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GCSE Geography

Mathematics - Year 7

Click here to return to our Geography curriculum overview

Below you will find more specific information about the curriculum in Geography for students who have chosen this subject for GCSE, explaining to you what students will learn, when, why and how. There is also information about how parents/carers are able to support students in their learning, extra-curricular opportunities in this subject and how it links to other subjects and the wider world.

Subject Key Concepts

                                                                              #1 Places            #2 Atmospheric Processes    

                                                           #3 Geophysical Processes          #4 Population         #5 Development    

                                                #6 Interdependence          #7 Sustainable Futures         #8 Geographical Skills

Please click here for Subject Key Concepts.

Curriculum Overview for the Year 

Year 10


Sustaining Ecosystems

Urban Futures

Global Hazards

Changing Climate

UK in the 21st Century

Powerful Knowledge

Life on Earth is supported by global ecosystems and the link between human wellbeing and ecosystem wellbeing is vital. Learners will be comparing their prior knowledge on tropical rainforests with that of the physical cycles and processes, threats and sustainability of polar environments.


Cities are growing at unprecedented rates. This topic seeks to explore why and consider how the global pattern of urbanisation is changing. Urban challenges and opportunities are examined through studying two cities. Within each city, contrasting ways of life, geographical processes, problems and solutions will be studied in order to gain a holistic understanding of what makes up the urban fabric of each place.

This topic allows learners to develop an understanding of a variety of hazards that impact human lives both within the UK and worldwide. Learners investigate how weather can be hazardous, gaining knowledge of the major processes within the atmosphere and their impact in creating extreme weather. An understanding of tectonic hazards is developed, exploring the causes, consequences and responses to a case study hazard.

Climate change is one of the most controversial global issues of the 21st century. In this topic learners will build on their existing knowledge of patterns of climate change from the start of the Quaternary period to the present day, considering the reliability of a range of evidence for the changes.

Learners will study the theories relating to natural climate change and consider the influence of humans on the greenhouse effect.

A diverse range of cultures, identities and economies make up the patchwork of the UK. This topic poses questions about the changing nature of people’s lives and work in the UK in the 21st century. As new economic superpowers emerge, questions have been posed about the global significance of the UK- how much of a ‘world player’ are we?

Specific Skills

·    Investigating the impact of climate change on cold environments.

·    Analysing figures

·    Assessing how wilderness areas can be used sustainably.


·    Investigating quality of life around the world.

·    Comparing and contrasting different cities.

·    Understanding causes and consequences of urbanisation.

·    Considering solutions suitable for countries at different levels of development.

·       Analysing figures

·       Empathising with others.

·       Structuring and writing extended exam answers.

·       Sequencing the stages of formation of features or events.


·    Understanding natural and human causes of climate change.

·    Analysing figures.

·    Assessing the reliability of sources of information.

·    Structuring and writing extended exam answers.

·    Analysing figures.

·    Assessing the reliability of sources of information.

·    Structuring and writing extended exam answers.

·    Evaluating the impact of global events on groups of people.

Specific Locations

Svalbard- Norway, Sweden, Arctic, Antarctic

Bristol- UK, Rio de Janiero- Brazil

The UK, Haiti

The UK, The Maldives

The UK, Tanzania 

Year 11


Distinctive Landscapes

Dynamic Development

Resource Reliance

Powerful Knowledge

The UK contains a diverse and distinct range of landscapes. This topic gives learners the opportunity to unravel the geographical processes that make them distinctive. A deeper understanding of the geomorphic processes that shape river and coastal landscapes is developed and consideration of the human influence on these. This topic will also incorporate one day of fieldwork to a coastal location in Norfolk, proceeded by a series of follow-up lessons.

This topic asks learners to consider the changing nature and distribution of countries along the development spectrum before examining the complex causes of uneven development. The future for LIDCs is uncertain and will be investigated through an in-depth study of one country, considering its development journey so far, how its global connections may influence the future and possible alternative development strategies

This topic investigates emerging patterns, where demand is outstripping supply, before taking the issue of food security and considering the question ‘can we feed nine billion people?’. Learners will investigate what it means to be food secure, how countries try to achieve this and reflect upon the sustainability of strategies to increase food security.

Specific Skills

·       Structuring and writing extended exam answers.

·       Sequencing the stages of formation of features or events.

·       Fieldwork skills.

·       Sketch mapping and drawing diagrams.


