Sedbergh Senior School - Geography Image

introducing geography

Geography is a very popular option at Sedbergh, probably influenced not only by our facilities and teaching team but also our location amidst the scenery of the Yorkshire Dales National Park; We are lucky to have a Geographer’s paradise on our doorstep.

The Department has five members of staff and is housed in the Main School teaching block. There are four generously proportioned teaching rooms, and a large storage area. Each classroom is equipped with a networked PC linked to a data projector.

the year 9 curriculum

In year 9 we seek to familiarise pupils with issues and geographical features in the local area before examining regions in the wider world. Practical fieldwork is undertaken and in the summer term pupils experience a taste of the GCSE course and gain knowledge which will benefit them should they choose to take the subject at a higher level.

In year 9 pupils have four lessons of Geography each two week cycle and are set three 40 minute preps to complete.

Michaelmas Term

Pupils study the topic of Development before moving on to study Kenya as an example of an LEDC and Italy as an example of an MEDC.

After the internal examination we study glaciation in the local area.

Lent term

Antarctica and tropical rainforests, in particular the Amazon, are studied in detail before half term

After half term we study National Parks which includes fieldwork in the Yorkshire Dales National Park at Malham. A project is undertaken before Easter based on this fieldwork.

Summer term

Coasts: processes of erosion, transport and deposition. Formation of features and coastal management with emphasis on hard and soft engineering.

Urban environments: urbanisation, land use morphology, modern issues in urban areas such as housing and traffic and finally, sustainable cities.

Topics covered in the lent and summer terms will be examined in June.


Examination Board:            Edexcel                        Web address:

Specification:                        International Geography GCSE  Specification (9-1) 4GE1

(For first examination June 2019)

Tiers:                                     Examinations are not tiered. The qualification will be graded on a nine-point scale where 9 is the best grade.

Assessment:                           Two exams are sat at the conclusion of the course.

Paper 1:                                 Physical Geography

1 hour and ten minutes, 70 marks and 40% of the total marks.

Paper 2:                                 Human Geography

1 hour forty-five minutes, 105 marks and 60% of the total marks.

Description of the course

In Year 10 the following topics are studied:

River Environments,

Coastal Environments,

Hazardous Environments.

Students are required to undertake a geographical investigation involving

fieldwork and research, in one natural environment. Students choose one out

of three fieldwork-related topics from: River Environments, Coastal Environments, Hazardous Environments.

In Year 11 the following topics are studied:

Economic Activity and Energy

Rural Environments

Urban Environments

One of the following global issues topics is also studied:

Fragile Environments and Climate Change

Globalisation and Migration

Development and Human Welfare.

Students are required to undertake a geographical investigation involving

fieldwork and research, in one human environment. Students choose one out

of three fieldwork-related topics from:

Economic Activity and Energy

Rural Environments

Urban Environments

This new GCSE will appeal to pupils who have enjoyed Geography in year nine as it builds on the material studied and it has a fairly even mix of physical and human geography. There is no coursework, but two field work investigations will be carried out, and these will be assessed in the final exams.

post 16

Examination Board: CIE

Web address:

Specification: A-Level:    9696

AS:    9696


Four modules are assessed during the course,          

Year 12    Core Geography (Paper 1): At the end of Year 12 pupils sit two 1½ hour exams. One covers the Core Physical Geography options, and the other, sat after a fifteen minute break covers the Core Human Geography options. 100% of the AS level marks and 50% of the A2 marks. The questions are a mixture of shorter data response style, and structured essays.

Year 13 Candidates sit two examinations at the end of the course: Paper 2 Advanced Physical Options, and Paper 3 Advanced Human Options. Each paper is 1½ hours long and worth 25% of the A2 marks. In each paper pupils answer two structured essay style questions.

Course Requirements:   No prior knowledge of the subject is required, however since the course builds on GCSE work in the subject candidates with a good pass in GCSE Geography (Grade B or above) will have a head start with their studies.

description of the course

At AS level, The physical Core covers the following topics:

Hydrology and fluvial geomorphology: This is focussed on the movement of water through river basins, the typical landforms produced by river processes including erosion and deposition and how humans have an impact on rivers and their basins.

Atmosphere and weather:  This unit covers the generation of both global and local weather and atmospheric processes and how humans have an impact through the creation of urban microclimates and Global Warming.

Rocks and weathering:  In this section pupils learn about the global scale processes of Plate Tectonics and how the surface of the earth is shaped by processes of weathering, erosion, and mass movement. Finally the human impact on these processes is considered by studying topics such as acid rain and the destabilisation of slopes by quarrying and ski piste development for example.

At A2 level pupils study:

Advanced Physical Geography Options:

Two topics are chosen for study from:
1. Tropical environments: Considers the climate, ecosystems and landforms common in tropical environments.
2. Coastal environments: This topic focusses on the processes shaping coastlines, the varied landforms produced and the human impact on coastlines and how they may be managed sustainably.
3. Hazardous environments: Study is focussed on hazards produced by tectonic processes (volcanoes and earthquakes), slope instability, and atmospheric processes. Case studies from around the world will be used to illustrate key points.

4. Arid and semi-arid environments: Here the earth’s dry zones are studied and reasons for aridity considered, the landforms common to such areas are considered and finally human interaction in such areas is considered with a particular focus on achieving sustainability,

Advanced Human Geography Options:

Two topics are chosen for study from:

  1. Production, location and change: The focus here is on changes in agriculture, service and manufacturing industry.
  2. Environmental management: This unit considers the important topics of providing sustainable energy supplies and the management of degraded environments.
  3. Global interdependence: The world is increasingly interdependent and the rise of international trade and tourism provide a focus for this unit.
  4. Economic transition considers globalisation and the forces it has unleashed together with regional imbalances that arise within and between different countries.

Geography is a very popular option at post sixteen level and provides a crossover between the arts and sciences. It is highly topical and barely a week goes by without a significant geographic event occurring cropping up in the various news media. A high proportion of pupils choose the subject for their degrees and Geographers have a high degree of employability in the job market. Employers value their wide range of skills and knowledge.