Geography in year 9 is strongly influenced by contemporary issues as well as covering essential geographical skills in mapwork, basic Geographical Information Systems (GIS) familiarisation and fieldwork.
Topics taught include:
  • What is Geography?
  • Global development challenges
  • Tectonic hazards
  • Weather hazards
  • Map skills and GIS
  • Fieldwork techniques
Year 10 & 11 - GCSE

We currently follow the AQA GCSE Geography specification. The qualification is graded on a nine-point scale: 1 to 9 – where 9 is the best grade.

Key features of the AQA GCSE Geography specification are as follows.

Paper 1: Living with the Physical Environment. 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 following topics and skills are assessed:

  • The challenge of natural hazards
  • The living world
  • Physical Landscapes in the UK – coastal, river and glacial landscapes
  • Geographical Skills

Assessment is through a written exam of one hour thirty minutes, representing 35 percent of the total GCSE. Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose.

Paper 2: Challenges in the Human Environment. This unit is concerned with human processes, systems and outcomes and how these change both through space and time. 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 following topics and skills are assessed:

  • Urban issues and challenges
  • The changing economic world
  • The challenge of resource management
  • Geographical skills

Assessment is through a written exam of one hour thirty minutes, representing 35 percent of the total GCSE. Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose.

Paper 3: Geographical Applications. 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.

  • Issues evaluation - The assessment will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate geographical skills and applied knowledge and understanding by looking at a particular issue(s) derived from the specification using secondary sources.
  • Fieldwork - Students will undertake two geographical enquiries during the course, each of which must include the use of primary data, collected as part of a fieldwork exercise.
  • Geographical skills - Students will develop and demonstrate a range of geographical skills, including cartographic, graphical, numerical and statistical skills, throughout their study of the course.

Assessment is through a written exam of one hour fifteen minutes, representing 30 percent of the total GCSE. Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose.

The detailed AQA GCSE Geography Specification, along with specimen papers can be found at http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/gcse/geography-8035

Year 12 & 13 - A level

At A level, the Edexcel GCE Geography specification is followed. The course consists of three externally assessed examination papers and one coursework component.

Paper 1: Students answer questions on five areas of study:

  • Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  • Landscape Systems, Processes and Change
  • The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
  • The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security
  • Climate Change Futures

Paper 2: Students answer questions on four areas of study:

  • Globalisation
  • Shaping Places: Regeneration
  • Superpowers
  • Global Development and Connections: Migration, identity and sovereignty

Paper 3: Students answer questions based on the synoptic investigation of a geographical issue within a place-based context. It is linked to three synoptic themes and is rooted in two or more of the compulsory content areas. The synoptic themes are:

  • Players
  • Attitudes and actions
  • Futures and uncertainties

 

Paper 4: Students write an investigation report of 3000-4000 words. The student defines a question or issue for investigation, relating to any aspect of geography contained in the course. The report will incorporate field work data and the student’s own research, evidence independent analysis and evaluation of data, presentation of findings and extending writing

 

The full specification can be found at https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/geography-2016.html

 

If anyone would like to learn more about the Geography at Ampleforth or the course they are welcome to contact the Head of Department.