 ·    Analysing figures.

·    Assessing the reliability of sources of information.

·    Structuring and writing extended exam answers.

·    Empathising with others.

·    Assessing the impact of past events on future development.

 ·       Analysing figures.

·       Assessing the reliability of sources of information.

·       Structuring and writing extended exam answers.

·       Problem-solving to identify solutions to water, food or energy shortages on different scales.

Specific Locations

Dorset- UK, R. Tees- UK, Hunstanton- UK


The UK, Tanzania 

Useful documents:

Please click here for a PDF of curriculum overview for Year 10.
Please click here for a PDF of curriculum overview for Year 11.

While this information covers a broad range of areas, please do get in touch with the Subject Leader Ms Staines if you have any questions.

Please click on the questions below to find out more.

Which exam board will students be examined by?


How are groups organised?

We organise our classes by mixed ability. The students have five one-hour lessons per fortnight.

What characteristics does a successful student have in this subject?

The most successful students in this subject will enjoy learning about the human and physical world around them. They will also be passionate about how change creates opportunities and challenges.

How will students learn at this level?

  • Group work
  • Exam question practise
  • Independent research
  • Note taking
  • Synthesising notes
  • Annotated diagrams
  • Reading and applying news articles

How will students’ learning be assessed at this level?

Component 1 (Our Natural World) is assessed in a written exam lasting 1 hour and 15 minutes. This exam accounts for 35% of the GCSE.

Component 2 (People and Society) is assessed in a written exam lasting 1 hour and 15 minutes. This exam accounts for 35% of the GCSE.

Unit 3 (Geographical Exploration) is assessed in a written exam lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes. This exam accounts for 30% of the GCSE.

Students will also be internally assessed at the end of every topic in addition to Year 10 and Year 11 mock exams.

When do key assessments take place?

All exams take place at the end of Year 11- please see the exam timetable for the exact dates.

How can parents/carers support students’ learning?

  • All students are provided with a complete glossary of key terms and definitions for every topic. We would really appreciate it if you could help your child learn these key terms.
  • Students are also provided with knowledge organisers which enable students to summarise an entire topic on a single A3 page- please do encourage your child to complete these to the best of their ability and to revisit them regularly.
  • There are past exam papers and mark schemes on the OCR B website which students need to be using in order to refine their exam technique. These can be accessed here: https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse/geography-b-geography-for-enquiring-minds-j384-from-2016/assessment/
  • Check that books are well-organised and that students are able to access the online Kerboodle textbook.

What equipment do students need for this subject?

  • Essential school equipment including pen, pencil, ruler, calculator.
  • Access to SMHW.
  • Access to the online textbook using the Kerboodle website.  
  • Purchase the recommended CGP OCR B GCSE Geography revision materials - all students will be given the opportunity to purchase these at a discounted rate through the school.

How does this subject link to other subjects?

  • Maths: graphical and statistical skills
  • English: written answers
  • Science: tectonic and weather hazards, climate change, geology
  • History: how a country’s development is affected by historical events

What websites or resources may be helpful to support students’ learning?

Past exam papers can be accessed here https://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse/geography-b-geography-for-enquiring-minds-j384-from-2016/assessment/

BBC Bitesize for GCSE Geography: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/zpsx2p3

Revision World: https://revisionworld.com/gcse-revision/geography

What extra-curricular or enrichment opportunities are available for students in this subject at this level?

Trips for the next academic year are subject to change due to the current restrictions. In previous years we have offered:

Compulsory fieldwork: all students will spend the day in Hunstanton during the summer term in order to prepare for their Geographical Applications exam.

Enrichment fieldtrip: all students will be given the opportunity to visit an international destination. Previous trips have seen students visit Iceland, where their lessons on tectonic hazards have been brought to life as they visit the Mid Atlantic Ridge and Eyjafjallajökull which famously erupted in 2011 grounding most flights across Europe.

Support: During the spring and summer term, students will be offered the opportunity to attend after school revision. 

What sort of careers can this subject lead to?

Check out these websites for ideas about careers relating to Geography:




What does student work look like in this subject at this level?


How does this subject support a broad and balanced curriculum, meeting the needs of all students, and developing traditional core skills?


How does this subject promote creativity, critical thinking, practice, perseverance and resilience, and making links?


How does this subject encourage enrichment and the development of cultural capital, deep learning, and inclusivity?