Head of Department: Mrs H Hillier-Brown
Faculty Staff: Mr P Hayward and Miss M Bendall
Level of teaching: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5

Secondary Geography Quality Mark

St Gregory’s has held the prestigious Secondary Geography Quality Mark by the Geographical Association since 2014 in recognition of the quality of teaching, learning and examination results.


Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

‘Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?’ (Michael Palin 2009).

Our aim is to ignite students’ imagination about the world today and how people, events and natural processes have shaped it. Geography provides young people with a context for understanding themselves and their position in the world, with reference points for facing the future as responsible citizens within our community. It encourages the development of personal skills such as independence, communication and critical thinking, as well as the clear enhancement of social, moral, spiritual and cultural development. We believe that providing students with a high quality Geography experience will offer them ‘a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives’ (DfE 2013).

The study of Geography encourages students to think and decide for themselves and be tolerant of the views of others. We aim to help prepare young people for their roles and responsibilities as good citizens. We endeavour to develop the self-esteem and self-discipline of our students and develop their God-given talents so that they realise their potential to the full. We have planned the Key Stage 3 curriculum in such a way as to prepare students for the WJEC Eduqas A Geography GCSE specification that we study at Key Stage 4.

At Key Stage 3, we intend to ensure that all students:

  • Develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places, including their defining physical and human characteristics and ‘big ideas’ such as Place, Space and Interconnection;
  • Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world;
  • Know, apply and understand the knowledge, skills and processes that are used to make sense of the world;
  • Utilise and manipulate data using maps and diagrams, using Geographical Information Systems (GIS), collecting, analysing and presenting data, using aerial photographs, globes, atlases, interpreting Ordnance Survey maps and grid reference skills;
  • Develop skills in extended writing; critical thinking is encouraged and supported across all Key Stages. The use of extended writing is incorporated into all schemes of work. Students are encouraged to think creatively, pose questions, collect and record evidence, synthesise and analyse results and make conclusions;
  • Work constructively with others – paired and group work planned for in all schemes of work across Key Stage 3 – students are encouraged to develop their oracy skills; working together – teachers actively plan collaborative projects for students, planning and promoting for effective independent enquiry and the asking of geographical questions;
  • Undertake fieldwork so that primary data can be acquired, processed, presented and analysed.
  • Are prepared for GCSE, A level and further study of Geography and enable them to participate in debates focused on significant local, national and global issues;
  • Develop an understanding and love of Geography – taking students beyond their own experiences.

Mastery learning chunks the subject matter and learning content into units across Key Stage 3, with clearly specified learning objectives. We have consciously ‘interweaved’ content to ensure repetition over a long timescale, keeping the geographical fundamentals in students’ minds so that they use their knowledge again and in different contexts. Whilst we all follow the same schemes of work, Geography teachers are encouraged to plan according to the needs and interests of their students to ensure that the foundations for GCSE learning are strong.

The changing position and importance of Geography in the school curriculum is reflected in the content studied across all Key Stages. At Key Stages 1 and 2, the National Curriculum is designed to develop geographies of imagination, as well as developing local geographical knowledge and basic skills of investigation. As a result, students arrive at St Gregory’s with a sound understanding of their world.

We are aware that Key Stage 3 can be the final experience of school Geography, therefore we aim to ensure all students leave us with the essential and necessary geographical skills they need for all further education and employment.

Year 7

Students study the following topics:

  • Our Island Home and Multiculturalism
  • Geographical Skills Water World: Rivers, Flooding, Glaciers and the British Coastline
  • Our Weather
  • Cold Environments: Russia and Antarctica

Year 8

Students study the following topics:

  • The Living World: Ecosystems and the Tropical Rainforests
  • Extreme Environments: Hot Deserts – The City in the Desert: Dubai, UAE
  • The Geography of the USA
  • Our Restless Earth: Hazards

Year 9

Students study the following topics:

  • Development and the World of Work (India) Africa: A Continent of Contrasts: Urbanisation, migration, tourism, trade and aid
  • Global Issues – climate change, poverty, gender inequality, migration, plastics and the oceans and access to water
  • Population and China
  • The Geography of Australia

Geography Fieldwork Opportunities at Key Stage 3

  • Year 7: Fieldwork undertaken around the school site and local area
  • Year 8: Visit to Marwell Zoo
  • Year 9: Humanities residential visit to the World War I Battlefields of Northern France and Belgium

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

Course Code:  WJEC Eduqas GCSE Geography A:  C111QS
Exam Board Specification:

The overarching aims of this qualification are that students will develop the ability to think ‘like a geographer’.  Students will develop the skills to conduct enquiries in the classroom and in the field in order to develop their understanding of specialised geographical concepts and current geographical issues.

Eduqas GCSE Geography A develops an enquiry approach to the study of geographical information, issues and concepts.  Fieldwork is an essential aspect of geographical education and of this qualification. It is placed at the heart of this specification and fieldwork is embedded within the programmes of study.

Students will consolidate and extend their understanding of geographical concepts learned in the classroom by engaging with enquiries conducted outside of the classroom and school grounds. Furthermore, students will be challenged to apply what they have learned through specific fieldwork in local contexts, to the wider context of UK geography.

How is the course structured?

Component 1:  Changing Physical and Human Landscapes (Year 10)

Theme 1:  Landscapes and Physical Processes
Theme 2:  Rural-urban Links
Theme 3:  Coastal Hazards and their Management

Component 2:  Environmental and Development Issues (Year 11)

Theme 4:  Weather, Climate and Ecosystems
Theme 5:  Development and Resource Issues
Theme 6:  Social Development Issues

Component 3:  Fieldwork Enquiry (Years 10 & 11)

Part A:  approaches to fieldwork methodology, representation and analysis
Part B:  how fieldwork enquiry may be used to investigate geography’s conceptual frameworks
Part C:  application of broad geographical concepts to a wider UK context and assess the ability to make and justify a decision

Geography Fieldwork Opportunities in Geography

  • Year 10:  A one day investigation into the sphere of influence of a honeypot site (coastal location in the south of England) – June
  • Year 11:  A one day investigation into an urban area in Somerset – January

Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)

Course Code: A Level Geography AQA 7037
Exam Board Specification:

Recommended Entry Requirements

  • Grade 5 GCSE Geography
  • Grade 5 GCSE Mathematics

Why Geography?
Saint Gregory’s has held the prestigious Secondary Geography Quality Mark by the Geographical Association since 2014 in recognition of the quality of teaching, learning and exam results. In September 2022 we became a national Geography Centre of Excellence.

Geography A level will excite your minds and challenge your perceptions. If you have an interest in people, the natural environment and world cities you will really enjoy this current, contemporary and very relevant course. With a mixture of human, physical and environmental geography, you will explore real issues facing the world such as population growth and the impact of natural hazards on people around the world.

If you love learning in the outdoors, be it in cities or the countryside, Geography A level is an obvious choice.

Residential Trip
A compulsory three-day residential trip to Slapton Field Studies Centre in Devon where you will undertake an individual investigative research project for the Non-Exam Assessment (NEA).

40% – Paper 1 – Physical Geography
40% – Paper 2 – Human Geography
20% – Component 3 – NEA Fieldwork Investigation
Research Project of 3,000-4,000 words

Recommended Reading
AQA A level Geography Student Book and Revision Guides (2016)

Resources & Links:

Key Stage 3

BBC Bitesize:

Key Stage 4

BBC Bitesize:

GCSE Eduqas A Geography:

Geography News