The Geography Curriculum

In Geography, students begin by gaining an understanding of what makes the ‘perfect geographer’ before studying a variety of topics to include both physical and human themes of discovery.

In Year 7, students study topics under the three main themes of: ‘discovering the British Isles’ to include map work, settlement and weather; ‘Discovering Planet Earth’, including continents, oceans, Earthquakes, volcanoes and rocks, soils and weathering, before looking at Africa and Africa’s resources under the theme ‘exploiting planet Earth’.

In Year 8 students continue the theme of discovery, focussing on Discovering global citizenship, to include inequality, development, aid and trade; ‘discovering Asia’s population’, including population, migration, urbanisation and slums, and ‘discovering the rise of china, by taking a look at its geography and recent rapid rise.’

In Year 9 considerable emphasis is placed on the study of Sustainability at a local and international scale, including designing a sustainable eco house, the study of energy, and endangered species under the theme of ‘discovering natural resources’.  They also make a detailed study of glaciation and planet Earth’s history under the theme of ‘discovering geological timescales’. Students end the year by discovering Earth’s water by looking at weather and climate and water on the land.

Much of the key stage 3 syllabus is designed to aid pupils to make a smooth transition to GCSE, giving them practise of most of the different forms of assessment with specific emphasis on investigative study and enquiry.

Over the two years of GCSE study, the course has 4 main themes: Rivers & Coasts, Population & Settlements, Natural Hazards and Economic Development.


Contact Details

Mr B. Thompson – Head of Geography


GCSE Exam Board

Students follow the OCR Geography GCSE syllabus specification B.


GCSE Assessment

There are three sections to the assessment. The enquiry, the SDME and the final examination (all completed in Year 11).

The Geographical Enquiry is worth 25% of the final mark and is based on a key theme of the syllabus (changed every year).

Pupils also study for a SDME (Sustainable Decision Making Exam) worth 25% of the final mark.  It will be based on one of the themes which are changed each year and will have sustainability as a core theme throughout.

The final exam is worth 50 % and includes three sections, each focusses on a particular topic. At the end of each section is a longer 12 mark case study question where spelling, punctuation and grammar marks are awarded.



Pupils require no specialist equipment either at key stage 3 or key stage 4 and will be provided with all text books and resources throughout their studies.

Revision guides specific to the OCR B GCSE course are provided by the department to all pupils during year 11.