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Year 9 course

In Year 9 students will learn about both physical and human topics as well as developing the skills required to be successful at GCSE level including the use of data to both construct and analyse graphs as well as decision-making and problem-solving. In the autumn term, students will study ‘Extreme Weather’ both in the UK and around the world looking at tornadoes, hurricanes and cyclones as key examples of extreme weather. Students will then move on to learn about ‘Environment and Sustainability’ exploring the natural and human environment and a case focus on Antarctica. In the spring term they will learn about ‘Population and Migration’ looking at reasons why people migrate and population pressures with key case studies exploring migration from Mexico to the USA and China’s One Child Policy. In the second half of the spring term students will learn about our ‘Restless Earth’ focussing on earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. In this unit they will look at the impacts of the eruption Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland 2010 and the Japanese Tsunami 2011. In our final unit of the year students will learn about ‘Tourism’ including the growth of tourism in the UK and around the world as well as the impacts and management of tourism on countries such as Thailand and the Galapagos Islands.

GCSE Course

Students will study AQA Geography and will study a range of physical and human geography topics as well as undertake fieldwork. They will sit three exams at the end of Year 11 assessing them on their knowledge and understanding of these topics and fieldwork as well as fieldwork in unfamiliar environments and ‘Issue Evaluation’.

Summary of examination papers:

  • Paper 1: Natural Hazards, The Living World, Physical Landscapes in the UK
  • Paper 2: Urban Issues and Challenges, Changing Economic World, Resource Management
  • Paper 3: Geographical Applications: Issue Evaluation, Geographical Applications and Fieldwork in familiar and unfamiliar environments

In Year 10, students will learn about ‘Natural Hazards’, ‘The Living World’ and physical landscapes in the UK’ focussing on rivers and coasts. They will explore a number of case studies both in the UK, LICs and NEEs to broaden their depth and understanding including earthquakes where they will contrast Haiti with Christchurch New Zealand, tropical storms where they will explore the causes, effects and responses to Typhoon Haiyan and the Somerset Floods. In the Living World they will learn about The Amazon as an example of tropical rainforests and the Thar Desert as an example of a hot Desert. For rivers in the UK they will study the River Severn and its key characteristics and similarly for coasts and the Dorset coastline.

In the summer term, students will undertake fieldwork to Swanage to explore coastal processes and will look at whether longshore drift affects Swanage beach. They will also visit Southampton city centre to explore whether the city shows characteristics of being sustainable. Students will present their findings graphically and will analyse their findings. Students will use their knowledge and experience from their fieldwork to answer questions in paper 3 of their GCSE exam on their own fieldwork experience as well as questions on unfamiliar fieldwork environments. They will also use their skills as well as other skills embedded in the course to answer questions on wider geographical applications.

In year 11, Students will learn about Urban Issues and Challenges with their case study focus on Rio de Janeiro as an example of an NEE and Bristol as a HIC. In Autumn term 2 they will learn about our ‘Changing Economic World’ with our case study focus being Nigeria and contrasting with the UK. In the spring term, students will study ‘Resource Management’ where they will learn about the challenge of food, water and energy supply both around the world and in the UK with our focus being on energy supply. Finally students will study and evaluate an issue released by AQA which we will study together and they will then be examined on in their final examination (Paper 3).

A-level Geography

Students will study AQA A-level Geography and will learn a range of physical and human geography topics, expanding further on the skills that they learned at GCSE. The course is broken down into two exams at the end of year 13 and an NEA assessment worth 20% of the final grade. Students will undertake 4 field trips as part of the compulsory requirements for the course.


  • Physical Geography: Water and Carbon Cycle, Coastal systems and landscapes, Hazards
  • Human Geography: Global Systems and Governance, Changing Places and Contemporary Urban Environments.

Students will explore a range of case studies within each of the topics and will learn and use a range of skills including data and source analysis, individual and group presentations, graphical and statistical presentation and analysis.

Students will take part in a two night residential trip to Lesson House. The first day of fieldwork will provide students with the opportunity to explore Corfe Castle and investigate its sense of ‘place’ and identity with local people. On the second day, students will investigate a local drainage basin and how the flood risk can be managed as part of the water cycle. In the spring, students will visit Lulworth cove and Durdle Door as part of their coastal systems unit and in the summer term students will select one of three locations to visit for their NEA to collect their own data. Choices of locations have included Studland Sanddunes to explore sand dune succession, Chesil Beach to explore Coastal Processes or Poundbury to explore Sustainable Urban Environments.