Develop and apply their learning to the real world through fieldwork and other out-of-classroom learning.

What skills do I need?
The specification requires the assessment of the candidate’s ability to:
•Identify, analyse and evaluate relevant geographical questions and issues.
•Establish appropriate sequences of investigation, incorporating geographical skills, including enquiry skills.
•Extract and interpret information from a range of different sources, including field observations; maps (including Ordnance Survey maps of different scales); graphs; drawings; photographs (ground, aerial and satellite imagery); diagrams and tables.
•Describe, analyse and interpret evidence to make decisions, draw and justify conclusions and communicate findings in ways appropriate to the task audience.
•Evaluate methods of collecting, presenting and analysing evidence, and the validity and limitations of evidence and conclusions.

Component 1: The Physical Environment (*Paper 1 code: 1GA0/01) – Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes, 37.5% of the qualification, 94 marks
Component 2: The Human Environment (*Paper 2 code: 1GA0/02) – Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes, 37.5% of the qualification, 94 marks
Component 3: Geographical Investigations: Fieldwork and UK Challenges (*Paper 3 code: 1GA0/03) -
Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes , 25% of the qualification, 64 marks


KS 5
About the course
The specification has been designed to increase the choice offered to teachers and students studying GCE Geography, allowing for specialisation and progression to higher education and employment. There will be natural progression from GCSE to GCE, ensuring that there is development of content. Students will be given the opportunity to develop fieldwork skills and study geographical issues and impacts. The new specification (taught from 2016 onwards) will excite students’ minds, challenge perceptions and stimulate their investigative and analytical skills. Whilst new units have been added to reflect the world today, you’ll see it’s retained much of the topics you enjoy, including hazards and population.

What they will learn
Contemporary geography is a subject which explicitly engages with the relationship of human populations to each other over space and time and their relationship with their physical environment at a variety of scales from the local to the global.
All units specified in AQA GCE Geography offer opportunities for candidates to consider:

  • their own roles, values and attitudes in relation to themes and issues being studied
  • the roles, values and attitudes of others including decision-makers.



How it will be assessed

Component 1 – Physical Geography

What is assessed?

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.

Section B – Glacial systems and landscapes

This section of our specification focuses on glaciated landscapes. These are dynamic environments in which landscapes continue to develop through contemporary processes but which mainly reflect former climatic conditions associated with the Pleistocene era. 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.

Section C – Hazards

This 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 is it assessed?

Written exam, 2hours 30 mins. 120 marks

40% of A level.

Structured short and extended questions

Component 2 –  Human Geography

What is assessed?

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.

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.

Section C – Population and the environment

This 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.
How is it assessed?

Written exam, 2hours 30 mins. 120 marks

40% of A level.

Structured short and extended questions


Component 3 – Geography fieldwork investigation.

What is assessed?

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.

All students are required to undertake fieldwork in relation to processes in both physical and human geography. Students must undertake four days of fieldwork during their A-level course. Fieldwork can be completed in a number of ways: locally or further afield, on full days or on part days. Schools and colleges will be required to confirm that all A-level geography students have been given an opportunity to fulfil this requirement.

How is it assessed?

3,000–4,000 words

60 marks

20% of A-level

marked by teachers

moderated by AQA

Exam board

Future Career Paths in subject
A level Geography is a facilitating academic subject that is highly regarded by the top universities.

Geographers look at issues from a wide perspective and develop a range of skills that are attractive to a very broad range of future employers. Specific technical skills directly relevant to geography-related careers include field work, research and report writing, preparing maps and diagrams, and using social survey and interpretative methods.

Geography graduates are also adept in collecting and analysing information using various technical and laboratory-based methods for the collection and analysis of spatial and environmental information and recognising the moral and ethical issues involved in debates and enquiries.

Geography can lead to various professions including – Economic Developer, Locational Analyst, Charity Coordinator, Project Manager, Diplomat, Aid Worker, Social Worker, Housing Officer, Regional Analyst, Charter Surveyor, Cartographer, Coastal Manager, Geologist, Civil Engineer, Weather Presenter, Disaster Manager and Tourism Officer.


Head of Department:
Mr Sharp


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