GCSE Geography

Contact: Mr. Napper, Subject Leader for Geography

Why study Geography?

Geography enables us to study the ever-changing world around us. Geography helps us to explore and understand space and place – recognising the great differences in cultures, political systems, economies, landscapes, and environments across the world, and exploring the links between them. Learning geography will help you better understand news, help fight climate change, be a part of a global community and understand cultures. It is one of the most versatile subjects and is key in understanding the current world we live in. Geography develops key critical thinking and analytical skills which are highly desired by both universities and apprenticeships.

What content is studied?

The examination board’s programmes of study include diverse and exciting topics. We get to study a balance of physical and human geography topics, alongside geographical applications, skills, and fieldwork.

Physical Geography

  • Natural Hazards (tectonic, climatic and climate change)
  • Living World (Tropical Rainforests and cold environments)
  • Coastal landscapes in the UK
  • Glacial landscapes in the UK

This paper looks at the dynamic nature of physical processes and systems, and human interaction with them in a variety of places and at a range of scales. The aims of this unit are to develop an understanding of the tectonic, geomorphological, biological and meteorological processes and features in different environments, and the need for management strategies governed by sustainability and consideration of the direct and indirect effects of human interaction with the Earth and the atmosphere

Human Geography

  • Urban issues and challenges (NEE case study and Birmingham)
  • Changing economic world (Nigeria and UK economy)
  • Challenge of resource management (global resources)
  • Energy

Human geography looks at human processes, systems, and outcomes and how these change both spatially and temporally. They are studied in a variety of places and at a range of scales and must include places in various states of development, such as higher income countries (HICs), lower income countries (LICs) and newly emerging economies (NEEs). The aims of this unit are to develop an understanding of the factors that produce a diverse variety of human environments; the dynamic nature of these environments that change over time and the need for sustainable management; and the areas of current and future challenge and opportunity for these environments

Geographical applications and skills

  • Pre-release booklet
  • Field work
  • Geographical skills (mapping, graphs and numerical)

The Geographical applications unit is designed to be synoptic in that students will be required to draw together knowledge, understanding and skills from the full course of study. It is an opportunity for students to show their breadth of understanding and an evaluative appreciation of the interrelationships between different aspects of geographical study

How are the students assessed?

Geography consists of three exam papers, there is no coursework element.

Paper 1 and paper 2

  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  •  88 marks (including 3 marks for spelling, punctuation, grammar and specialist terminology (SPaG))
  • 35% of GCSE

Paper 3

  •  Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • 76 marks (including 6 marks for SPaG)
  • 30% of GCSE
  •  Pre-release resources booklet made available 12 weeks before Paper 3 exam