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    The Geography department aims to provide students with an amazing experience discovering the world, the way it works and how it might change it the future. A wide range of topics and locations are taught in Geography from map skills in year 7, sea level rise in year 10 to deprivation in the UK in year 12.

    Lessons are designed to develop key concepts within the context of a variety of different topics. Our goal is  to develop students’ knowledge and skills so that they become enthusiastic about learning and develop a better understanding and appreciation of the world around them.

    Geography lessons are supported by a wide range of ICT programs which students are encouraged to use in their day-to-day lessons as well as their own revision. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) skills are developed in all key stages. ‘FROG’, the school’s MLE is a resource where students are able to access information, assignments and guidance. GCSEpod is also available and is an effective revision tool that focuses on developing students understanding through small clips on very specific areas of study.

    Lessons are complimented by meaningful home learning assignments designed to develop students’ understanding of Geography. Dedicated staff are available, on request, to help and support students with their learning.

    Field work opportunities are available in all key stages, which help students to appreciate how they are connected to the world around them. Planned trips include: The Swanage GCSE residential field trip to Swanage, Dorset, the Year 12 day trip to the River Chess in Buckinghamshire and the year 13 trip to the London docklands and the Elephant and Castle renewal projects.

    key stage 3

    Key Stage 3 geography is designed to focus on developing important, transferable, skills to enable students to become competent geographers. The lessons are based around the key topics which allow students to study physical, human and environmental geography. Lessons are designed to be accessible and challenging for all learners so that all students achieve success.


    Geography and atlas skills: This looks at the topics that will be taught and the skills needed to be a successful geographer. The lessons focus on developing the students to think like geographers and make links between theory and the real world around them.

    Weather and climate: Students study how weather is created in the UK and around the world. They also look at the causes and effects of climate change.

    Map skills: students continue to develop skills from primary school. They look at how elevation and physical and human features are displayed on maps. The students also look at the uses of maps for people, industry and government.

    The UK and Settlement: students combine geography and history skills to discover how cities and towns have developed and grown over the centuries. They also look at how towns are planned for housing and transport and how this is changing over time.


    Weathering and erosion as part of coasts and rivers.  Students study the importance of river and coastal environments for the UK biodiversity.  The physical features and human uses are looked as well as the management of these areas for a sustainable future. Specific cases studies look at cliff collapse at the coast and flooding in river valleys.

    Development: students learn about the different means to measure development between countries. How the ‘development gap’ grew and the measures being put in place to reduce the difference in development between countries around the world. The students take part in the ‘Trading game’ to experience how countries find it difficult to develop their infrastructure and economy in the globalized world. 

    Population: The students study at the size and composition of different countries populations around the world. They look at the speed of growth and decline in different countries, the effects that this is having and the methods being employed by some countries to manage this change.

    key stage 4

    Geography at Key Stage 4 is a rigorous and challenging GCSE course that develops subject knowledge and geographical skills. GCSE Geography challenges students of all levels. Students are supported with additional revision sessions offered at lunchtime in order to provide them with the opportunities they need to succeed.

    At Dormers Wells High School, students follow the Edexcel A exam board. The syllabus provides a balanced coverage of physical and human aspects of the subject and is studied through six separate topics in two units. Students also complete a skills assessment based on their fieldwork in Swanage (unit 3).


    Topic 1: The changing landscapes of the UK – an overview of the distribution and characteristics of the UK’s changing landscapes and detailed studies of two landscapes, 1A: Coastal landscapes and processes and 1B: River landscapes and processes.

    Topic 2: Weather hazards and climate change – an overview of the global circulation of atmosphere and climate change over time and two detailed studies of tropical cyclones and drought.

    Topic 3: Ecosystems, biodiversity and management – an overview of the distribution and characteristics of global and UK ecosystems and two detailed studies of deciduous woodlands and tropical rainforests.


    Topic 4: Changing cities –an overview of global urban processes and trends  and detailed case studies of a major UK city and a major city in a developing or emerging country.

    Topic 5: Global development –an overview of the causes and consequences of uneven global development and detailed case studies of challenges that affect a developing or emerging country.

