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.


Year 9 students study:

Ecosystems and TRF: Students will gain from a number of a wide range of resources an understanding of the valuable and vulnerable habitats and ecosystems around the world. Students will focus on the tropical Rainforest and how this environment is under threat.

Rivers: Students will gain an understanding on how rivers have shaped the land around us, their benefits but also the hazards they cause to people and the built environment.

Resource management and urban areas: Students will look at example across the world where Urban environments are growing exponentially, causing environmental issues and exploiting resources at an unsustainable level. 

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

Students will study a combination of physical and human geography to develop geographical skills and to investigate contemporary issues. A level Geography comprises of three synoptic themes. These are over-arching themes designed to help students make links between different geographical themes, ideas and concepts. The synoptic themes incorporate specialist geographical concepts, namely: casualty, systems, feedback, inequality, identity, globalisation, interdependence, mitigation and adaption, sustainability, risk, resilience and thresholds. These themes are: Players, attitudes and actions & futures and uncertainties.

During the course, students will also take part in a number of fieldwork collection activities at various locations including the River Chess and London Docklands 

Exam Board: Pearson Edexcel

Year 1 Subject Content:

Topic 1: Tectonic Processes and Hazards - Tectonic processes, a study of the causes of tectonic hazards, the impact of tectonic activity on people, and responses to tectonic hazards.

Topic 2: Landscape Systems, Processes and Change - An integrated study of processes, landforms and landscapes. A study of one landscape system and the physical and human processes influencing change over time and space.

Topic 3: Globalisation - A study of globalisation, its causes and consequences for different people and places.

Topic 4: Shaping Places - A study of how and why places are shaped and changed, the meanings and identities attached to different places and the consequences for different people.

Year 2 Subject Content

Topic 5: The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity - Water cycle, human and natural factors that impact on water cycling, consequences for water security and future water conflicts.

Topic 6: The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security - Carbon cycle, human and natural factors impacting on carbon cycling, the consequences for ecosystems and management strategies.

Topic 7: Superpowers - Superpowers, the reasons for shifting economic and political power, the impacts of superpowers, influence of superpowers in governing the global commons.

Topic 8: Global Development and Connections

Career Opportunities / Routes

A level Geography supports progression into many higher education courses and areas of work including: town and transport planning, land and water management, environmental consultancy, development policy, tourism and recreation. This course also supports entry into careers such as information technology, the civil service, administration and management, the financial sector, and marketing.


Paper 1: Physical Geography

  • 30%

Paper 2: Human Geography

  • 30%

Paper 3: Geographical investigation and skills

  • 20%

Geographical fieldwork

Students will complete an independent coursework investigation.

  • 20%

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