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Hadleigh High School


Staff Members

Miss L Fenwick, Miss J Meadows, Mr T Miller and Mrs V Woolven (Subject Leader)

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 we cover a range of interesting topics, from more traditional units based around physical geography such as rivers and flooding, weather and climate, oceans, and tectonics; to the exploration of human geography, such as population and migration, development, tourism, and globalisation; encompassing more dynamic topics such as food and sporting events. Additionally we undertake specific place studies within our extreme environments units. Underpinning many of the topics we study is the concept of sustainable development so students become adept at assessing themes from a social, economic and environmental viewpoint.


Students have many opportunities to develop their creative skills through projects such as ‘How to survive in the desert’ and ‘Designing self-sufficient cities’; to practise their team work and management skills through planning sustainable trips around the world, devising management plans. Students also have many opportunities to conduct fieldwork on and around the school site, for example designing eco-friendly and safe school environments, and evaluating the risk of crime. Additionally we also use role play and games to illustrate a number of key concepts – particular favourites are the Jelly Babies Game (Year 8 Population) and the Trading Trainers Game (Year 9 Globalisation) – these reveal some of our most competitive students!


Students study the following units of work:


Year 7:

What is Geography? This introductory lesson gets students to think about the connections they have to different places at a variety of scales;

Continents – Students will gain an overview of the physical and human geography of the different continents and develop their independent research skills;

Geographical skills – Students will develop a variety of mapping skills, as well as statistical skills such as data presentation and analysis, which they will need over the next five years;

Rivers and flooding – Students will explore how rivers help shape the land into a range of interesting landscapes, and also looks at the risk of flooding, in terms of causes, effects and management strategies, using examples from around the world to demonstrate this;

Oceans – Students will investigate the dynamic world of water and the impact that we are having on marine ecosystems (inspired by Blue Planet);

Tectonics – Students will learn about volcanoes, earthequakes and tsunamis, where and why they occur, along with the impact of these events, and will start to consider how different countries cope;

Crime – Students will explore the links between geography and crime and will conduct a fieldwork enquiry around the school site assessing the potential for crime and how it could be reduced.


Year 8:

Extreme environments – Students will explore a range of ecosystems, considering how they work, how animals and plants adapt to them, and how we interact with them;

Rainforests – Students will investigate the characteristics of rainforests, along with the damage that we are doing to this precious resources;

Antarctica – Students will look at Antarctica exploration, the reasons for it and how it has changed and may change in the future, along with the adaptations needed to survive in this frozen environment;

Population and migration – Students will consider the issues caused by a growing population, the reasons for migration and the impact that this movement has;

Energy – Students will consider the changing demand for energy and the impact this can have on the environment and will conduct a fieldwork enquiry around the school site evaluating the use of energy.

Coasts – Students will explore how the sea helps to shape the land into a range of interesting landscapes, and also looks at the risk of erosion, in terms of causes, effects and management strategies, using examples from around the world to demonstrate this.


Year 9:

Development – Students will investigate inequality around the globe, how this can be measured and the reasons these differences exist. They will also undertake a secondary data investigation to develop their hypothesis testing skills.

Globalisation – Students will consider how we have become a much more globalised society and the impact this has on different people around the world;

Weather and climate – Students will discover how and why weather and climates vary around the globe, will study the causes and impacts of extreme weather events, before considering how climate change may affect our lives;

Tourism – Students will investigate this growing industry and the social, economic and environmental impacts of our love of travel, before considering how to make it more sustainable;

Sporting events – Students will explore the social, economic and environmental impacts (both good and bad) of large scale sporting events, such as the Olympics;

Food – Students will consider the issue of feeding our growing population, the scale of food waste and suggest how we might feed ourselves in the future.
Key Stage 4

Students follow the Eduqas GCSE Geography B course. The content of the specification is organised into three broad themes (each covering a range of contemporary geographical and environmental issues).


Theme 1: Changing Places - Changing Economies:


Key Idea 1.1 – Urbanisation in contrasting global cities - To what extent is urbanisation a global phenomenon? What are the ways of life and current challenges created by urbanisation in two global cities? What strategies can be used to manage the impacts of urbanisation in global cities?

Key Idea 1.2 - Urban and rural processes and change in the UK - What changes are taking place in where people live in both urban and rural areas of the UK? What are the distinctive features of urban areas in the UK? What factors help to drive urban and rural change across the UK? What is the cause and effect of change in retail provision across the UK? What are the issues associated with leisure use in urban and rural areas across the UK?