    Topic 6: Resource management –an overview of the global and UK distribution of food, energy and water and one detailed study of water resource management at different scales.


    Topic 7: Geographical investigations − fieldwork. Two geographical investigations each involving fieldwork and research. There is a choice of one from two environments in 7A:

    Investigating physical environments (rivers or coasts) and one from two environments

    7B: Investigating human landscapes (central/inner urban area or rural settlements).

    Topic 8: Geographical investigations − UK challenges. Students are required to draw across their knowledge and understanding of the UK, from the physical and human geography drawn from Components 1 and 2, in order to investigate a contemporary challenge for the UK. Students are required to have a geographical overview of the four

    UK challenges in Topic 8 from which the assessment context will be drawn.

    key stage 5


    B grade in English/Maths required.

    What is 'quality of life' and how can it be improved? Why do natural disasters occur and how do people respond? How should natural systems be managed? Why are countries at war? Questions like these reflect the way people around the world with varying wealth, skills and backgrounds interact with the environment around them. Geography is suited to students who are interested in the roles, values and attitudes of others, and have an interest in the world around them. Students study a combination of physical and human geography, develop geographical skills and investigate contemporary issues. They work both independently and with others and further develop their learning through fieldwork.


    Some jobs relate directly to Geography, such as in town and transport planning, land and water management, environmental consultancy, development policy, tourism and recreation. Other more generalist careers, such as information technology, the civil service, administration and management, the financial sector, and marketing all make use of the skills learnt through the study of Geography.

    Content: (Please see the specification linked to this web page for more detail)







    PAPER 1

    • Paper code: 9GE0/01
    • Written examination: 2 hours and 15 minutes
    • 30% of the qualification
    • 105 marks

    Content overview

    • Area of study 1, Topic 1: Tectonic Processes and Hazards
    • Area of study 1, Topic 2: Landscape Systems, Processes and Change – including Coastal Landscapes and Change
    • Area of study 3, Topic 5: The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
    • Area of study 3, Topic 6: The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security

    PAPER 2 

    • Paper code: 9GE0/02
    • Written examination: 2 hours and 15 minutes
    • 30% of the qualification
    • 105 marks

    Content overview

    • Area of study 2, Topic 3: Globalisation
    • Area of study 2, Topic 4: Shaping Places – including-Regenerating Places
    • Area of study 4, Topic 7: Superpowers
    • Area of study 4, Topic 8: Global Development and Connections – including optional sub-topics from which students choose one from two: 8A Health, Human Rights and Intervention or 8B Migration, Identity and Sovereignty

    PAPER 3 

    • *Paper code: 9GE0/03
    • Written examination: 2 hours and 15 minutes
    • 20% of the qualification
    • 70 marks

    Content overview

    The specification contains three synoptic themes within the compulsory1 content areas:

    • Players
    • Attitudes and actions
    • ​Futures and uncertainties.

    The synoptic investigation will be based on a geographical issue within a place-based context that links to the three synoptic themes and is rooted in two or more of the compulsory content areas.


    An externally-assessed written examination comprising three sections. A resource booklet will contain information about the geographical issue.

    Sections A, B and C all draw synoptically on knowledge and understanding from compulsory content drawn from different parts of the course.

    The examination may include short open, open response and resource-linked questions. The examination includes 8-mark, 18-mark and 24-mark extended writing questions. Calculators may be used.


    • (9GE0/04)
    • Non-examined assessment
    • 20% of the qualification
    • 70 marks
    Content overview
    • The student defines a question or issue for investigation, relating to the compulsory or optional content. The topic may relate to any aspect of geography contained within the specification
    • The student’s investigation will incorporate fieldwork data (collected individually or as part of a group) and own research and/or secondary data
    • The fieldwork, which forms the focus and context of the individual investigation, may be either human, physical or integrated physical-human
    • The investigation report will evidence independent analysis and evaluation of data, presentation of data findings and extended writing
    • Students will be expected to show evidence that they have used both quantitative and qualitative data to support their independent investigation as appropriate to the particular environment and/or location.