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Welcome to the Geography Department

“The study of Geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It is about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exist across continents. And in the end, it is about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.” – Barack Obama

At St John Henry Newman Catholic School, our Geography department set this at the heart of our curriculum. We strive to inspire a fascination with the world around us and the ability to see how that knowledge can be applied to improving our world. Our curriculum is structured to build skills and knowledge with a firm focus on application to make things relevant to our pupils. The aim is to train geographers who are socially and environmentally conscious and keen to explore. As Michael Palin said: “Geography is a great adventure with a purpose.”

Miss Lowrey (Head of Humanities), Miss Hannan (Teacher of Geography) and Mrs Carr (Teacher of Geography)


Key Stage 3 Geography

 In Key Stage 3 we study a wide range of Human and Physical Geography, building on their learning from primary school and progressing toward GCSE level. We have a strong focus on locational knowledge – pupils need to know where places are in relation to one another. We also delve into some of the bigger issues facing our planet alongside local and national issues. Our curriculum is designed with diversity in mind – aiming to introduce pupils to the broad range of cultures around the world.

In year 7, pupils will study:

· The Geography of Carlisle and Cumbria, including map skills

· How are different parts of rivers formed? Including flooding and risk management

· How does climate affect our planet? Including different biomes around the world

· The Geography of Africa including cultures and breaking down stereotypes and misconceptions

· What is development? Including reasons for unequal development

· A mini fieldwork

In year 8, pupils will study:

· How are coastal features formed?

· What is weather?

· Why do people live in hazardous areas?

· The Geography of India

In year 9, pupils will study:

· How has population affected China?

· How does oil influence the Middle East?

· Is there anything we can do about climate change?

· What is glaciation?

· What issues does Russia face?

· A mini fieldwork

GCSE Geography (AQA) - Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4 (GCSE), we follow the AQA GCSE Geography specification.

Paper 1: Living with the Physical World

Section A: The challenge of natural hazards (tectonic hazards, weather hazards, and climate change)

Section B: The living world (ecosystems, rainforests, and hot deserts)

Section C: Physical landscapes in the UK (including rivers and coasts)

Paper 2: Challenges in the Human Environment

Section A: Urban issues and challenges

Section B: The changing economic world

Section C: The challenge of resource management (with a particular focus on water management)

Paper 3: Geographical Applications

Section A: Issue evaluation based on pre-release material given to pupils 12 weeks before the exam

Section B: Fieldwork analysis based on 2 fieldwork trips done over the 2 years. At present our trips are a study of tourism in Keswick and a study of coastal erosion at Silloth.

Section C: Geographical skills


GCSE Geography draws together a wide range of skills learned in KS3 geography but also from other subjects including science and maths. The ability to evaluate and manipulate data is incredibly important as pupils will be asked to draw and interpret graphs in their exams. Geography also provides pupils with the knowledge and skills needed to be active citizens in our modern world and respond thoughtfully to current affairs that often grace the news headlines. GCSE Geography is a highly thought-provoking and important subject which shapes considerate, well-informed and socially aware young people

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