“A knowledge of Geography is an essential tool in understanding the enormously consequential and dizzyingly rapid changes our planet is going through. Geography is the one subject that looks at the whole story”. Sir Michael Palin.
The Geography Department has designed a curriculum that enables our students to investigate the world around them and consider their role within it. Students explore a range of Human and Physical Geography topics, for example, geographical skills, global ecosystems and globalisation. In each topic, students develop a range of geographical skills; for example analysing geographical data, statistical testing, Geographical Information Systems, critical thinking, teamwork, communication and the ability to connect information from their studies to the ‘real’ world around them. There are lots of opportunities for students to express their talents in Geography, through debating, project work, role play and even songwriting about rain! As a department we are keen for students to apply their understanding beyond the classroom so there are plenty of field trip opportunities; whether that involves local field trips to Oxford Street, Kings Cross and the Natural History Museum or the Lake District and Barcelona.
Key Stage 4 GCSE. Years 10-11
Why Choose Geography?
- Employers and universities consider Geography to be an extremely relevant and useful academic subject. The new syllabus has created a multitude of new and transferable skills in the workplace.
- You will be taught in a variety of ways including the use of ICT and
- Geographical Information Systems (GIS), research, investigations, role-plays, debates, and presentations.
- Students who opt for Geography have achieved excellent GCSE results.
- To find out what is really going on in the world you need to study Geography!
This course allows students to gain a greater understanding of the world around us. It involves the study of how places and people change over time and how we affect our environment. In opting for Geography, you will study topical issues and current affairs that will affect everyone both now and in the future. It is a subject about your world! The syllabus meets the demands of the modern workplace. Units are exciting, interesting and relevant and give both physical and human geographers opportunities to explore the complexities of our ever-changing world.
UNIT 1 – LIVING WITH THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
The Challenge of Natural Hazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, climate change), The Living World (ecosystems, rainforests, cold environments) and Physical Landscapes in the UK (rivers, glaciers).
UNIT 2 – CHALLENGES IN THE HUMAN ENVIRONMENT
Urban Issues and Challenges, The Changing Economic World and The Challenge of Resource Management (food, water, energy).
UNIT 3 – GEOGRAPHICAL APPLICATIONS
Involves using the results from fieldwork to answer a skills-based exam paper and an evaluation of a key geographical issue (given to students three months before the exam.
Exam Board – AQA, Specification 8035
Final Grade – Grades 1-9
Structure of Assessment:
35%: Final written exam – physical geography
35%: Final written exam – human geography
30%: Final written exam – fieldwork & geographical skills
Key Stage 5 A Level. Years 12-13
Examination Board: Edexcel
Units Taken: Dynamic Landscapes, Dynamic Places, Physical Systems & Sustainability, Human Systems & Geopolitics.
Link to Specification: Click here.
The course is split into four areas of study at A Level, which is taught over Years 12 and 13.
Students are assessed by completing an independent investigation (coursework) in Year 13 related to their Barcelona field trip (and three exam papers at the end of Year 13, which draw on content from the following areas of study:
Area of Study 1: Dynamic Landscapes.
Tectonic Processes and Hazards and Glaciated Landscapes.
This area of study looks at hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and secondary hazards such as tsunamis and how they represent a significant risk in some parts of the world. An in-depth look at glacial processes also enables students to gain an in-depth understanding of how glaciated landscapes are formed and how humans present a range of threats to these environments. Students are encouraged to think critically about how we can adapt to these threats and manage them in the future.
Area of Study 2: Dynamic Places
Globalisation and Regenerating Places.
This area of study focuses on the concept of globalisation. Students will explore the causes of globalisation, why it has accelerated in recent decades, the impacts of globalisation and how it can be made more sustainable in the future. Students will also examine how places regenerate, how both urban and rural areas have been regenerated and rebranded in different ways and consider what makes a successful regeneration project.
Area of Study 3: Physical Systems and Sustainability.
The Water Cycle & Water Insecurity, the Carbon Cycle and Energy Security, Climate Change.
With the global population continuing to grow rapidly, pressure on key resources such as water and energy are of increasing concern. Managing these resources and developing sustainable solutions to the issue of water insecurity and providing enough energy to sustain our standard of living is of real importance. Students also develop an in-depth understanding of Climate Change in this area of study, as a central concept to understanding human impact on these natural cycles.
Area of study 4: Human Systems and Geopolitics.
Superpowers and Health, human rights and intervention
This area of study focuses on what superpowers are, how patterns of power have changed over time and how power is contested and leads to geopolitical tension and conflict. Students will also examine how and why levels of human development vary from place to place and how human rights arguments are used for political and military intervention.
Skills Gained from Taking this Course
The main skills gained during this course are debating skills, reasoning and oratory skills, investigative skills, analytical and practical hands-on fieldwork experience.
The fieldwork experience has many transferable skills, particularly in the environmental fields and research. Skills development occurs through a series of lessons, field trips, and lectures outside of school.
Students are encouraged to attend these in order to broaden their learning avenues and become more independent.
St Marylebone Entry Requirements
To gain entry into the sixth form at St Marylebone School, students must gain a minimum of five 9-6 grades at GCSE and a 5 grade in English and Maths GCSE.
Subject Specific Entry Requirements
Grade 6 in Geography GCSE and a grade 6 in the English Language.
Geography is suitable for students who:
- Have an interest and concern for the environment
- Are interested in current affairs
- Enjoy studying a subject that is relevant to their own lives and experiences
- Keen to be involved in outdoor fieldwork
- Enjoy finding their own answers and solving problems
- Want to broaden their AS and A level to cover both Sciences and Humanities
- Enjoy travel and finding out about new people, places, landscapes and events.
- Want to keep their options open for future careers – Geography is an appropriate qualification for a very wide range of higher education or career choices.
If you are made an offer, you will be expected to complete the following before your first lesson in September:
Revise Restless Earth and Globalisation using GCSE revision guide. This is particularly important if you haven’t previously studied this topic at GCSE. Keep a log of natural hazard events (earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, tropical storms) that happen over the summer break.
Resources Needed for this Course:
A Level Geography for Edexcel textbook (Oxford) Approximately £30
Field Trip to Barcelona (£500 paid in instalments)
This fieldwork trip is specifically designed to support Area of Study 3 and the Year 12 coursework investigation and is run and taught by specialist teachers at the Barcelona Field Studies Centre. Students will gain essential skills in fieldwork technique, and be able to experience first-hand, both urban and rural rebranding in Barcelona city centre and Priorat, as well as the flash flood hazard of Riera de Ribes.