Key Idea 1.3 - A global perspective on development issues - What are global patterns of development? What are the global processes that connect countries at different levels of development including the UK? What are the causes and consequences of uneven development? 1.3.4 What are the advantages of different types of aid project?


Theme 2: Changing Environments:


Key Idea 2.1 – Shaping the landscape - coasts and coastal management - How do people and processes contribute to the development of distinctive coastal landscapes in the UK? How are coastlines managed? Why is coastal management often controversial? What are the predicted impacts of climate change on coastal landscapes and communities?

Key Idea 2.2 – Shaping the landscape - rivers and river management - How do people and processes contribute to the development of distinctive river landscapes in the UK? Why do rivers flood and what are the consequences of flooding? How can rivers be managed to reduce the risk of flooding? Why is river flood management often controversial?

Key Idea 2.3 – Weather and climate - Why is the UK climate so variable? How does the global circulation of the atmosphere create distinctive climate zones? How are weather hazards distributed at a global scale and how does this pattern change over time? What are the causes, impacts and responses to two contrasting extreme weather events?

Key Idea 2.4 - Climate change - cause and effect - How has climate changed during the Quaternary period? What are the causes of global warming? What are the consequences of climate change? How and why do attitudes to climate change vary? What role can individuals and government in the UK play in reducing the risk of climate change?


Theme 3: Environmental Challenges:


Key Idea 3.1 – How ecosystems function - What is the relationship between climate and biomes at a global scale? What physical processes and interactions operate within ecosystems? How are small scale ecosystems in the UK used and managed?  

Key Idea 3.2 – Ecosystems under threat - How are ecosystems used by people? How are ecosystems damaged by human activity? Why and how are ecosystems managed in a sustainable way?

Key Idea 3.3 - Water resources and management - Why does supply and demand for water vary over time and space? What happens when demand for water exceeds supply? What are the challenges of managing water supplies?

Key Idea 3.4 – Desertification - What are the physical processes operating in hot semi-arid regions that make them vulnerable to desertification? To what extent does human activity contribute to the problem of desertification? How can environments vulnerable to desertification be managed?


Assessment at Key Stage 4


The course is examined through three exam papers:


Component 1 - Investigating Geographical Issues (105 minutes - 40%):

Three structured data response questions. The final part of each question will require an extended response. Question 1 will assess aspects of Theme 1, Changing Places - Changing Economies. Question 2 will assess aspects of Theme 2, Changing Environments. Question 3 will assess aspects of Theme 3, Environmental Challenges.

Component 2 - Problem Solving Geography (90 minutes - 30%):

This component will assess content from across the themes using a variety of structured data response questions. Part A will introduce an issue and set the geographical context. Part B will outline a number of possible solutions to the issue. Part C will provide an opportunity for the candidates to choose a solution and justify their choice in an extended response.

Component 3 - Applied Fieldwork Enquiry (90 minutes - 30%).

A written examination in three parts using a variety of structured data response questions some of which will require extended responses. Part A will assess approaches to fieldwork methodology, representation and analysis. Part B will assess how fieldwork enquiry may be used to investigate geography's conceptual frameworks. Part C will assess the application of broad geographical concepts to a wider UK context and assess the ability to make and justify a decision.


Useful websites and resources

Eduqas Geography:

Eduqas GCSE Geography B specification



  • Eduqas GCSE (9-1) Geography B - Brown, Davis, Digby and Leeder.
  • CPG GCSE Geography Revision Guide (ISBN-10: 1847624294)
  • Each class will have their own Google Classroom page, where class work and homework will be posted, along with a range of resources to help with students. There is also a specific GCSE revision page which all GCSE students should join (code 9d5j44u) which has a bank of revision materials including past papers, exam tips, topic files, revision sheets.
  • Also follow the department on Twitter - @GeographyHHS (for revision tips, geography in the news – great for additional reading, useful links, etc).
Possible areas of future Studies

Geography is often quoted as the most sought after qualification as it demands flexibility, common sense and a broad range of skills. Geography is classed as a ‘facilitating’ subject - one of the subjects that is most required by top universities. It is also one of the most popular subjects at A’ Level and compliments many other subjects due to its breadth. GCSE Geography provides a useful background for a variety of subjects at A’Level including Geography (of course!), Biology, Economics, Environmental Science, Geology, Government and Politics, International Development, Leisure Studies, Marine Science, Sociology, and Travel and Tourism

Possible future careers

Geography is relevant for many careers, such as leisure and tourism, civil engineering, politics, publishing, law and architecture to name a few!