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Geography is a popular option at GCSE level. Students follow the AQA specification. There are three examination papers. The first will test students' physical geography knowledge and understanding. Topics include:

  • the challenge of natural hazards
  • the living world
  • the physical landscapes in the UK.

The examination is 1 hour and 30 minutes in length and is worth 35% of the overall GCSE.

The second examination paper will test students’ knowledge and understanding of human geography. Topics include:

  • urban challenges
  • the changing economic world
  • the challenge of resource management.

This examination is also 1 hour and 30 minutes in length and is worth 35% of the overall GCSE.

The third examination paper will assess students' understanding and application of geographical skills. The first part of this 1 hour and 15 minute paper will ask different questions about the fieldwork experience students have had. The second part of the paper will require students to evaluate a geographical issue.


The questions on this paper are synoptic so there will be links between other parts of the core specification. This examination is worth 30% of the overall GCSE.

In the first term of Year 11, students will study the changing economic world and the challenge of resource management. In the second term, students will be given the opportunity to carry out a human or physical geography investigation in the field. They will be responsible for setting their own hypothesis and collecting primary data to enable them to reach a conclusion. In the third term, the exam board will issue the geographical issues resource booklet for students to study prior to their examination. There will be a range of sources which will be reviewed.

Assessments take place throughout the topic and at the end of each section to review knowledge and understanding. Practice examinations take place at the end at the end of Year 10 and twice in Year 11.

GCSE Support

We use the AQA GCSE specification:


Revision guide:


Trips and enrichment
Students are expected to do at least two geographical enquires in different environments to satisfy the fieldwork element of this course. One must be based in a physical environment and the other in a human environment. The Geography department is planning the fieldwork currently but aims to have this in place by September 2017.

July 2016: GCSE Geography Field Investigation- Clapham Beck. Yorkshire Dales

  • Year 11 students visited the Yorkshire Dales National Park to collect information for their rivers based controlled assessment report. Students were interested in collecting primary data from Clapham Beck using a variety of fieldwork equipment. Students used their findings to create a variety of graphs, which they will describe and analyse when back in school.
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