Overview of the Subject

The world in which we live is likely to change more in the next 50 years than it has ever done before. Geography explains why and helps our students to prepare for those changes. It could be argued that without Geography you are nowhere! Geography tackles the big issues of the 21st Century: environmental sustainability, global interdependence, economic trade, natural hazards, urbanisation and so much more. In studying Geography at Guiseley School, our students develop those transferable skills which are such an asset in today’s complex world of employment. For example, Geographers can produce a concise report, handle data, make decisions, analyse material, think independently and Geographers are good team players.

Perks of the course

Fieldtrips are always a highlight of studying Geography and there are many opportunities to study Geography “in real life”. There is usually something to get involved with across the department, such as the Key Stage 3 lunchtime Geography Club or being a Geography classroom assistant in Year 12. With Geography the world is yours. Students develop a range of highly sought after and employable skills eg communication, data handling, IT, problem-solving and working with others. Geography students are employed in a wide range of jobs including environmental management, tourism, the media, planning, business, social services and education. Geography really is an education for life. Employers and universities value the broad range of skills that studying Geography delivers such as IT, teamwork and decision-making. Our Year 13 A-Level students often go on to study Geography at degree level or related subjects such transport or urban planning, environmental science or GIS.


All students study Geography throughout KS3. The school operates a two-week timetable; students are taught Geography for four hours per fortnight in Years 7 and 9, for three hours in Year 8, for five hours at GCSE and for nine hours per fortnight at A-Level.


Key Stage 3 Geography explores the world at a range of scales from the locality here in Yorkshire to examining issues that affect the whole world. Topics studied include: It’s Your Planet, Risky World, Coral Reefs, Shaping the Land, Global Fashion, regional studies of Africa, Asia and Russia, Climate Change and more. Fieldtrips feature strongly across Key Stage 3. In Year 7 all students have the opportunity to visit the White Horse of Kilburn on Sutton Bank in the North York Moors National Park. The trips in Years 8 and 9 are optional with visits to the Malham area in Year 8 and to The Deep in Hull in Year 9.


The GCSE Geography course provides a great opportunity to explore a wide range of issues facing the world in the 21st Century. There is a mix of human, physical and environmental topics combined with fieldwork, in-class investigations and geographical skills. Geography is an EBacc subject valued by employers and universities. We follow the AQA Geography GCSE specification.

As is the case with most GCSE courses, the Geography course is now examined only at the end of Year 11. The content and methods of assessment are:

Unit 1: Living with the Physical Environment (Exam: 35% of the GCSE)

  • The living world
  • Physical landscapes in the UK
  • The challenge of natural hazards

Unit 2: Challenges in the Human Environment (Exam: 35% of the GCSE)

  • Urban issues and challenges
  • The changing economic world
  • The challenge of resource management

Unit 3: Geographical applications and skills (Exam: 30% of the GCSE)

  • Fieldwork
  • Issue evaluation
  • Geographical skills

The GCE A-Level Geography course investigates many of the key issues facing the world and its people in the 21st century. We follow the AQA A-Level Geography specification. Students explore a wide range of topics and issues such as the future governance of the Antarctic, urban regeneration, climate change and management of the world’s resources. A-Level Geography appeals to students who are interested in the world’s places, people and environments. The course allows students to think independently, explore global and local issues in depth and develop research and fieldwork skills.

Across the two year course students study the following units:

  • Global Systems and Global governance
  • Changing Places
  • Hazards
  • Resource Security
  • Coastal Systems and Landscapes
  • Water and Carbon Cycles

A total of four days of fieldwork is an exam board requirement across the two year course. In June 2017 the Year 12 A-Level students spent a week in the Lake District at the Blencathra Centre. The 2018 location is Borrowdale in The Lakes.

Assessment is through exams and coursework:

  • Unit 1 Exam: Physical Geography (40% of A-Level)
  • Unit 2 Exam: Human Geography (40% of A-Level
  • Unit 3 Coursework: Individual Investigation (20% of A-Level)