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GCSE Geography

Head of Department: Mrs O Bueno Lopez

Examining Board: AQA

The AQA GCSE Geography is a contemporary course which aims to engage pupils with some of the biggest and most important issues in the 21st Century. The course itself is divided into three main sections and builds on much of what has been covered already in the

Upper 4 year. The ‘living with the physical environment’ section includes an in depth study of hazards (tectonic & climatic). The ‘challenges in the human environment’ section includes topics on the changing economic world and urban issues and challenges. The third section is geographical applications.

Pupils will also receive a booklet of information about a place or global issue two months before the exam which will then be tested in the examination in the form of a ‘decision making exercise’. Skills, such as analysing and interpreting maps, spatial data, graphs and ICT based Geographical Information Systems (such as Google Earth) are integrated into the course.

Fieldwork is integral to the course and this takes place in both the Lower and Upper 5. We visit East London and the Olympic Park to look at the success of urban regeneration, and run a residential trip to Shrewsbury and North Wales, providing an opportunity for geographers to immerse themselves in a post glacial landscape. GCSE Geographers are also welcome on the department run international fieldtrips to places like Sicily (2016) and Iceland (2018).

Due to its wide range of content and diverse skills, as well as being the only subject to directly link the physical and human worlds, geography is one of the most valued subjects by universities and employers alike. It is one of the most popular options at

Freemen’s, most Upper 4 students choose to continue, and many go on to take the subject at A-level, combining it with both sciences and other humanities. Each year a number go on to study the subject at universities including Oxbridge. GCSE results are excellent; top grade results have been above 90% for the past few years.


Paper 1: Living with the Physical Environment (Hazards, Living World, UK Landscapes

1 hour 30 minute exam, mixture of short mark, multiple choice and long mark questions. 35% of GCSE.

Paper 2: Challenges in the Human Environment (Urban Environments, Economic Change and Resource Management)

1 hour 30 minute exam, mixture of short mark, multiple choice and long mark questions. 35% of GCSE.

Paper 3: Geographical Applications

1 hour exam, questions based on a pre-release booklet, fieldwork and geographical skills. 30% of GCSE.