Geography Department Staff

For more information about the Subject curriculum, please contact: Mrs H Barrett is the Curriculum Leader

  • Mrs H Barrett - Curriculum Leader
  • Mrs E D'Arcy
  • Mrs S Thomasson - (Assistant Head Teacher: Teaching, Learning & Professional Development)

"Geography is a subject which holds the key to our future" Michael Palin.


The intent of our Geography curriculum is to promote a curiosity and understanding about physical and human aspects of the world.  The curriculum will enable our students to be confident to understand and ask questions about the world in which they live.  The intent is to develop a holistic knowledge of the subject in Years 7 – 9 to provide a strong platform on which to build their knowledge and skills at GCSE.  The Geography curriculum develops skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the students.  We promote sensitivity and empathy towards others and develop tolerance and independent thinking to prepare our students to become active citizens in a dynamic world.  Geography fascinates and inspires and the curriculum has been developed to raise awareness that geography is all around us!

Key Stage 3 Geography

In Years 7 & 8 students study Geography for 3 hours over the two week timetable.  Year 9 students study Geography for 2 hours per week.  All Geography teachers follow a consistent programme of study. Students study a range of human and physical topics, explore case study locations from around the world and investigate environmental, social, economic, and political issues affecting today’s society.


Year 7

Interactions between the human and physical environment

Year 8

Processes that lead to change in the human and physical world

Year 9

The Impacts of

a changing and

interdependent world

Map work— Physical & Human Features

Map work— Physical & Human Features

Map work— Physical & Human Features


Shaping the Land by the sea


Exploring Habitats

Population & Urbanisation

Global Issues

Feeding the World

Unpredictable Earth

Africa, a Continent of Contrasts (including DME)

Rivers & Flooding Geographical Enquiry Skills

Geographical Change in the UK

Enquiry Task in Bowness

The Scale of Tourism

The Geography of Crime (including enquiry skills)



Key Stage 4 Geography

Geography is a popular option at GCSE and all groups are taught by specialists.  Students follow the AQA specification.  This GCSE Geography course enables students to appreciate the complexity of our world and the diversity of its environments, economies and cultures.  The course builds on a number of topics studied at Key Stage 3 including tectonics, coasts, urban issues and challenges and development as well as introducing new concepts.

The Geography course is linear, students will sit all their exams at the end of the course, there is no coursework.  There are three exams:

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment 2: Challenges in the human environment 3: Geographical application
  • The challenge of natural hazards. (tectonic hazards, weather hazards, climate change)
  • Physical landscapes in the UK. (coasts & glaciation)
  • The living world. (ecosystems, tropical rainforests, hot environments)
  • Urban issues and challenges
  • The changing economic world
  • The challenge of resource management. (resource management & food)
  • Issue evaluation
  • Fieldwork
  • Geographical skills
How it is assessed
  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 35% of GCSE
  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 35% of GCSE
  • Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • 30% of GCSE


GCSE programme of study:

Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
  • The living world
  • The challenge of natural hazards
  • The changing economic world
  • Physical landscapes in the UK (coasts & glaciation)
  • Fieldwork
  • Urban issues and challenges
  • The challenge of resource management (resource management & food)
  • Issues evaluation


GCSE Revision

Students are encouraged to establish an independent study routine to regularly reflect on the course content in order to learn it thoroughly by the end of Year 11.  To support them with this they receive a booklet of key questions and answers and a knowledge organiser for each unit of work.  Students are encouraged to use these to create revision resources and use them to regularly check their subject knowledge.  Over the summer holiday between Year 10 and 11 students are set a bridging task to encourage them to continue to reflect on the content covered in Year 10.  Your child's class teacher will either email you with the details of this task.  Students are encouraged to purchase a revision book to support them with their revision.  There are a range of books available to support the AQA GCSE Geography course, the one we recommend and refer to in school is 'My Revision Notes: AQA GCSE (9 - 1) Geography' by Simon Ross and Rebecca Blackshaw.  ISBN: 9781471887314.  This book is available for purchase through the Geography Department during the Autumn Term.

GSCE Revision Resources

Please see your Geography Teacher for the full set or Mrs Thomasson

Natural Hazards Questions and Answers

Revision Planner

Tectonic Hazards

How we assess in Geography

Assessment in Geography is ongoing to assess current student understanding and to inform future teaching and learning. We use a range of methods including teacher (written and oral), peer and self-assessment. There are regular retrieval tasks ‘Geog your memory’ in lessons, which include knowledge and skills recall from the current unit of work and work that has been studied previously, to support the transfer of knowledge from the working memory to the long-term memory.

Key Stage 3

The Geography assessment calendar highlights key milestone assessments that are completed during a unit of work. All assessments have clear success criteria and are graded using the Geography descriptors under the Balshaw’s Assessment Framework (Foundation, Secure or Extending), or are awarded a %. To ensure consistency across the department the scheme of work indicates whether the assessment is teacher, peer or self-assessed. All assessments have common success criteria and mark schemes.

A formal 1-hour exam is sat by Year 7 & 8 students in the summer term reviewing all topics covered in the school year.  Year 9 students sit a 1-hour exam in February prior to their options and Year 9 Parents’ Evening.

Key Stage 4

Mid and end of unit assessments are set using past AQA exam papers and SAMs.  As well as testing the current unit of work students will answer questions on previous units of work to support retrieval practice and the transfer of knowledge to the long-term memory.  These assessments are marked using standardised exam board mark schemes.  Work is marked using levelled marks in each AO, and the assessment is awarded a GCSE grade. Whole class feedback is provided by the teacher following all mid and end of unit assessments to support students to make progress, this is followed up with self-evaluation tasks and target setting.  Appropriate written comments are provided by the teacher to indicate omissions and advise on exam technique.  Where ebi comments are written staff ensure appropriate MAD time is provided to enable students to improve their work.

Marking of Books

The Geography Department follows the school assessment and feedback policy when marking books.  Staff do not need to mark every piece of work.  Marking that provides no constructive feedback is not required however, regular monitoring of literacy, completion of tasks and presentation of work is expected.  No ticking of work is required. Students receive formative feedback on all assessed pieces of work highlighted in the department assessment calendar.

All marking should be diagnostic in nature and provide opportunities for the student to understand the process required to improve. 

Formative comments will be given that show what has been done well (www) and what still needs improvement (ebi). They will direct students how to improve their performance and move them on in their learning. These comments may be written on the work by the class teacher, provided by peers or identified during whole class feedback.

Geography staff use the Balshaw’s marking symbols to correct literacy.  A copy of these symbols and what they mean are stuck to the front of exercise books.

Marking grids are available for most extended writing tasks to enable staff to highlight www and ebi with reference to the success criteria.

As part of assessment, students have regular opportunities to reflect on their learning. The whole school policy refers to this as MAD (make a difference) time and any improvements or additions to work are made in a different colour, usually purple, pen. This takes place after every interim assessment and learning milestone as a minimum.