• B Goodrich MSc
  • R Evans BSc
  • G Halpin BSc

Our aim is to teach Geography in a relevant, engaging and challenging way that stimulates an interest in, understanding of, and respect for the world around us. Our schemes of work are designed to enable students to learn a range of geographical skills and develop informed views about environmental and development issues on a local to global scale. We believe that fieldwork is a vital part of geographical education and so we offer a varied and exciting programme of local, regional and overseas trips where pupils from each year group will have the opportunity to learn first-hand in the outdoors.

The staff in the Geography Department are passionate about their subject and hope to pass on their enthusiasm, knowledge and skills to the pupils through modern, lively and dynamic teaching methods. We aim to stimulate their interest and curiosity in their world and enable them to debate and discuss these important issues that will increasingly affect all of our lives. We strive to make the pupils at Christ College autonomous learners and informed world citizens.

Teaching takes place in two custom-built, airy classrooms, on the edge of the school site with stunning views across to the historic school buildings. They are equipped with full audio-visual facilities, a range of tools for digital learning and internet access for research and the use of digital mapping. iPads are available for general use for data logging in the field, an increasingly important aspect of the subject. This enables the advancement of skills in using geography-specific software and the many related ‘apps’ that have relevance to the modern geographer as well as the day-to-day lives of pupils across the age and ability range. The department also houses a very well-resourced library which provides access to relevant textbooks, journals, newspapers and other publications.

Students develop their geographical knowledge and understanding through a skills and enquiry based programme in keeping with the National Curriculum syllabus. Fieldwork and ICT based learning is integrated throughout the scheme of work.
Map Skills Coasts The Restless Earth - Tectonic Hazards and Landscapes
Settlement Weather and Climate Development - The Changing Economic World
Rivers & Flooding Population & Resources Globalisation
Glacial Environments Tourism Geographical Skills and the Brecon Beacons National Park enquiry

Geography is a popular option at GCSE where the AQA Specification is followed. This is a varied and exciting specification which taps into a range of skills from numeracy and extended writing to practical skills and the ability to improve presentation, research and interpersonal skills. The outline structure is given below:

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment (35%) Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes; 88 marks (including 3 SPaG). Examined at the end of Year 11. The three sections studied for this paper are:   

Section A: The challenge of natural hazards (30 marks) 

Section B: The Living World (30 marks) 

Section C: Physical Landscapes of the UK (30 marks)

Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose   

Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment (35%) Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes; 88 marks (including 3 SPaG). Examined at the end of Year 11. The three sections studied for this paper are:   

Section A: Urban challenges (30 marks) 

Section B: The changing economic world (30 marks) 

Section C: The challenge of resource management (25 marks)

Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose   

Paper 3: Geographical applications: (30%) Written exam: 1 hour; 76 marks (including 6 SPaG). Examined at the end of Year 11.  The two sections examined in this paper are: 

Section A – Issue evaluation. This will be based on pre-released resources, made available on 15th March before the exam, on a geographical issue. 

Section B – Fieldwork. This will be based on the two geographical fieldwork enquiries that will have formed part of the two year course. 


As with GCSE, the AQA Specification is followed. Following on from the multi-faceted GCSE course, the AS and A Level courses build on a broad range of skills including digital learning and fieldwork. An outline of topics studied is given below:   

Component 1: Physical Geography and People & the Environment  

  • Water and carbon cycles
  • The water cycle    
  • The carbon cycle
  • Water, carbon and climate
  • Case Studies 
  • Hazards
  • The concept of hazard in a geographical context 
  • Plate tectonics
  • Volcanic and seismic hazards
  • Tropical Storm hazards
  • Fires in nature
  • Case studies  ​

Component 2: Human Geography and Geography Fieldwork Investigation  

  • Changing Places
  • The nature and importance of places 
  • Knowing and understanding places 
  • The dynamics of changing places 
  • Place studies 

Geography Fieldwork Investigation and Geographical Skills

At AS, all students must complete a minimum of two days of fieldwork (one physical and one human). Students will not be asked to hand in a completed enquiry although, for the examination, they may be asked questions on any of the following:

Preparation for fieldwork; Collection of primary data in the field; Processing and presenting data; Analysing data; Drawing conclusions related to original aims and objectives of fieldwork; Reviewing the success of the enquiry; Considering how the enquiry could be further developed.   

A four-night, five-day residential field trip to Chamonix in the French Alps will take place in the Summer Term (optional at AS, compulsory at A2)

In addition to the topics studied alongside AS students listed above, the following topics will be explored for the full A Level:   

Component 1: Physical Geography
  • Glacial systems and landscapes
  • The nature and distribution of cold climates
  • Systems and processes
  • Glaciated landscape development
  • Human impacts on cold environments
  • Quantitative and qualitative skills
  • Case studies
Component 2: Human Geography
  • Global Governance and Global Systems
  • International trade and access to markets (Globalisation: forms/patterns and impacts)
  • Global Governance (Responses to globalisation; the ‘global commons’; threats to Antarctica; protection of Antarctica)  
  • Contemporary Urban Environments
  • Urbanisation
  • Urban forms
  • Social and economic issues associated with urbanisation
  • Urban climate
  • Urban drainage
  • Other contemporary urban environmental issues
  • Sustainable urban growth
  • Case studies

Component 3: Fieldwork Investigation (3000-4000 words) 

The independent investigation must: -

  • be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student individually to address aims, questions and/or hypotheses relating to any part of the specification content
  • incorporate field data and/or evidence from field investigations
  • draw on the student's own research and/or secondary data
  • require the student to independently contextualise, analyse and draw conclusions
  • involve presentation and analysis of data and findings, and extended writing.
  • This allows students to scope their own individual task, whilst also allowing the use of data collected in a group context

Year 7Brecon (2 half day trips) 
Year 8Caswell Bay, Gower Peninsula (day trip)
Year 9Local study - National Park (day trip)
Year 10Bath (1 day)
Year 11Dorset Coast (3 day residential)
Lower SixthSwansea (day trip); Local study (day trip)
Upper SixthFrench Alps (5 days at end of L6th post-exams)

The percentage of students opting for Geography at GCSE has remained high over recent years and results are excellent – 98% A-C pass rate over the last three years, with an average of 70% of candidates receiving A* to B grades. Geography continues its popularity at A Level with a 100% pass rate over the last 3 years and 64% achieving A/B grades in 2015. Each year a number of students go on to read Geography at university.