Geography 2018-01-30T09:32:08+00:00


Facilities and Resources

In the Geography department, we are fortunate to have interactive whiteboards and apple tv. We have been successful in a bid to obtain a Raspberry Pi weather station which will be located on the school grounds with a direct, live data supply local weather statistics.


The aim of this Department is to provide a broad and balanced geographical education and to stimulate interest within and beyond the classroom. Geography is becoming ever more relevant and an important area of study in today’s rapidly and constantly changing physical and human environments. In direct response to these developments, the staff of the Department is constantly adapting to and absorbing new ideas, skills and techniques.

The Department – The Department consists of 4 members of staff:

Miss A Murdock   Head of Department

Mr C Parker

Miss H Thompson

Mr. J McCready

Key Stage 3 Programme of Study





Christmas term

  • What is geography?

  • Map Skills

  • rivers

  • river project

  • weather and climate

  • interactive weather enquiry

  • population

  • natural Ecosystems

  • Earthquakes and Volcanoes

Easter term

  • flooding

  • economic activities

  • farming enquiry

  • migration

  • coastal studies

  • Earthquakes and Volcanoes

  • global issues

Summer Term

  • secondary industries

  • THE EU

  • tourism

  • energy

  • global issues


KS4 curriculum GCSE

The GCSE and A Level courses follow the CCEA specification.

In Year 11 the pupils cover paper 1 (Physical Geography) which includes:

  • Unit 1: Understanding Our Natural World

    • Section A: The Dynamic Landscape

    • Section B: Our Changing Weather and Climate

    • Section C: The Restless Earth

In Year 11 they will also complete Unit 3 which is their field work investigation; this takes the form of a day trip to the river Shimna where the pupils study the changes down a course of the river. The write up for the fieldwork then takes place under controlled conditions in June of that year.

Paper 2 (Human Geography) is covered in Year 12, the pupils will learn about:

  • Unit 2: Living in Our World

    • Section A: People and Where They Live

    • Section B: Contrasts in World Development

    • Section C: Managing Our Resources





The Dynamic

Landscape – 50%

People & Where

they live – 50%

Geographical Field

work Investigation

Unit 1 – 37.5%

Our Changing

Weather & Climate – 25%

Contrasts in World

Development – 25%

Unit 2 – 37.5 %

The Restless Earth – 25%

Managing our

Resources – 25%

Unit 3 – 25%

Each paper is worth 37.5% of the overall grade and will last 1 hour 30 minutes, whilst the fieldwork investigation makes up 25 %.

A Level

The table below summarises the structures of the AS and A Level courses;

Unit Assessment Duration Weightings Availability
AS 1: Physical

Geography (including fieldwork


examination paper (to include an assessment of fieldwork)

1 hour 30


50% of AS

25% of A Level

(Year 13)
AS 2: Human

Geography (including skills and techniques)


examination paper (to include an assessment of skills and techniques)

1 hour 30


50% of AS

25% of A Level

(Year 13)
A2 1: Human

Geography and Global


examination paper

1 hour 30


25% of A Level Summer
(Year 14)
A2 2: Physical

Geography and Decision- Making


examination paper (to include a decision- making exercise)

2 hours 30


25% of A Level Summer
(Year 14)

AS Geography

AS1 – Physical Geography

  1. Fluvial Environments

  2. A) Processes and features in fluvial environments

  3. B) Human interaction with the fluvial environment

  4. Ecosystems

  5. A) The ecosystem as an open system

  6. B) Plant Succession

  7. C) Human Interaction with the Ecosystems

  8. Weather & Climate

  9. A) Atmospheric Processes

  10. B) Mid Latitude Weather Systems

  11. C) Extreme Weather Events

AS 2 – Human Geography

  1. Population

  2. A) Population Data

  3. B) Population Structure

  4. C) Population and Resources

  5. Settlement

  6. A) Challenges for rural environments

  7. B) Planning Issues in rural environments

  8. C) Challenges for the urban environment

  9. Development

  10. A) The nature & measurement of development

  11. B) Issues of development

In year 13 the pupils will sit a paper for physical geography (AS1) and human geography (AS2), both papers are an hour and a half long. Throughout the year pupils will also complete a period of study into fieldwork skills and techniques which will then be used to complete a field investigation, the data from the field investigation will be used in paper 1 with the techniques being used in paper 2.

A2 Geography

Year 14 geographers will sit 2 papers; paper 1 is an hour and a half long and will cover human geography and a global issue which will be Issues in Tourism.

A2 1 – Human Geography & Global Issues

  1. Impact of Population Change

  2. A) Natural Population Change

  3. B) Migration, Causes, Streams and Impacts

  4. C) Population Policies

  5. Planning for Sustainable Settlements

  6. A) Sustainable Developments

  7. B) Urban land use in planning & sustainability

  8. C) Traffic & Transport

 Issues in Ethnic Diversity

  1. A) The definition of ethnicity

  2. B) The processes which create and maintain ethnic diversity

  3. C) Ethnic conflict

Paper 2 is two and a half hours long and will cover physical geography and a decision making exercise.

A2 2 – Physical Geography & Decision Making Exercise

  1. Fluvial & Coastal Environments

  2. A) Human demands on fluvial & coastal environments

  3. B) River & basin management strategies

  4. C) Coastal processes, features & management

  1. The Nature & Sustainability of Tropical Ecosystems

  2. A) Location & climatic characteristics of major tropical biomes

  3. B) Ecosystem processes in tropical forest environment

  4. C) Management & sustainability within tropical ecosystems

  5. The Dynamic Earth

  6. A) Plate tectonics & resulting landforms

  7. B) Volcanic activity & its management

  8. C) Earthquake activity & its management

Decision making exercise

This takes the form of a case study. Students are presented with a variety of resources which may include maps, statistics, reports, diagrams and photographs. They must then identify and analyse appropriate material and are required to use particular skills and techniques and to evaluate the results of analysis. Students are asked to take on a particular role for answering part of the exercise and to examine conflicting values which may be apparent in the case study. They are required to consider alternative choices and to make and justify recommendations.

  • Extra –curricular

The department is a member of the Geographical Association; Year 13 and Year 14 pupils attend lectures by the GA on a wide range of issues in relation to their specifications. Year 13 pupils whom attend lectures become a member of the GA which can be used on their UCAS application form as it is a professional body. The GA runs an annual quiz which students in Year’s 11 and 12 from schools across Northern Ireland compete.

2014 – 2015 Departmental Highlights Via Social Media


The study of Geography would not be complete without fieldtrips. A brief summary is included below:

  • Year 9 Coastal Processes and Management in Newcastle

  • Year 11 – River Features

  • Year 12 – Urban Redevelopment

  • Year 13 – Fluvial Environments

  • Year 14 – Investigating Tourism in Dublin

Extra Curricular trips have included trips to Sorrento Bay in Italy and Iceland.