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Geography is a unique subject that investigates the physical structure of the planet and the social structure (i.e. how we affect our environment and how it affects us) in the past, present and future.

At Northgate we believe that geography education should:

  • Foster in students a sense of wonder at the beauty of the natural world and an understanding of the processes that have shaped it;
  • Develop in students an informed concern for the environment and an appreciation of the different cultures and backgrounds of people from all over the world;
  • Help students develop a range of transferable skills such as map reading, data collection, ICT and problem-solving.

Our spiralled curriculum is underpinned by seven integral geographical concepts: place, space, environment, interconnection, sustainability, scale and change.


Key Stage 3

What will students learn?

Please see the curriculum overview document at the bottom of this webpage.


How will students be taught?

Students are taught in mixed ability groups. They will experience a wide range of teaching methods designed to encourage participation, independence, enjoyment and success.


How will students be assessed?

Students will be assessed in a wide variety of ways, ranging from informal quizzes to more formal written assessments.

Key Stage 4

What is GCSE Geography about?

There has never been a better or more important time to study geography. With a growing interest in global issues such as climate change, migration, environmental degradation, natural disasters and poverty, geography is one of the most relevant courses one could choose to study. Put simply, it is the subject which holds the key to our future.

Whatever their passion for the world, whether it is a fascination with landscapes or a concern about inequality, geography will provide students with knowledge and help them to develop many transferable skills.


What will students learn?

Throughout the course, students will:

  • Study the features of the earth and understand how it was formed.
  • Develop knowledge about our rapidly changing world and how humans are impacting on the planet.
  • Gain an understanding and appreciation of the cultures and backgrounds of people from all over the world.
  • Study topics first hand on field trips and learn the skills of data collection and analysis.
  • Develop intellectual skills such as thinking critically about issues, evaluating evidence and developing reasoned arguments.
  • Build transferable skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, ICT skills and communication skills (presentation, writing, debating).


How will students be taught?

Students will be taught through a variety of methods: whole class teaching, small group work, research, presentations, discussions and debates are all common practice.


How will students be assessed?

The course consists of three examinations:


Paper 1 – Living with the Physical Environment
  • 35% of the final GCSE: 1½ hour examination
    • The Challenge of Natural Hazards
      Tectonic hazards, tropical storms, extreme weather & climate

    • Physical Landscapes of the UK
      Coastal landscapes & river landscapes

    • The Living World
      Tropical rainforests & hot desert environments

Paper 2 – Challenges in the Human Environment
  • 35% of the final GCSE: 1½ hour examination
    • Urban Challenges
      Investigating cities in the developed and developing world

    • The Changing Economic World
      Causes & consequences of the development gap, a study of a developing/emerging country & an investigation into the economic challenges & opportunities facing the UK

    • The Challenge of Resource Management
      The global distribution of resources, resource challenges in the UK & a study on food supply

Paper 3 – Geographical Applications
  • 30% of the final GCSE: 1 hour examination
    • Issue Evaluation
      A decision-making exercise involving a contemporary geographical issue

    • Fieldwork
      Questions based on the use of fieldwork materials from an unfamiliar context & questions based on students’ own enquiry work


Examination board & course type



What can studying this subject lead to?

Studying Geography provides you with valuable skills and a firm base for life-long learning. GCSE Geography also encourages students to continue the subject at A level where it makes an excellent link between science and arts subjects.

Geographers enter a very wide range of career areas; there is no such thing as a geography job but there are jobs that Geographers do. Studying geography provides students with valuable skills and a firm base for life-long learning.

Some examples of careers include: conservation worker, environmental health officer, architect, urban planner, pollution analyst, environmental consultant, financial risk assessor, accountant, transport/logistics manager, lawyer, economic advisor, aid worker, human rights officer, travel writer, refugee and asylum advisor, diplomat, surveyor, teacher, human resource manager, market research analyst, weather presenter, flood protection manager, cartographer.

A wider range of possible careers can be found on the Royal Geographical Society’s website.




Revision Advice

A subject specific guide featuring key content, recommended resources and the specifications we cover in that particular subject can be downloaded below:



Teacher to contact for further information

Ms A Turner






Contact Us

Northgate High School
Sidegate Lane, Ipswich, IP4 3DL

Tel: 01473 210 123