Head of Department

Miss N Ryan

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 various geographical concepts. We thrive to ensure that students develop a passion for the subject and progress in the various human and physical geography topics that are covered. Geography is a highly sought after qualification and has become a focal point for many employers.

Key Stage 3 

Key Stage 3 Overview:

Throughout Key Stage 3, we cover a wide range of geographical topics from the national curriculum. We ensure a consistent balance between the various aspects of geography, such as physical and human, as well as investigating future issues such as sustainability. Throughout the 3 years of KS3, the students will cover human topics such as migration and population alongside physical topics such as tectonics, rivers and coasts.

The aim of KS3, within the Geography department is to give the students a foundation to support them at GCSE should they choose to keep on the subject. To entice their love for geography and allow them to thrive within the Cornwallis community. In order to help students achieve and progress students are placed within different groups to cater to their academic needs.

Year 7:

Throughout Year 7, the focus is ensuring students have the basic grasp of geography and to fill any gaps in their knowledge. To ensure this happens students spend the first term learning the Geography within the UK. and ensure that their geography knowledge starts at home. We will then begin exploring other countries and continents around the world. Within the second term the focus is on skills which include map reading and interpretation. This gives the students the fundamental skills within geography. Students spend the rest of the year learning about where we live and why within the settlements topic. Rivers is another topic which the students will discover throughout Year 7 as well as a detailed investigation into Japan and Kenya.

Year 8:

Throughout Year 8, students will continue to develop their geographical understanding through a range of topics. Students will investigate the workings of our coastlines and the treatment of our global ecosystems. These are beneficial to the students as they are an intricate part to the GCSE course, if they choose the subject. The students will also take part in decision making exercises about how best to deal with the range of global issues threatening humanity in the 21st century. Students will investigate the workings of plate tectonics and how they have sculpted our landscapes as well as the impact they have on people and our economies.

Year 9:

Throughout Year 9, students will study a range of topics which incorporates some topics from the GCSE to give students a detailed understanding of the topics they will be covering in Years 10 and 11. Students will look at topics of interest throughout this century such as the workings within China, the issues facing our global food supply and demand and how our cities, towns and rural areas are being enhanced to improve our quality of life. These subjects will allow students to engage in the geography of recent years and ensure they are informed not only current strategies and issues but also future issues. This will intertwine with the GCSE topics that will be covered in the later part of the year which will contain the management of our ecosystems and our water sources.

The aim is to showcase the variety of topics available to geography students and to showcase the variety of aspects that play an essential part to their everyday life.

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 Geography department holds a mini assessment at the end of every term. The information collected from this will structure the groups for the following term to ensure that students are supported and stretched in lesson to ensure that engagement occurs.

This is all alongside the compulsory assessments that take place as a whole school.

Throughout KS3, the department aims to ensure all students’ progress but do so with a S.M.I.L.E.

Key Stage 4 

Key Stage 4 Overview:

The GCSE course at Cornwallis Academy is Eduqas Specification B. This is an exciting exam board which composes its paper to cater to a wide range of ability and incorporates a wide range of geographical understand and skill. Students will cover a wide range of geographical topics from both human and physical geography. The new specification focuses on the application of knowledge and how students view or perceive an issue.  Students get to take part in 2 days trips which is an essential part to the course to allow students to truly understand the fieldwork element within this diverse subject.

Years 10 and 11:

Throughout Years 10 and 11, students will complete a range of topics. These will incorporate all the geographical knowledge the specification required while ensure a large amount of exam practise takes place to ensure our young people are supported as best as possible for their exams. Each term will be dedicated to a topic within the course which covers both human and physical geography. For example, students will gain an understanding of our river and weather systems. They will discover the changing shape and dynamics within our cities at a local and global scale. Students will also get to investigate our future plans and determine how sustainable they might be. 

Overall, the Geography course is one that engages and entices a love for Geography. It showcases all aspects and allows students to gather the information to become proficient Geographers.

Assessment at Key Stage 4:

In order to ensure that progress is made, students will complete exam style questions in every lesson and be given learning and writing homework on consecutive weeks.

Students will also complete an end of topic assessment each term to ensure progression is occurring and to ensure appropriate support is put in place to support students of all abilities.

This is all alongside the compulsory assessments that take place as a whole school.

Throughout KS4 we as a department aim to ensure all students’ progress but do so with a S.M.I.L.E.

Key Stage 5 

Course Title:

GCE Geography

Examining Body:

Eduqas (new WJEC England)

Overview of the course:

Young Geographers at Cornwallis Academy Sixth Form will complete the linear A-level. The course itself consists of 4 components which cover a range of geographical topics. The focus of the Geography department is to develop an enthusiasm for and competence in geography by using current real-world contexts and through engagement with and practical application of geographical skills and techniques in the field. Students complete a 4 day residential to hone their geographical skill and to complete their coursework which is worth 20% of their final grade.

What Will You Study:

Throughout the two-year course, students will complete a range of topics from both physical and human geographies. Within the first component, students will learn about our changing coastlines and changes within places. This will give students a wide range of detail within these two geographical areas.

Within component 2, students will investigate the water and carbon cycle and the impact his has on people. Students will also complete a topic on global governance and geography within the 21st century. Component 3 will look at the working of tectonics and the impacts these have on a local and global scale. Students will also look at ecosystems and energy challenges and dilemmas that we are facing within the 21st century.

Component 4 is the only non-exam part of the course and consists of a fieldwork investigation which is worth 20% of the course. This is an independent student that is completed based on 4 days residential. This element allows for students to choose their own hypothesis and interpret this independently.


Students will complete exam style questions within each lesson. Students will also complete an end of term assessment after each topic to allow for support to be put in place if needed. This will also ensure students are stretched to achieve the best regardless of ability.

Throughout KS5 we as a department aim to ensure all students’ progress but do so with a S.M.I.L.E.

Possible Career Paths:  

There are a variety of jobs people can do with geography:

  • Journalist
  • Environmental scientist
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Weather Forecaster
  • Town planning
  • Surveyor
  • Teacher
  • Tour guide
  • Pilot/Air Hostess