St Augustine's Catholic College


The great thing about teaching geography is that there is such a great variety of topics we can study. Our students are growing up, and will live in a rapidly changing world and in the geography department, we can be flexible about what we teach. There are always opportunities to hone in on global issues as they arise. Current topics include the geography of toilets and sanitation, food, plastic pollution and climate change. Students are exposed to the big concepts in the subject such as natural processes, human activities and environmental issues inspiring in them a love of the subject as well as providing a firm foundation for GCSE and A level courses,

The main reason I pursued geography as a student myself was because of the field trips. It is so inspiring to take learning outside and provide opportunities for students to see what they have learnt in the classroom come alive. We aim to develop a sense of awe and wonder in the students so that they appreciate the natural world around them and are able to act as stewards of creation

Studying geography at St Augustine’s will help you to understand the world around you, your place in it and how you can use the knowledge and skills you have gained to become a global citizen. Through activities linked to your learning you will be able to transfer your learning into practical action to support our Lasallian Values.

Mrs J Ewings, Head of Geography

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 we aim to develop student’s appreciation of the awe and wonder of the world around them and to help them make sense of it through investigation. Students are exposed to a range of teaching approaches, using the latest technology to encourage them to find out things for themselves. By using more student-centred learning we hope to develop confident learners who are well prepared for the rigours of further study.

Year 7

Term 1: What’s the Big Idea? Where do we poo?

Term 2: Who are we?

Term 3: Where do we live?

Term 4: Geography Rocks! Coasts

Term 5: Should we save the rainforest?

Term 6: Why does it rain so much?

Knowledge and Skills: Geology and Coasts

Knowledge and Skills: Introduction into Geography

Knowledge and Skills: Population and Settlement

Year 8

Term 1: Food

Term 2: Tectonic Hazards

Term 3: Water

Term 4: Rivers

Terms 5 & 6: Ice on the Land

Knowledge and Skills: Rivers

Knowledge and Skills: Water

Knowledge and Skills: Natural Hazards

Knowledge and Skills: Food

Year 9

Term 1: Development

Term 2: Oceans

Term 3: Africa and desertification

Term 4: China

Terms 5 & 6: Climate Change and Energy

Knowledge and Skills: Development

Knowledge and Skills: Africa

Knowledge and Skills: Oceans


This GCSE specification gives students the opportunity to understand more about the world, the challenges it faces and their place within it. This GCSE course will deepen their understanding of geographical processes, illuminate the impact of change and of complex people-environment interactions, highlight the dynamic links and interrelationships between places and environments at different scales, and develop students’ competence in using a wide range of geographical investigative skills and approaches. Geography enables young people to become globally and environmentally informed and thoughtful, enquiring citizens. As well as being academically rigorous, this course also gives students a range of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers as well as providing an excellent basis for A Level study.

The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to build on their Key Stage 3 knowledge and skills to:

  • develop and extend their knowledge of locations, places, environments and processes, and of different scales, including global; and of social, political and cultural contexts (know geographical material)

  • gain an understanding of the interactions between people and environments, change in places and processes over space and time, and the interrelationship between geographical phenomena at different scales and in different contexts (think like a geographer)

  • develop and extend their competence in a range of skills, including those used in fieldwork, in using maps and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and in researching secondary evidence, including digital sources; and develop their competence in applying sound enquiry and investigative approaches to questions and hypotheses (study like a geographer)

  • apply geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and approaches appropriately and creatively to real-world contexts, including fieldwork, and to contemporary situations and issues; and develop well-evidenced arguments, drawing on their geographical knowledge and understanding (applying geography).

View the full specification as a PDF

Component 1: Global Geographical Issues

This component draws across physical and human processes and people-environment interactions to consider key contemporary global geographical issues. The component is divided into three sections:

Topic 1: Hazardous Earth – an understanding of the global circulation of the atmosphere and changing climate. Plus two depth studies of an extreme weather hazard (tropical cyclones) and tectonic hazards at contrasting locations.

Topic 2: Development dynamics – an understanding of the scale of global inequality. Plus a depth study of how one emerging country is developing and the consequences for people, the environment and the country’s relationship with the wider world

Topic 3: Challenges of an urbanising world – an overview of the causes and challenges of rapid urbanisation across the world. Plus one depth study of a megacity* in a developing or emerging country. Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes 37.5% of the qualification

Component 2: UK Geographical Issues

This component draws across physical and human processes and people-environment interactions to consider key contemporary geographical issues for the UK. The component is divided into three sections:

Topic 4: The UK's evolving physical landscape - an overview of the varied physical landscapes in the UK resulting from geology, geomorphic processes and human activity over time. Plus two depth studies of distinctive landscapes – Coastal change and conflict and River processes and pressures

Topic 5: The UK's evolving human landscape - an overview of the changing and varied human landscape of the UK, including the socio-economic and political processes that influence it. Plus a case study of a major UK city - Dynamic UK cities.

Topic 6: Geographical investigations - two investigations, including fieldwork and research, carried out in contrasting environments, one from 'Coastal change and conflict' or 'River processes and pressures' and one of either 'Dynamic urban areas' or 'Changing rural areas’.

Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes 37.5% of the qualification

Component 3: People and Environment Issues – Making Geographical Decisions

In this component, students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the processes and interactions between people and the environment and investigate related issues at a variety of scales. This component has three sections:

Topic 7: People and the biosphere – an overview of the global distribution and characteristics of large-scale ecosystems, why the biosphere is important to human well-being and how humans use and modify it in order to obtain resources

Topic 8: Forests under threat – a detailed study of tropical rain forests and the taiga, looking at processes and interactions and issues related to their biodiversity and to their sustainable use and management

Topic 9: Consuming energy resources – a study of renewable and non-renewable energy, its supply and demand, access and energy security issues, its sustainable use and management

Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes 25% of the qualification


This is a compulsory element of the course and students are required to undertake 2 days of fieldwork, in both physical and human environments. This fieldwork is likely to take the form of a day trip to Bristol to undertake the human investigation, and a residential trip to undertake the physical study of a river environment.

There may also be the opportunity to take part in other enrichment activities and an optional overseas trip.

A Level

A Level Geography