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Geography Exam Information

GCSE

Course Content

The Edexcel A specification takes a thematic approach, with content organised by physical and human environments.  It will enable students to explore the people-environment challenges faced by the UK. The new specification is designed specifically to be stimulating, imaginative, engaging and relevant to our students, whose adult life will span most of this century.  The aim of the course is to give a clear contemporary view of the world in the first part of this century and to develop ‘awe and wonder’ which will allow students to appreciate fully, and learn from, the world around them.

This specification offers our students an “opportunity to understand more about the world, the challenges it faces and their place within it.  The course will deepen understanding of geographical processes, illuminate the impact of change and of complex people-environment interactions, highlight the dynamic links and interrelationships between places and environments at different scales, and develop students’ competence in using a wide range of geographical investigative skills and approaches.”

The specification provides an excellent foundation for Geography in the Sixth Form.  A consistent number of pupils continue on to study the subject in the Sixth Form and with some studying Geography at University. 

 

Course Structure

Paper 1: The Physical Environment

  • Section A - The changing landscapes of the UK
  • Section B - Weather and hazards and climate change
  • Section C - Ecosystems, biodiversity and management

Paper 2: The Human Environment

  • Section A - Changing cities
  • Section B - Global development
  • Section C - Resource management

Paper 3: Geographical Investigations: Fieldwork and UK Challenges

  • Section A - Geographical investigations (physical environments)
  • Section B - Geographical investigations (human environments)
  • Section C - UK Challenges

Fieldwork is a vital element of Geography.  The new specifications include a requirement to offer fieldwork in ‘two contrasting environments’.  There will be an element of write up required following these fieldtrips as the information and skills learnt through these fieldtrips will be assessed in the final examinations.

There is no Controlled Assessment as part of this specification.

Skills and Application

The nature of the specification is such that it gives an opportunity for the development of a wide range of transferrable skills, including:

  • communication skills
  • graphical and cartographical skills
  • technological skills (including ICT and GIS)
  • interpersonal skills through debate and discussion
  • literacy and numeracy and
  • problem solving skills.

Reading and Resources

Due to the nature of the subject reading any broadsheet newspaper will enable geographers to immerse themselves in the world around them and broaden their knowledge of current affairs. Many TV documentaries will also be of great interest. The department subscribes to GeoActive articles and we actively encourage students to read these regularly.

Exam Board: Pearson Edexcel Level 1/2 GCSE (9-1) in Geography A

Pre-U

Course Content

The Cambridge Pre-U Geography syllabus offers opportunities to explore a range of geographical environments, issues, themes and hazards. As a department we have been able to select  syllabus content which builds on our GCSE syllabus whilst avoiding repetion of topics and as such we aim to foster genuine interest in and enjoyment of the subject.

The syllabus combines physical processes with challenging and contemporary themes in human geography which provide the depth and rigour required for a university degree course. The syllabus encourages the acquisition of specific geographical skills and abilities, in particular the skills of independent research, fieldwork, analysis and effective communication.

You will be required to adopt a more critical approach as there will be a shift away from the acceptance of material as uncontested fact to a debate surrounding the truth of the material you are being presented with and an examination of the reliability of sources and evidence.

Course Structure

As a linear course all four papers will be sat at the end of the Upper Sixth.

Lower Sixth

  • Autumn Term - The Atmospheric Environment (Paper 1) and Spatial Inequality and Poverty Issues (Paper 3)
  • Spring Term - Hot Arid and Semi-Arid Environments (Paper 1) and Health Issues (Paper 3)
  • Summer Term - Paper 4

Upper Sixth

  • Autumn Term - Tectonic Hazards (Paper 3) and Trade, Debt and Aid (Paper 2)
  • Spring Term - Meterological Hazards (Paper 3) and The Provision of Food (Paper 2)

Reading and Resources

To further their knowledge of the world around them as well as current affairs we encourage our geographers to read a newspaper on a daily basis, case studies are central to understanding the significane of events studied in geography and therefore keeping abreast with current affairs is of great importance.

The National Geographic is a fantastic source of information regarding specific case studies of both physical and human events.

A large number of TV documentaries will also be of relevance to our Lower and Upper Sixth students and we encourage them to inform their Geography teacher of anything they have watched or seen advertised that might be suitable for their peers to watch too. The department subscribes to GeoFile and GeoFactsheet articles and we actively encourage students to read these regularly.

Exam Board: Pre-U