The Geography Department at Saint Aidan’s Church of England High School fully supports the mission statement of the school. The curriculum outlined below is designed to encourage achievement in all students of all abilities.

The department seeks to promote geography as a dynamic, exciting subject and believes students should enjoy geography and be exposed to a variety of teaching and learning styles. Through enjoyment of the subject they will be encouraged to aim for the highest standards in all that they do.

The department has an active membership with the Geographical Association. As a department we are committed to maintaining high professional standards through continued professional development (CPD) which we hope will keep our curriculum at the leading edge of developments for both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

Key Stage 3

Geography at Key Stage 3 contributes to a broad and balanced curriculum which meets the needs of all students. We aim to give students the opportunity to study a wide range of topics throughout Key Stage 3 in the hope of fostering a passion and interest for geography and the world around them. Alongside this, students will develop a range of transferable skills that can be used in other areas of the curriculum. Units of work currently being taught are:

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Welcome to GeographyRainforest EcosystemsFlooding Disaster
Our Island HomeCool GeogrpahyThe Restless Earth
Rivers (River Wyre: My Local River)Across the USAInto Africa

A Passion for FashionAn Asian Adventure

The Key Stage 3 programme is constantly updated with new units of work being added to ensure the content remains relevant, interesting and dynamic. The above units should be viewed as a guide as some students will study additional or alternative units throughout the Key Stage that are appropriate to their ability levels.

Key Stage 4

2016-17 is a year of transition in GCSE Geography. The current Year 11 students will be completing the final year of the legacy AQA GCSE Geography A course. An outline of the course specification can be found at


Year 10 students, that have chosen to study GCSE Geography at Key Stage 4 starting in June 2016, will be following the new AQA GCSE Geography (8035) syllabus. The full exam specification can be found at


The new specification (8035) recognises the vital role geography has in the 21st century curriculum enabling our students to appreciate the complexity of our world and the diversity of its environments, economies and cultures.

The course now comprises three papers; one physical, one human and one that is skills and fieldwork based. All three papers and the units we are most likely to be teaching within them are outlined in the table below. Some units are compulsory and some can be selected be teachers to best suit the students in their schools.

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment

How is it assessed?

  • 1hr 30min written exam (88 marks including
  • 3 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar)
  • 35% of the GCSE
  • Units studied

Section A: The challenge of natural hazards

  • Natural hazards
  • Tectonic hazards
  • Tropical storms
  • Extreme weather in the UK
  • Climate change

Section B: Physical landscapes in the UK

  • UK physical landscapes
  • Coastal landscapes in the UK
  • Glacial landscapes in the UK

Section C: The living world

  • Ecosystems
  • Tropical rainforests
  • Cold environments

Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment

How is it assessed?

  • 1 hr 30 min written exam (88 marks including 3 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar)
  • 35% of the GCSE
  • Units studied

Section A: Urban issues and challenges

Section B: The changing economic world

Section C: The challenges of resources management

  • Resources management
  • Energy

Paper 3: Geographical applications

How is it assessed?

  • 1 hr 15 mins written exam (76 marks including 6 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar) 3
  • 0% of the GCSE
  • Pre-release resources will be made available 12 weeks before the Paper 3 exam
  • Units studied

Section A: Issue evaluation (37 marks)

This section assesses students’ geographical skills and applied knowledge by looking at a particular issue(s) taken from part of the course (using a pre-released resource). It will challenge students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Section B: Fieldwork (39 marks)

Students need to undertake two geographical enquiries. Students will be examined using a range of questions that assesses their understanding of fieldwork design, data collection and analysis.


Activities In school, the department aims to offer a range of activities that we hope attract the interests of a range of students and parents alike. The department will continue to run the 'Fairtrade Group' whose aim is to raise awareness about Fairtrade products and to make the school 'Fairtrade' during the 2016/17 academic year. We also hope to run a range of pop-up clubs that encourage students to participate in national initiatives such as Switch Off Fortnight, Waste Week and Fairtrade Fortnight. The department regularly encourage our students to enter competitions run by the Geographical Association and some Environmental Charities.


As a department our aim is to bring the subject to life for our students. We try to do this through offering a wide range of trips and practical activities. In February 2016 the department took forty GCSE students on a field visit to Iceland. Throughout the year we have also taken groups of students on fieldwork to the Lake District, the sea defence project at Cleveleys, the River Wyre at Garstang to investigate flood defences and also to tectonics workshops run by the Royal Cartographic Society.

Alongside this programme we try to get parents involved in the subject by hosting a ‘Family Fieldwork Day’, this year to visit Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales.

Faculty Staff

Mr D EcclesDirector of Humanities and Head of Department
Mr A CorbridgeGeography Teacher

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