Vicki Simpkins
AOLE Lead For Humanities
Helen Morgan
Geography Teacher
Claire Evans
Geography Teacher

Subjects Offered: 

At GCSE We Offer:

  • Geography GCSE (WJEC Specification A)

At KS5 We Offer:

  • AS Geography (AQA)

  • A2 Geography (AQA)

At Key Stage 4:

Pupils will study and answer questions worth 15 marks on six core themes:

  • Water on the land (rivers)

  • Changing Climates

  • Living in an Active Zone

  • Changing Population

  • Globalisation

  • Development

Unit 2: Options Geography (35%). This is examined in a written examination lasting 1¼ hr.

Pupils study and will answer questions worth 20 marks on three of the option themes:

  • Our Changing Coastline

  • Weather and Climate

  • Living Things

  • Tourism

  • Retail and Urban Change

  • Economic Change in Wales

The final question for each of the option themes will also be awarded up to 4 marks for SPaG (quality of spelling, punctuation and grammar).

Unit 3: Geographical Enquiry (25%). Controlled assessment is completed in class and marked by the class teacher. A sample is sent to the WJEC for external moderation at the end of March.

Two tasks must be completed:

A Fieldwork Enquiry (10%): Pupils have 5 hours research and 5 hours write up time (under exam conditions). A total of 40 marks are available.

For 2014 the title of this enquiry is ‘How and why does quality of life vary in the Vale of Glamorgan?’

A Decision Making Exercise (15%): pupils will have up to 8 hours research and 5 hours write up time (under exam conditions). A total of 60 marks are available.

For 2014 the title of the decision making exercise is ‘Should the proposed Belo Monte Dam in the Brazilian rainforest be built?’

At Key Stage 5:

During Year 12 students will study for the AS Geography qualification. This is comprised of two units.

GEOG1: Physical and Human Geography (70% of AS and 35% of A2). This is examined in a 2hr examination worth 120 marks.

Students study two core topics, these are Rivers, Floods and Management and Population Change. In addition to this students choose one optional physical topic (from Cold Environments; Coastal Environments; Hot Desert Environments and their margins) and one optional human topic (from Food Supply Issues; Energy Issues; Health Issues).

GEOG2: Geographical Skills (30% of AS and 15% of A2). This is examined in a 1hr examination worth 50 marks.

The first part of this paper will test students’ skills in the context of Rivers, Floods and Management or Population Change.  The second part is based on student fieldwork they have undertaken as part of the course.

Year 13 students will study for the A2 Geography qualification. This is also comprised of two units.

GEOG3: Contemporary Geographical Issues (30% of A2). This is examined in a 2½hr examination worth 90 marks.

Students chose three options, at least one physical option (Plate Tectonics and Associated Hazards; Weather and Climate and Associated Hazards; Ecosystems Change and Challenge) and at least one human option (World Cities; Development and Globalisation; Contemporary Conflicts and Challenges).

GEOG4b: Geographical Issue Evaluation (20% of A2). This is examined in a 1½hr examination worth 60 marks.

This unit gives candidates the opportunity to use their skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.  An advance information booklet is pre-released 2 months prior to the exam and pupils then research that issue in greater depth before answering questions about it in the examination.

Extra-curricular Activities

In February 2014 forty students will visit Italy.  During this visit they will have the opportunity to explore Mount Vesuvius and the remains of Pompeii and Herculanuem, towns devastated by its 79AD eruption.  It is hoped that foreign geographical visits will become an annual event.

Year 12 students visit Orielton Field Studies Centre in Pembrokeshire annually.  During their 3-day visit they refine a wide range of fieldwork techniques and receive expert tuition from the FSC centre staff.

Geography Club is held weekly and is open to all students with an interest in hands on learning.  Sessions include trialling earthquake resistant buildings, creating a landscape in a box, geocaching, photography and many other activities that enhance students learning in the classroom.

Geography Masterclass is also held weekly and is aimed at KS4 and 5 students who wish to deepen their knowledge and understanding.

Recent Successes

GCSE Geography is taught as a one-year course and is available as an option for Years 9-11.  It is proving to be a successful subject with a number of Year 9 and 10 students surpassing their target grade in 2013.

As a department we are constantly striving to improve the experience of students so that they are successful in geography and acquire skills that can be applied in other subjects.  We achieve this by regularly reviewing the curriculum and the learning and teaching that occurs both in and beyond the classroom.  We listen carefully to students and respond to their needs, each of the team want every student to achieve their best.

The study of geography stimulates an interest in and a sense of wonder about places.  It helps young people make sense of a complicated and rapidly changing world.  It explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected.