What is different about Geography at Torpoint Community College?

Geography is now more than just an acquisition of knowledge about places and people of the world.

Geography assessment is much more than measuring whether students are able to recount facts or call upon knowledge they have acquired.

Teaching Geography is about teaching skills, which will enable students to understand their place in the world with depth and understanding.

Of course, there are many amazing places with amazing features, which are home to many amazing people. The knowledge of these places and people should go hand in hand with an understanding of the skills required to inspire and motivate students to become amazing geographers.

What are the different skills in Geography?

There are four distinct skills in Geography;

Locational Knowledge
Students gain an understanding of the world’s continents and countries, focusing on environmental regions, key physical features and human characteristics.

Place Knowledge
Students analyse and explain geographical similarities, differences and links between regions in the same country and regions in the world.

Human & Physical Geography
Students understand how key physical and human processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments and climate. They will explain how human activity and natural systems function together effectively and understand the implications of these systems functioning together.

Geographical Skills & Fieldwork
Students apply and develop knowledge of the world, using maps, globes, atlases, GIS and fieldwork data to view, analyse, interpret and draw conclusions.

How are students assessed in Geography?

On entry to each year in Key Stage 3, students will take a Baseline Assessment. This allows us to ascertain a starting point for each student. It also clearly shows us what each student has achieved for each of the four concepts and where a student may need to focus for the next learning episode.
At regular intervals, at least once per half term, KS3 students will undertake a formal assessment. We can then see how much progress a student is making in specific (or all) concept areas. Whilst the topic/context of the assessment may change, the students are always assessed across all of the key concepts in Geography.

In Key Stage 4 and 5 students sit regular assessments, usually at the end of a unit of work to assess their acquisition of knowledge and skills. Students will then carry out detailed DIRT to help improve on certain aspects of the unit before moving on.

Assessment in Geography takes many forms. Teachers are encouraged to consider not just written responses to questions, but also evidence in class books, Progress Pitstops (Student Self-Assessments), Home Learning tasks, classroom tasks (including discussions, presentations etc.) and any other valid form of assessment material, when making a decision about a student’s progress towards their aspirational target grade.

What is the Key Stage 3 Geography Programme of Study?

Year 7 and 8 Programmes of Study consist of three topics each, to allow for the Humanities teaching carousel. These topics are subject to change, given the development of the new 9-1 GCSE in Geography. These are the current topics for 2016.

Year 7

Autumn Term: Me and My Place: Students will use atlases and OS maps to identify places in the world and the various geographical features. They will also demonstrate an understanding of the human and physical features of a particular environment.

Spring Term: Into the Cold: Students will focus on a geographical polar region and understand the features and development of that environment. They will also investigate the natural habitat of animal life and the development of this over time.

Summer Term: India: Students will focus on a developing country in the world and develop their understanding of the locational, physical and human features. They will also investigate the projected future for India/New India.

Year 8

Autumn Term: Coasts: Students will develop their understanding of several coastal areas in the UK and Ireland and develop their skills in understanding key terminology concerning coastal processes.

Spring Term: Impossible Places: Students will develop their understanding of places in the world which can not ordinarily sustain life. They will study each area and its physical and human features to determine why it is ‘impossible to live there’.

Summer Term: Underground Limestone Landscapes: Students will develop their understanding of the world of caves. They will develop their specialist terminology concerning caves, caving and cave features.

Year 9

In Year 9 there are five topics; one per half term, with an extended project in the Summer Term

Autumn Term 1: Natural Hazards: A study of North America, focusing on hazardous regions

Autumn Term 2: Rainforest & Cold Environments: A study of the world’s biomes, focusing on South America and the cold environments of the Arctic

Spring Term 1: Africa: A study of geographical development and links between different countries in Africa.

Spring Term 2: Coffee: A study of geographical growth and consumption and links between regions that grow and consume coffee.

Summer Term 1: Globalisation: A study of the world’s human interaction with the natural environment and the impact of people upon the world

  What is the Key Stage 4 Geography Programme of Study?

