Trinity High School

Geography

Staff and responsibility

Mr C. Monk
Head of Geography

Mr T. Thomas
Deputy Headteacher
Teacher of Geography

Mr K Brannan 
Teacher of Geography

Geography

The subject content is split into four units: 3.1 Living with the physical environment, 3.2 Challenges in the human environment, 3.3 Geographical applications and 3.4 Geographical skills.

In units 3.1 and 3.2 the content is split into sections, with each section focusing on a particular geographical theme.

Unit 3.3 sets out the requirements for fieldwork and issue evaluation.

Unit 3.4 sets out the geographical skills that students are required to develop and demonstrate. In the specification content, students are required to study case studies and examples. Case studies are broader in context and require greater breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding.
Examples are more focused on a specific event or situation, are smaller in scale and do not cover the same degree of content.

Key Stage 4 - Geography

Exam Board

AQA

GCSE Geography 8035

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course. GCSE Geography students must take assessments in all of the following papers in the same series:

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment
Paper 2: Challenges of the human environment
Paper 3: Geographical applications

Course Content

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment. (35% of GCSE)

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 key topics within this section are

  • Section A- Natural Hazards, Tectonic hazards, Weather hazards and climate change
  • Section B- Ecosystems and Tropical rainforests and hot deserts
  • Section C- Physical landscapes in the UK, River landscapes in the UK and Coastal landscapes in the UK

Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment (35% of GCSE)

This unit is concerned with human processes, systems and outcomes and how these change both spatially and temporally. 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 key topics within this section are

  • Section A- Urban issues and challenges
  • Section B- The changing economic world
  • Section C- The challenge of resource management

Paper 3- Geographical applications (30% of GCSE)

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. A resource booklet is issued 12 weeks before the examination to enable students to plan for the questions.

Exam success

June 2015 A*-C pass rate was 80%

A*-A pass rate was 30%

Key Stage 5

Exam Board 

AQA: AS Level Geography (7036)

  • Component 1  Physical Geography
  • Component 2 Human Geography and Geography fieldwork

AQA: A Level Geography (7037)

  • Component 1  Physical Geography
  • Component 2 Human Geography
  • Component 3 Geographical Investigation (Non-examined Unit- A Level qualification only)

Entry Requirements: 5 A*-C grades at GCES (inc. English and Maths B grade)

Course Content AS (1 year course)

Component 1  Physical Geography

Coastal Systems and landscapes- This section of our specification focuses on coastal zones, which are dynamic environments in which landscapes develop by the interaction of winds, waves, currents and terrestrial and marine sediments. 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. Student engagement with subject content fosters an informed appreciation of the beauty and diversity of coasts and their importance as human habitats. The 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.

Hazards- This optional 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 it's assessed

  • 1 hour 30 minutes exam
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of A-level

Component 2  Human Geography and geography fieldwork investigation.

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.

Geography fieldwork investigation and geographical skills- All students are required to undertake fieldwork in relation to processes in both physical and human geography. Students must undertake a minimum of two days of fieldwork during their AS course. Fieldwork can be completed in a number of ways: locally or further afield, on full days or on part days. Students will not be asked to hand in a completed enquiry although, for the exam, they do need to be familiar with all the stages of fieldwork-based enquiry.

How it's assessed

  • 1 hour 30 minutes exam
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of A-level

Course Content A Level (2 year course)

Component 1 Physical Geography

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. This section specifies a systems approach to the study of water and carbon cycles. The content invites students to contemplate the magnitude and significance of the cycles at a variety of scales, their relevance to wider geography and their central importance for human populations. The section offers the opportunity to exercise and develop geographical skills including observation, measurement and geospatial mapping skills, together with data manipulation and statistical skills including those associated with and arising from fieldwork.

Section B: Coastal systems and landscapes- This section of our specification focuses on coastal zones, which are dynamic environments in which landscapes develop by the interaction of winds, waves, currents and terrestrial and marine sediments. 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. Student engagement with subject content fosters an informed appreciation of the beauty and diversity of coasts and their importance as human habitats. The 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.

Section C: Hazards- This optional 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 it's assessed

  • 2 hours 30 minutes exam
  • 120 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Component 2 Human Geography

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.

Increased interdependence and transformed relationships between peoples, states and environments have prompted more or less successful attempts at a global level to manage and govern some aspects of human affairs. Students engage with important dimensions of these phenomena with particular emphasis on international trade and access to markets and the governance of the global commons. Students contemplate many complex dimensions of contemporary world affairs and their own place in and perspective on them. Study of this section offers the opportunity to exercise and develop both qualitative and quantitative approaches to gathering, processing and interpreting relevant information and data including, those associated with and arising from fieldwork.

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. Study of the content must be embedded in two contrasting places, one to be local. The local place may be a locality, neighbourhood or small community either urban or rural. A contrasting place is likely to be distant – it could be in the same country or a different country but it must show significant contrast in terms of economic development and/or population density and/or cultural background and/or systems of political and economic organisation.

Section C: Population and the environment- This optional 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. 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 it's assessed

  • 2 hours 30 minutes exam
  • 120 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Component 3 Geography fieldwork investigation

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.

How it's assessed

  • 3 000 – 4 000 words
  • 60 marks
  • 20% of A-level
  • marked by teachers
  • moderated by AQA

Exam success

AS level- A-E 83%. All of these student achieved A-C grades
A-Level - A*-E 100% with 83% of students achieving A*-C

Contribution to SMSC

Geography prepares all students for the complex and culturally varied society which they live in. It helps them to understand the values of our society and develops a sense of empathy and a tolerance of a wide range of opinions.

This is inspired in the students in particular with a study of:

  • Place- students are able to study the inequalities that exist in our world and study the global variations in economic development and quality of life
  • Providing lifelong experiences of world travel engaging in different cultures and beliefs

Contribution to Wider Curriculum

Geography plays a key role in developing excellent literacy and numeracy skills through the study of the disciplines required to be successful in Geography. A key emphasis on developing literacy and numeracy is placed in all schemes of work and enquiries throughout all the key stages of education.

Subject Clubs

Regular revision clubs for GCSE students held each week from January of each year including:

  • Changing your grade from A to A* at Geography
  • Improving fieldwork investigation skills at GCSE Geography
  • Key knowledge and understanding revision for GCSE Geography

Extra-curricular 

  • The Geography department has started to run World Challenge expeditions and in 2016 we have planned a 4 week expedition is Southern Tanzania, Africa.
  • Students are expected to take part in fieldwork every year as it is a part of their GCSE and A level requirements

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