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The Fernwood School

"High Achievement with Care and Discipline for All"

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Geography Staff

Mr R Carr – Faculty Leader – Humanities & Head of Geography
Mr Walker – Head of Year and Teacher of Geography
Mrs Gray – Head of PD and Teacher of Geography
Mr Jinks – Teacher of Geography


The Geography Department at The Fernwood School work to develop Pupils’ understanding of the world and the many contemporary challenges such as climate change, food security, energy choices that pupils may face in the future. All of which cannot be understood without a geographical perspective.

The curriculum is designed to develop skilful Geographers: using maps and mediated images of people and place, numerical data and graphical modes of communication and getting to grips with the geographic information systems that underpin our lives.

At The Fernwood School Geography is taught by an enthusiastic team of 4 specialist teachers. There are detailed schemes of work in place across all key stages which are regularly updated and designed to give pupils a broad understanding of the world around them.

Fieldwork is an important part of Geography at The Fernwood School. The department runs a variety of field trips in order to inspire young geographers and give them hands on experience. Pupils have opportunities to study both their local environment and to spend time visiting contrasting localities such as the Burbage Brook in the Peak District, and Bakewell.

The Geography Team aims to provide the best possible geographical learning experience for our students both within and outside of the classroom.  Our curriculum enables all students to develop a sense of wonder at the beauty of the natural world and the power of natural processes.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 pupils study a range of human, physical and environmental geography topics.

The subject is delivered in 1-hour lessons, with 2 hours a week in year 7, 1 hour a week in year 8 and 1.5 hours a week in year 9* (*with one lesson on rotation a fortnight). In KS3 pupils will be assessed through three distinct “strands” – Geographical Knowledge, Geographical Skills and Geographical Application, and pupils will learn about a wide range of themes:

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9

What is our Geography?

How does the Earth work?

Where’s Wally? – geographical Skills

Living Places? – Settlement

Extreme Places – Antarctica

What is so great about Great Britain?

People Places? – Population

Watery Places? – Rivers

Future Places? – climate Change

Trading Places?

Dangerous Places?

Urban Places?


Tropical Rainforests

Cold Places?


Key Stage 4

We currently follow the AQA GCSE specification (8035).  For the students who opt to study Geography at GCSE, there are three units.  All three units are examined at the end of Year 11, with Units 1 (physical Geography) and 2 (Human Geography) are equally weighted at 35% of the GCSE, the exam for each lasting 1 hour 30 minutes.  Unit 3, Geographical Applications, is worth 30% of the final grade and is based on both a pre-release advance information booklet on a topical geographical issue together with questions based around data collected and field work skills acquired during two fieldwork days. The first of these fieldwork opportunities is in the summer term of Year 10 to the Peak District National Park to measure an upland river, with the second, returning to Derbyshire in the autumn term of Year 11 to carry out an urban study of the town of Bakewell. This examination for unit 3 is for a duration of 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Unit 1 – Living with the physical environment (35% of the GCSE)

This unit covers the physical geography aspects of the natural world and the issues related to the environment. The topics are:

Topic 1: The challenge of natural hazards – Tectonics, Tropical Storms & Climate Change

Topic 2: The living world – Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests & Cold Environments

Topic 3: Physical landscapes in the UK – Rivers & Coasts; processes, landforms and management


Unit 2 – Challenges in the human environment (35% of the GCSE)

This unit covers the human geography aspects of the human world and the issues related to the people living on our planet. The topics are:

Topic 1: Urban issues and challenges – issues arising from rapid urbanisation in the developing world, and urban decline and regeneration in the UK

Topic 2: The changing economic world – issues of globalisation and development both in the developing and developed world

Topic 3: The challenge of resource management – with an overview of natural resources in the UK (food, water & energy), then focusing on water provision on a global scale


Unit 3 – Geographical applications (30% of the GCSE)

This unit is made up of two parts:

Section A: Issue evaluation –

This section contributes a critical thinking and problem-solving element to the GCSE and students with the opportunity to build on their geographical skills and apply knowledge and understanding by looking at a particular issue(s) derived from the specification. This can be from any part and students are issued with a pre-release booklet prior to the exam which is studied and taught in class.

Section B: Fieldwork

Building on the skills, knowledge and understanding developed from two fieldwork days, students will then apply these skills in an examination, where students will answer a range of questions based on both the use of fieldwork materials from an unfamiliar context together with questions based on students’ individual enquiry work.


Links for learning

One of the biggest things you can do to support your learning is to keep an eye out for Geography in the news – on websites such as and or keep an eye out on twitter!

For all resources, handouts, video tutorials, and links to useful websites please see Fernwood Hub

Other useful websites:


Key Stage 4

Copy of specification can be found here:


Other useful sites:

When using sites off the internet be sure that they are for GCSE Geography AQA specification A. Green Logo 2014


In September 2014, the Geography Department was awarded the Geographical Association’s Secondary Quality Geography Mark (SGQM) in recognition of our work.

Head Teacher – Mr P Burke
The Fernwood School, Goodwood Road, Wollaton, Nottingham, NG8 2FT
0115 9286 326 |
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