Head of Department

Mr S Cracknell

Subject Overview

Geography is an exciting and highly relevant topic to learn in today’s world. Here at Cornwallis Academy, we aim to ensure students are engaged in the learning of Geography and therefore we learn various geographical concepts. We strive to ensure that students develop a passion for the subject and progress in all aspects. Geography is a highly sought after qualification and has become a focal point for many employers.

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 Overview:

As we become more aware of how our planet operates and the importance of its management, Geography has become an essential aspect in ensuring we are all ‘global citizens’.

Students will cover a range of topics throughout KS3 which will enable them to develop a wide range of skills that are transferable to Maths, Science in particular. Students will also investigate the misconceptions within Geography, particularly in relation to those contemporary issues, such as climate change, air pollution and urban growth.

Year 7:

  • Introduction to Geography    
  • Tectonic Hazards    
  • Population Dynamics
  • Natural Environments [Tropical Rainforests]
  • Natural Environments [Hot Deserts and Tundra]          
  • Rivers

Year 8:

  • Development?
  • Weather and Climate  
  • Urbanisation
  • Coasts        
  • Changing Asia
  • Geography of Health and Disease

Year 9:

  • Natural Resources
  • Water World
  • Globalisation
  • Opportunities in Africa
  • GCSE Unit 1-Challenges of Physical Hazards

Assessment at Key Stage 3:

In order to ensure that all students are progressing and to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all students, regardless of ability.  The students complete an assessment at the end of each term/topic. Student’s also complete weekly set homework tasks for every topic.

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 Overview:

The GCSE course at Cornwallis Academy is AQA. The specification consists of a range of physical and human geographical topics. The topics covered allow students to improve their understanding of Geography within the UK but also at a global scale.

Students also get the opportunity to complete 2 fieldwork day trips. These days allow students to improve their ability to work in teams and understand how to complete data collections and analyse.

The Geography GCSE AQA course consists of 3 papers which cover Human Geography, Physical Geography and the application of knowledge and fieldwork skills:

Year 10 will cover the following units;

  • Section A: The Challenge of Natural Hazards **
    • Including; Tectonic Hazards, Weather Hazards, Climate Change
  • Section A: Urban Issues and Challenges
    • Including; The urban world, urban change in the UK, Sustainable urban development
  • Section C: Physical |landscapes of the UK
    • Including; Coasts, Rivers
  • Section C: The Challenges of Resource Management,
    • Including Water, Energy and Food, with a focus on food

** ‘Challenge of Natural Hazards’ is started in term 5 and 6 of Year 9

Year 11 will cover the following units:

  • Geographical Application and Skills
    • Issue evaluation (Based on pre-released material)
  • Fieldwork understanding and the students own fieldwork experiences
  • Section B: The Living World
    • Including; Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests, Deserts
  • Section B: The Changing Economic World
    • Including; The development gap, Newly Emerging Economies, the changing UK economy.

A significant amount of time is put aside for revision after the above units in the run up to the summer exams.

Assessment at Key Stage 4:

Exam technique is routinely practiced in class and two assessments are completed each term, based on one 9-mark question and a short test comprised of 20 marks. Additionally, a mock exam in both Year 10 and 11 is sat, with a ‘walking, talking mock’ held after the February half term. These enable students to clearly see which topics they excel at but also identify topics where further revision is necessary.

Student’s also complete weekly set homework tasks for every topic.

To support at home, there are number of websites that can help revise key concepts and named examples. These include;

Key Stage 5

Course Title:

GCE Geography

Examining Body:

Level 3 – Edexcel

Overview of the course:

Students completing A-Level Geography will complete a range of topics which enable them to develop their knowledge in a wide variety of Geographical topics. The course itself consists of 4 components that cover the following;

Physical and Human Geography, [Paper 1 and 2] a synoptic task [Focusses on how concepts in Geography are linked together-Paper 3] and an internally marked ‘Non-Examined Assessment’

Component/Paper 1 [Physical Geography]: 30%

Component/Paper 2 [Human Geography]: 30%

Component/Paper 3: [Synoptic paper] 20%

Component 4: [Non-Examined Assessment] 20%

Year 12 covers the following units:

  • Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  • Globalisation
  • Landscape systems- Coastal landscapes
  • Shaping places- Regeneration
  • Fieldwork provision and Non-Examined Assessment [NEA]

Students complete a write up based on the findings of a fieldwork study of their choice. The piece is marked by the department which is them sent on for moderation by the exam board. Students are given 4 school days in order to collect any primary and secondary data they may need.

Year 13 covers the following units:

  • The Water cycle and Water insecurity
  • Superpowers
  • The Carbon Cycle and Water insecurity 
  • Global Development and connections- Migration, identity and sovereignty
  • Synoptic investigation of previously studied material from paper 1 and 2.


Students will complete exam style questions each two weeks which will be marked and upgraded by the students. Students will also complete a longer essay type question for each component and annual mock exams which we use to help assess their progress [Minimum of two per term] 

Possible Career Paths:

Geography is a popular and successful `A’ Level subject, where a good GCSE grade provides an essential foundation for more advanced work. The dynamic nature of the physical and human world makes Geography particularly appropriate and is increasingly very highly regarded in further education.

Geography is particularly valuable when looking for a wide variety of careers.  Opportunities open up in many areas such as economics, commerce, town planning, conservation, surveying, environmental management, cartography, meteorology and tourism.