Examination Board: AQA
Specification: A (9030)
Qualification: GCSE

Head of Department:
Mrs Nicola Price






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Geography at GCSE builds on the foundation established at Key Stage Three. While some of the topics might be familiar, the applied approach to them means that Geography in years 10 and 11 is firmly based in the real world.

There are three units:

Unit One: Living with the Physical Environment (1hr 30min Examination) – worth 35% of total marks.

Unit Two: Challenges in the Human Environment (1hr 30min Examination) – worth 35% of total marks.

Unit Three: Unit Three Geographical Applications (1hr Examination) – worth 30% of total marks.

All three units will be assessed at the end of the KS4 course.

Tiers of Entry:

Most, if not all, candidates take the Higher Tier papers which cover grades A*-D.

Course content:

The knowledge, skills and understanding required for the course are learned through a combination of theory and real-life case studies. We study each topic by investigating issues on different scales (Global, International, National, Regional, Local) in countries as diverse as China, USA, Great Britain and India, and use a variety of teaching and learning methods. These often include decision making exercises, independent enquiry and web research, ICT techniques including making movies and presentations, group work, as well as class debate and discussion.

Unit One - Living with the Physical Environment
  • Section A: The Challenge of Natural Hazards – Tectonic hazards, Major storm events, and Climate change
  • Section B: Physical Landscapes in the UK – Coastal and River Landscapes in the UK
  • Section C: The Living World – Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests and Cold Environments

Unit Two - Challenges in the Human Environment

  • Section A: Urban Issues and Challenges – Opportunities and Challenges in cities, Sustainable urban living
  • Section B: The Changing Economic World – Global Development gap, Economic futures in the UK
  • Section C: The Challenge of Resource Management – Supply and demand for food, water and energy

Unit Three - Geographical Applications

  • Section A: Issue evaluation
    Students will study a contemporary geographical issue using a pre-released booklet which is available to use in the examination. Students will be able to consider a selection of proposed solutions, make decisions and justify their choices, and examine conflicting viewpoints about the issue.
  • Section B: Fieldwork
    Students will undertake two geographical enquiries collected as part of a fieldwork exercise. Students will be examined to assess their understanding of the enquiry process, such as on the use of fieldwork materials and on their individual enquiry work.

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