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GCSE Geography

Geography is an optional GCSE at the Fernwood School. We believe it is a vital subject for making sense of the world we live in today. Geography is one of the most relevant subjects for our time. We want to enable students to become more aware of the environmental, social, political, and cultural issues facing our ever changing globally interdependent world.

The AQA GCSE Geography builds on the knowledge and skills already developed in KS3. The qualification consists of six major units that cover both the natural parts of our planet and how it works, along with aspects of human society and how we interact with one another and our planet. Alongside these six units, students also learn how to conduct geographical enquiries and the course involves two fieldwork days (one in the Peak District National Park) looking at geographical aspects and issues out in the real world.

Physical Geography
– Challenge of Natural Hazards
– The Living World
– Physical Landscapes of the UK

The physical geography half of the course covers challenges of natural hazards and how planet earth can create dangerous natural events. Students examine earthquakes, volcanoes, and tropical storms. Alongside this, GCSE geographers will also look at the relevant ways that our planet’s climate has changed and the wider impacts of this on society today and in the future.  The second of our physical geography units looks at how largescale ecosystems provide both challenges and opportunities for people living there, with a particular focus on cold environments such as polar and arctic regions. The final part of the physical geography section looks at the physical landscapes of the UK with a focus on river and coastal landscapes and how physical processes and human interactions can shape our land.

Human Geography
– Urban Issues and Challenges
– Changing Economic World
– Challenge of Resource Management
The other half of the course focusses on human geography. Students will learn about how and why our world is becoming more urbanised, with a particular focus on a world city in a developing country. In the UK, students will look at why there has been industrial change then the need for regeneration how this has changed the physical and economical landscapes of all UK cities. After focussing on our increasing urban world, students will study our changing economic world and acquire an understanding of global development. Students will learn about the development gap and consider how the lives lived by people all over the world can be radically different to each other. The final aspect of the human geography part of the course focusses on the increasing challenge of managing Earth’s natural resources of to provide for increasing populations environmental challenges both in the UK and across our world. At Fernwood, students focus on the challenge of water management and will look at different scales of water management schemes.

Throughout your lessons you will develop the skills and framework to make sense of our planet’s different features and a variety of scales and the interactions between our human and physical world. Our aim is that through taking GCSE geography, students will leave feeling equipped with the confidence and skills necessary to make sense of world beyond Fernwood and make a positive impact to our wider society.

Routes to employment

Studying Geography enables students to develop a wide range of transferable skills including independent thinking, investigation, analytical and presentation skills, critical thinking, the ability to think about moral and ethical issues, team work, communication, project management and problem solving.

Students who have studied Geography go on to study a wide range of courses at college, sixth forms and universities within both the Arts and Sciences. For instance the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) states that for students who have studied Geography at A level and who are “working towards a future course in medicine or veterinary medicine then geography is a good choice to give your A Level options the breadth that universities seek, as you will gain a clear understanding of how the environment affects health and survival of people, animals and ecosystems as well as enhancing your skills of writing essays and extended reports“. According to the RGS, “in a recent analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) in 2018 placed Geography among the top subjects for graduate earnings“.

Students who have studied Geography have access to a very diverse range of careers and employment opportunities working in a variety of environments – such as working for central & local government in Town & Country Planning or Policy making, or for Environment Agency, the HM Armed Forces, careers in business, engineering, development and global issues, and in the travel & tourism industry, to name but a few.

If you have any further questions, please speak to your geography teacher.

Options – GCSE Geography FAQs

There is no setting! There are no longer foundation or higher papers – everyone sits the same paper.
Expect homework once a week from your teacher, consisting mostly of producing resources for revision. You can also expect consolidation tasks on Seneca or pre reading before a new topic.
You can expect a fair amount of writing from GCSE Geography, as with all GCSE subjects. Answering 9 mark question in a GCSE Geography paper for example can be upwards of a page of A4 in length.
Yes, you have to do both! Even if you prefer one of them, you will still have to learn about the other. Remember to not look at them in isolation, there is plenty of overlap.
Here is the breakdown of each paper, remember – it will be more detailed than this as you explore each topic in depth.

Head Teacher – Mr P Burke
The Fernwood School, Goodwood Road, Wollaton, Nottingham, NG8 2FT
0115 9286 326 | admin@fernwoodschool.org.uk
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