Key Stage 4

GCSE students follow the AQA course.

​Exam board website:

Year 10

We begin GCSE with a look at a modern phenomenon. Last decade for the first time in human kinds history over 50% of all people live in an urban area. The process of urbanisation and the rise of the megacities is changing the shape of our planet and creating many new challenges and opportunities that our geographers will study.

Next up we look at our living world, from the small ecosystems of the UK to the rainforests of South America and the cold environments of the polar and tundra regions we look at the characteristics of these environments and the impacts humans are having on them.

These leads into an in depth study of the physical processes that have shaped the UK both at the coast and through rivers. Students find out about the unique landforms these processes cause and again link this to the actions of people and look at how we might manage these moving forward.

Year 11

Year 11 starts with a look at all the dangerous natural hazards that threaten our planet. From the earthquakes and volcanoes that shake our land to the tropical storms and extreme weather events that occur in our atmosphere. Students will study the science behind these hazards and how they affect places.

Lastly, we look at how the economic world is changing both in the UK and further afield. We examine the past to help us discover more about the future of the development of places. Students will examine the development gap and consider approaches to narrow the divide before looking at a case study of a Newly Emerging Economy.

Course structure

  • Paper 1: Physical Geography – 1 hour 30 minutes (worth 37.5%)
  • Paper 2: Human Geography – 1 hour 30 minutes (worth 37.5%)
  • Paper 3: Fieldwork and skills – 1 hour 15 minutes (worth 25%)

Course rationale from exam board

This popular course offers:

  • Engaging and topical content
  • A stimulating blend of traditional and contemporary Geography to suit students of all abilities
  • The study of physical and human Geography in discrete, self-contained topic areas
  • A focus on physical processes and factors that produce diverse and dynamic landscapes over time.
  • Study of this course will give students of all backgrounds the opportunity to develop:
  • Communication skills
  • Graphical and cartographical skills
  • Technological skills including ICT and GIS
  • Interpersonal skills through debate and discussion
  • Literacy and numeracy skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Entrepreneurial skills and awareness of career possibilities

April 2024


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