St Mary's Catholic College, Wallasey

St Mary's Catholic College
A Voluntary Aided Academy


Key Stage 3

Year 7

Geography is a subject which is all around you. Everywhere you go you can see examples of geography; weather, coasts, mountains, roads, fields, sea and rivers - especially where we live in Wirral!

You will start Year 7 with an introduction to the Geography course. You will find out what Geography actually is, learn about the geography of the United Kingdom and the world as a whole. You will also look at climate change, as well as map reading and giving directions.

You will learn all about climate: the water cycle, rainfall, weather forecasts and why our weather is so changeable. You will also learn how to draw a weather map.

In the Summer Term you will study coasts. We are lucky to live on the coast so you will go out and see for yourself how everything works. You will learn about weathering and how the land is worn away. You will find out how the sea shapes the coast and the dangers of coastal erosion. You will understand what terms such as longshore drift, coastal deposition and coastal management mean.

Parents can help by encouraging you to look at the area around you and talk about why things are the way they are. You can talk about the weather forecast on television and try to read the maps. Days out locally can be fascinating from a geographical point of view - the Welsh mountains and Lake District provide many interesting geographical talking points. Looking at maps when travelling is an excellent way to become familiar with the geography of an area.

Year 8

In Geography in Year 8 you will work on five broad units of work, as well as a Natural Environment project. These units are as follows:

  • Crime and Conflict
  • National Parks
  • Kenya
  • Tropical Rainforests
  • Settlements

In the Autumn Term you will learn about various different aspects of crime at home, in the local community as well as in college. You will also look at ways of preventing crime. In addition, you will learn about the National Parks in our country, asking why people visit the Lake District and the effects of tourism on the parks.

In the Spring Term you will learn all about Kenya in Africa. You will find out about the Maasai tribe, the Kenyan National Park and tourism in Kenya. You will also prepare and take part in a debate about Kenya. After half term you will learn about tropical rainforests: where they grow, what they are like, how plants and animals have adapted to survive there and how deforestation is affecting them.

In the Summer Term you will study settlements. You will look very closely at Wallasey Village and carry out fieldwork in order to support what you have learned. You will also work on a project about the natural environment and produce Powerpoint presentations about natural environments such as Antarctica, deserts or rainforests.

During the course of the year you will also work on two cross-curricular projects in Geography, linking your studies in Geography to subjects such as Maths, PE, Science and Art.

GCSE Geography

"The most important task, if we are to save the Earth, is to educate."
Sir Peter Scott, Founder of the Severn Wildlife Trust and the WWFN

About the course:

GCSE Geography is an exciting course specifically written to be relevant to students in the 21st century. The course follows an enquiry-based approach investigating fascinating physical phenomena including supervolcanoes and tsunami, together with human geography issues such as the challenge if urbanisation, globalisation and tourism.

During the course students will develop a number of skills including problem solving, communication skills, using ICT and GIS, and gain an awareness of career possibilities connected with Geography. Classroom-based work will be supplemented by fieldwork in the Merseyside area. GCSE Geography will provide a sound foundation for those candidates who intend to continue to study the subject at a higher level, whilst giving a clear overall view of the world in the first part of the 21st century to those for whom GCSE will be the end of their formal study of Geography. The course also provides evidence of transferable skills for many types of employment.

The course is  divided as follows:

  • Unit 1: Physical Geography
  • Unit 2: Human Geography
  • Unit 3: Controlled Assessment
  • Local fieldwork investigation: This includes a one-day field trip in and around Merseyside, then students complete six hours of write-up under supervision.

How it will be assessed:

Units 1 & 2: 1 hour 30 minute examination for each module, externally marked and comprising 37.5% of the total mark.

Unit 3: Internally marked and sent to the examining board for moderation.  Worth 25% of marks.

What it prepares you for:

After completing GCSE Geography at St Mary's, many students continue to AS in Sixth Form, or take a course in Travel and Tourism. Geography is relevant to careers in media, tourism, local government, teaching, the armed forces, planning...the list is endless.

AS / A2 Geography

"Unexpected fun and lots of trips! It is learning about things that matter."
Danielle, Year 12

About the course:

The Geography course at St Mary's College allows students to develop an interest and concern for the environment, current affairs, people and places.  It is a course that is relevant to the students' lives and experiences and gives the opportunity to carry out practical work outdoors as well as class work.  It combines topics in physical, human and environmental issues and develops a range of skills which will broaden and deepen existing knowledge.

The AS Course is divided into two units:

Unit One: Physical and Human Geography (70% of total AS mark, 35% of total A level marks)

Physical Geography Core:  Rivers, floods and management

Options:  At least one from cold environments/coastal environments/hot desert environments

Human Geography Core:  Population change

Options:  At least one from food supply issues/energy issues/health issues

Unit Two: Geographical Skills (30% of total AS mark, 15% of total A-level mark)

Structured Skills and Generic Research/Fieldwork Questions

The A2 Course is divided into two units:

Unit Three: Contemporary Geographical Issues (30% of total A Level marks)

Three options from the following:

Physical options: Plate tectonics and associated hazards/Weather and climate and associated hazards/challenges facing ecosystems

Human options: World cities/development and globalisation/contemporary conflicts and challenges

Unit four: (20% of total A Level marks)

Either: Four A: Geography Fieldwork Investigation Structured short and extended questions based on candidates own fieldwork investigation Or Four B: Geographical Issues Evaluation Structured short and extended questions based on an advance information booklet

How it will be assessed:

All four units are examination-based

What it prepares you for:

Students develop skills in applying knowledge, approaches to enquiry, and description, analysis, evaluation and interpretation of evidence. The course lays the foundation for any further study of Geography-related subjects in Higher Education. Possible careers include: management, banking, insurance, air traffic control, journalism, geology and architecture.

Entry requirements:

A minimum of five GCSE passes at Grade C or above, one of which must be Geography.