Geography is about understanding the world around us and the complex relationships that exist between people and places.
Through the GCSE curriculum, pupils will be introduced to a wide range of contemporary theories, processes, issues and questions. We hope to develop geographers who are well informed, empathetic and analytical. Pupils study human and physical geography, with plenty of opportunity to consider, debate and evaluate the interactions between people and the environment in which we live and consider the future threats and opportunities.

Course content

The Physical Environment

Written exam: 1 hour and 30 minutes (37.5% of qualification)

Section A: The changing landscapes of the UK

Section B: Weather hazards and climate change

Section C: Ecosystems, biodiversity and management

The Human Environment

Written exam: 1 hour and 30 minutes (37.5% of qualification)

Section A: Changing cities

Section B: Global development

Section C: Resource management (energy and water resources)

Geographical Investigations – Fieldwork and UK Challenges

Written exam: 1 hour and 30 minutes (25% of qualification)

Section A: Investigating human environments

Section B: Investigating physical environments

Section C: UK future challenges


Pupils are required to complete two field trips. One investigating urban change and quality of life, for example in and around the Olympic Park in Stratford, and a residential trip to Southwold on the Suffolk coast, investigating coastal landscapes and processes.

In addition, pupils have the opportunity to attend and participate in lectures and events outside school and watch a range of films and documentaries to support their learning.

Next steps

We have chosen our GCSE specification to complement the A Level Geography course offered at Sydenham High School. In addition, Geography is a course which involves a broad range of skills, helping to prepare girls effectively for a range of A Level subjects. GCSE geographers use both qualitative and quantitative approaches to studying a range of issues and develop synoptic skills that will benefit their A Level studies across all disciplines. Geography will help pupils develop key employability skills such as problem solving, collaborative working, evaluation, synoptic thinking, investigation planning and data manipulation. Employers and universities often consider geographers to be well rounded with skills that can be applied very broadly.

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