Geography gives you the opportunity to open your mind to the wider world and gain an understanding of different people and cultures.
The course covers many different aspects of Human and Physical Geography which will provide you with a thorough understanding of topical issues that affect the UK and the rest of the planet. You will study tectonic landscapes, coastal zones, water insecurity, population and development studies.
During the GCSE course, you will also develop a range of transferable skills such as critical thinking, analysis and evaluation, decision making, numerical and the ability to interpret sources. It is an engaging curriculum which will suit students who are interested in understanding the physical and human processes at work and how they interconnect.
What is the exam board and specification?
AQA GCSE Geography – 8035 Exam Board Link
What will you study?
The course is divided into two sections that link to two written exams at the end of Year 11. The physical environment topics covered are natural hazards, climate change, different ecosystems and the physical landscapes of the UK. Human Geography topics covered are the changing economic world, the challenge of resource management and urban issues and challenges.
Key skills such as analysis, extended writing and interpreting maps are integral to all units and the capabilities of students in this regard will be assessed in the third exam paper. The course will also involve a third exam which assesses students on fieldwork knowledge and their appreciation of how Human and Physical topics link together through the completion of a decision making task. Year 11 will therefore also involve time spent tackling synoptic questions that reflect students understanding of geographical issues. Fieldwork will be completed in the summer term of year 10 in order to complete the challenging questions in this third exam
How will you be assessed?
There are three written exams:
Paper 1:Living with the physical environment 1½ hours – 3 Physical Geography questions worth 88 marks (including 3 marks for spelling, terminology and grammar). This accounts for 35% of the GCSE marks
Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment 1½ hours – 3 Human Geography questions worth 88 marks (including 3 marks for spelling, terminology and grammar). This accounts for 35% of the GCSE marks
Paper 3: Geographical applications 1 hour – 76 marks (including 6 marks for spelling, terminology and grammar). This accounts for 30% of the GCSE marks.
All three exams contain a range of questions from multiple-choice answers, shortlist answers and a mixture of short and longer extended prose. Students will be assessed on geographical skills fieldwork, as well as basic spelling and grammar as part of this new specification
What qualities do I need to be successful in the subject?
All students will need a conscientious and enthusiastic approach to their work. This course contains a lot of technical terminologies and requires focus and attention to detail to achieve the highest grades.
Pupils will need to be keen to develop their skills of description, analysis and explanation. They should be confident in tackling text-based sources as well as geographical information from maps and photographs. During fieldwork, they will need to work as a team to ensure completion of the work is organised and thorough. Above all, students need to be interested in the modern world and how human beings interact with their environment in both positive and negative ways. Many of the themes discussed in the exam relate to topical issues providing students with useful knowledge of current affairs.
What future opportunities can I have with this subject?
The course can be further studied at A ‘level and degree level. Typical careers include Meteorologist, Cartographer, Environmental Consultant, Town Planner, Geo-Scientist, Environment Health Officer.
Who should I contact for further information?
Mr H Inman email@example.com