GCSE Geography (2016 Specification)
Current Year 9 and 10 Only
AQA Specification (http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/gcse/geography-8035)
What will you study?
At GCSE, students follow the AQA Geography specification. It is examined at the end of year 11. The course allows us to deliver a range of exciting topics covering both human and physical geography. Students are also able to develop their geographical, mathematical and literacy skills.
Year 9 gives students the opportunity to study a range of topics. We begin looking at local Geography through issues such as crime, understanding the physical geography of the local area and assessing how people perceive Tenterden and Homewood as a place. We continue through national geography studying themes such as national parks through to global geography where we attack topics such as development and political geography. Throughout year 9, students will become masters at the essential skills they require to be successful at GCSE.
In years 10 and 11, student begin learning the content they are required to know for their public examination.
Living with the physical environment
- The challenge of natural hazards
- The living world
- Physical landscapes in the UK
Challenges in the human environment
- Urban issues and challenges
- The changing economic world
- The challenge of resource management
- Issue Evaluation
- Fieldwork (Students will attend at least two fieldtrips during the course).
- Cartographic skills
- Graphical skills
- Numerical Skills
- Statistical skills
How will you be assessed?
GCSE Geography (2014 Specification)
Current Year 11 Only
GCSE Geography (AQA) – Unit 1 (Physical Geography) – 22nd May 2017 (PM)
There are only three units that you will be assessed on:
- The Restless Earth
- Water on Land
- Coastal Zone
GCSE Geography (AQA) – Unit 2 (Human Geography) – 6th June 2017 (PM)
There are only three units that you will be assessed on:
- Population Change
- Development Gap
This topic explores the location and characteristics of tectonic activity. Students study the distribution of tectonic activity across the world and learn about the causes of such activity. Students investigate a range of contemporary natural disasters and examine the impacts such disasters have on the people living there, the economy and the natural environment. The unit concludes with students studying how tectonic activity is managed in contrasting locations around the world.
A Watery World
This topic is new and gives students the opportunity to study sources of water and consumption patterns across the world and devising explanations for any patterns identified. Students go on to study why there are water supply problems in a range of countries, those of low income status as well as high income status countries. The unit concludes with a study of the management of water use and water resources – again this is completed through studying a range of contrasting countries.
This topic sees the students at Homewood school explore the reasons for global population change over time and analysing population distribution patterns using both physical and human factors to explain found patterns of distributions. Students focus on two compulsory case studies when studying the factors which affect population distribution and density – China and the UK, students then research how two contrasting countries cope with population problems – either trying to increase or decrease their birth rates. Students then look at the characteristics of population, studying population pyramids for countries at different stages of development, an in-depth study of census data and an ability to interpret the data. The unit concludes with a study of the advantages and disadvantages of both a youthful and ageing population.
A Tourist World
Another new unit which allows students to study the growth of the tourist industry and have an ability to explain this growth. Students develop an awareness of a variety of physical and human attractions for a variety of holiday destinations, and through project work students present their understanding of a range of different holiday types. Students learn the Butler Tourism Model and are able to apply the model to a resort illustrating its development from origin to present day. Through this unit students are able to recognise the importance of tourism both to people and to local economies but also appreciate the negative impacts that come with tourism. The unit concludes with students focusing on eco-tourism which allows students to fully understand the aims and objectives of this type of tourism – protecting the environment and benefiting the local communities.
This unit acts as an introduction to coastal processes and landforms to facilitate the Controlled Assessment unit which is a requirement for the course. Students learn the different types of processes that take place at the coast and how these contribute to a range of erosion and dispositional landforms. Students also gain knowledge on how coastal landforms are constantly changing, looking at cliff recession and how this impacts people and the environment through to the management of the coastline, the different types of defence. Students then utilise this knowledge to present how the coast is managed in a named location.
Challenges for the planet – Sustainable Development for the planet & the causes, effects and responses to climate change
This unit covers the major challenges that our planet is currently facing: climate change and sustainability. This is a key topic for anyone living in the 21st century and it is vital that students are well informed and able to make their own decisions on this subject.
This unit covers a range of geographical skills that are essential for all GCSE Geography students. The unit allows for students to gain an understanding of these skills and expertise in how to apply them to geographical investigations. Cartographic, graphical and graphical enquiry, ICT and GIS skills are covered.
Assessment at Key Stage 4
Students are continually assessed throughout the two year course. Students are encouraged on a regular basis to self assess and peer assess each others’ work. Students are graded once a term, and this grade is formulated using grades achieved throughout that term in class work, homework, presentations etc. and their performance in their end of term assessment (which is usually a GCSE past paper).
Students sit three external examinations. Two of these are sat in the January of their Year 10 year and their final exam in the June of the same year. The three examinations are as follows:
- Unit 1 – Geographical skills and challenges
- Unit 2 – Tectonic processes and A watery world
- Unit 3 – Population change and A tourist’s world
Each exam contributes 25% to the student’s final GCSE grade in the subject.
The final 25% is achieved through the Controlled Assessment (a new assessment which replaced traditional coursework in Geography).
Students at Homewood School complete their Controlled Assessment by carrying out a project linked to the Coastal Landscapes unit. In 2010 the set title was “What evidence is there that longshore drift is taking place along a named coastline”. Students came up with a range of hypotheses to test; a day was spent collecting data at Herne Bay – situated along the north Kent coastline, students then presented their data, analysed their data, came up with a conclusion and then evaluated their project.
The element of control comes through two levels of control, low and high. The Analysis, Conclusion and Evaluation sections are completed under a high level of control (exam conditions) which allows the student to demonstrate their ability to work independently and to a time limit.