Exam Board– AQA
Syllabus Code– 8035

Exam information
Students sit three examinations at the end of Year 11.
The papers are as follows-


Paper 1 Paper 2 Paper 3
Living with the Physical Environment Challenges in the Human Environment Geographical Applications
Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

88 marks (including

3 marks for spelling,

punctuation, grammar

and specialist terminology

35 % of GCSE

Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

88 marks (including

3 marks for SPaG)

35 % of GCSE

Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes

76 marks (including

6 marks for SPaG)

30 % of GCSE

Pre-release resources

booklet made available

12 weeks before Paper 3


Living World
UK Physical Landscapes
Urban Issues & Challenges
Changing Economic World
Challenge of Resource Management
Issue Evaluation

Year 10
Year 10 start their GCSE Geography by studying the Living World (Paper 1) unit of work, this unit covers world biomes, tropical rainforests and cold environments.

Following this unit students begin to study Urban Issues and Challenges (Paper 2) which provides them with an opportunity to study world population, the growth of megacities, problems and opportunities in large world cities and migration. Alongside this unit of work, students will also work on an Issue Evaluation (Paper 3) as part of their homework.

As students enter the Spring term, they will begin to study key skills in Fieldwork (Paper 3) and will conduct two days out in the field. One day will be based on Human Geography and the other on Physical Geography. This will then be followed by a write up, analysis and presentation of data, which will allow students to draw conclusions about their work.

Following the fieldwork, students will finish the Summer term by completing the Hazards (Paper 1) unit of work. This unit will allow them to study earthquake theory and case studies in depth as well as learn about why people continue to live in hazardous regions.

Year 11
Students begin Year 11 with the Changing Economic World unit (Paper 2) and this provides an opportunity to study world development, the differences in distribution of wealth as well as the completion of a depth study on Nigeria. Alongside this unit of work, students continue to work on Issue Evaluation (Paper 3) as part of their homework.

As students move into the Spring Term students will study the UK Physical Landscapes (Paper 1) unit of work where they get to learn about the Coastal Landscapes of the UK as well as the Glacial Landscapes of the UK.

The final unit of work in Year 11 will see students studying The Challenge of Resource Management. Here they will study the global issues surrounding meeting global demands for food, energy and water and the possible solutions for the future.

 What is the Key Stage 5 Geography Programme of Study?

Exam Board– AQA
Syllabus Code– 7037

Exam information
Students sit two examinations at the end of Year 13 and complete a Geography Fieldwork Investigation (Coursework).
The papers are as follows-

Paper 1 Paper 2 Geography Fieldwork Investigation
Physical Geography Human Geography  
Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

• 120 marks

• 40% of A-level

Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

• 120 marks

• 40% of A-level

3 000 – 4 000 words

• 60 marks

• 20% of A-level

• Marked by teachers

• Moderated by AQA

Water & Carbon Cycles

Coastal Systems & Landscapes


Global Systems & Governance
Changing Places

Contemporary Urban Environments

Year 12
Year 12 begin their A-Level by studying Water and Carbon Cycles (Paper 1) and Hazards (Paper 1), each unit is covered by a different teacher.

Following these units, students begin to study Changing Places (Paper 2) and Coastal Systems and Landscapes (Paper 1), this provides students with a good basis before they go on to complete their two days of required fieldwork in Year 12.

Year 13
Year 13 begin their final year by studying Global Systems and Governance (Paper 2) and Contemporary Urban Environments (Paper 2). Whilst completing both of these units, Year 13 continue to work on their Geography Fieldwork Investigation.

Useful Websites for Geography


Internet Geography-

BBC Bitesize-


Internet Geography-


A-Level Geography-


Cool Geography-


Revision Guides for Geography

New Grade 9-1 GCSE Geography AQA Revision Guide (CGP)

‘This superb CGP Revision Guide explains everything students will need for success in Grade 9-1 AQA GCSE Geography! It covers every topic from Unit 1 (Physical Geography) and Unit 2 (Human Geography) with crystal-clear study notes, examples and case studies – plus a selection of exam-style practice questions throughout the book. There’s also plenty of brilliant advice for Unit 3 (Issue Evaluation & Fieldwork) and all the Geographical Skills that might come up in the exams’

My Revision Notes: AQA AS/A-level Geography (My Revision Notes)


New A-Level Geography: AQA Year 1 & 2 Complete Revision & Practice (CGP)