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Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School



The Department

Curriculum Leader: Mrs J Isolda


What will be studied?

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum is designed to allow the girls to gain a thorough understanding of Geographical topics and issues at a range of scales.  As well as equipping them with good investigative skills that can be used in Geography at a higher level and across their other subjects.  Here is an overview of the Key Stage 3 curriculum:

Year 7

  • Personal Geographies and My Island Home- Learning about the physical and human features of the United Kingdom. Where do we live and how might that change in the future?
  • Mapping Mayhem- How useful are maps and how do we read them? Can maps lie to us? What different types of maps are there? How do we create our own map?
  • Extreme Winds- Learning about hurricanes, focusing on actual events e.g. Hurricane Katrina - exploring where hurricanes occur & why, and what their impacts and effects have been
  • Australia and Coral Reefs- What is Australia like and how has it developed?  What are coral reefs, where are they located and how are they under threat?
  • Africa and Madagascar- Learning about and exploring the human and physical features of Africa. Why is Madagascar unique? What are the main physical and human features of Madagascar?

Year 8

  • Poles Apart- Learning about the ecosystem associated with extreme climates – focusing on Antarctica. What temperatures could you expect, what would you see, how could you live?
  • Wild Weather- Learning about what weather is, how it affects us? Why do we study and report the weather? How can we record elements of the weather? Why does it rain? What’s the weather like at school?
  • Urban Settlements- Brazil- Learning about urban settlements within Brazil. Why do people migrate to Brazil’s cities? What is a favela? What problems exist in Rio as a Megacity?
  • Totally Tropical- Learning about tropical rainforests focusing on Brazil. What they are like, what goes and lives there. How are they under threat, & how can we protect them?
  • Rivers: Learning about the features of a river as well as flooding. Why do people live near rivers and how can we protect them from flooding?

Year 9

  • Tremendous Tectonics- Learning about earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.  Focuses on the cause, effect and response of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami 2011.
  • Global Fashion Industry- Learning about where your clothes come from and how they are made.  Focus on the conditions of sweat shop workers, looking at Nike and Gap
  • Development- Learning about the differences in levels of development around the world. What has created the development gap? How can we measure it? Do charities and aid help of hinder development?
  • People and the Biosphere/ Forests Under Threat- Learning about the earth’s main ecosystems and the living earth
  • Energy Resources - Learning about how the growing demand for energy can be met without serious consequences. Do all countries have access to all types of energy? What are the environmental impacts?

What support will be needed?

  • Encouraging reading of topical issues e.g. climate change, migration crisis the Horrible Geography books offer a fun introduction to a variety of topics.
  • Watching relevant TV documentaries and Geographical film e.g. Planet Earth, Arctic live
  • Museums e.g. Science Museum and Natural History Museum

How will students be assessed?

  • Each module will be assessed using a range of assessments including timed tests, enquiry based projects and longer written responses. This enable students to practice new geographical skills and explain and analyse the content studied.
  • End of year examination


Exam Board:  Edexcel

Specification Number: 1GB0

What will be studied?


The Edexcel B GCSE Geography specification focuses on the changing world. The specification gives students a chance to learn about these changes. Students will have the opportunity to study global issues as well as how the UK is being impacted by these issues. Contemporary topics such as climate change and sustainability feature more in newspapers and on television than ever before and have become an important part of our lives. These environmental topics are a very important element of the course.

Learning Methods


Students are taught using a variety of methods and resources. In lessons, students will have access to a range of textbooks that provide the basis for the specification content. These are enhanced using DVDs, video clips, internet resources and various publications. Discussions, presentations, role play and decision making exercises are used, particularly when studying real examples. Students will inevitably develop a range of skills that will help in other subjects and in employment, such as ICT, research, map skills and graphical skills.

Fieldwork is an essential component of the course with pupils needing to complete a physical study. Students will be offered the opportunity to complete their fieldwork during two fieldwork visits, where they will be able to collect primary data and gain new geographical skills.

How is the course assessed?

Students are given mock exams at the end of Year 10 and in the January of Year 11.  There are three GCSE examinations, Unit 1 is Global Geographical Issues, Unit 2 is UK Geographical Issues and Unit 3 is People and the Environment, with a focus on making Geographical decisions. The Unit 2 paper also examines pupils fieldwork skills. The examinations will include a range of multiple-choice, short answer questions and longer written answers.

What wider reading is recommended?

  • Wider World Magazine
  • BBC News- Science and Environment section
  • BBC Bitesize
  • GCSE Pod
  • Edexcel website for assessment materials

What websites are recommended?

What equipment is needed?

A calculator, protractor, ruler, pen and pencil are essential at all times.

A Level

Exam Board: Edexcel

Specification Number: 9GE0

Course Content:

The course is designed to develop a sound understanding and knowledge of geographical issues and to develop and use geographical skills. There is a balance between physical and human geography, covering some topics already studied. Current issues include globalisation, hazard trends, managing coasts and rebranding cities.  The use and management of resources form part of the course, as will a fieldwork investigation.


The course is taught by physical and human geography specialists and involves a variety of approaches to learning. Students are encouraged to discuss their ideas and those of others and to think critically about their views. Students will be expected to do wider reading and research in order to develop their knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts and processes discussed in class and to write geographical essays. Guidance in the preparation, structuring and presentation of essays and data response exercises will be given.  Students will be given the opportunity to develop a range of skills and techniques, including the use of maps, and images at different scales necessary for geographical study. The use of statistical methods and the collection and analysis of data is an integral part of the course and a fieldwork residential is organised for Year 12 students. In addition, the department runs a bi-annual international visit to locations such as Naples and Iceland to further explore key geographical issues. A variety of extra-curricular opportunities are available for students including public lectures and lunch time discussion groups.

Why Geography at St Albans Girls’ School?

Geography at STAGS will offer you the opportunity to study a range of key issues at local, national and international levels. You will be taught by outstanding specialist teachers who will lead engaging and innovative lessons. The Geography Department runs a wide range of both day and residential field trips and also conducts international visits to a range of Geographical destinations.

Expectations of students:

Students in Geography are expected to prepare thoroughly for lessons, and participate in class discussions, presentations and group activities.  They should also have a general interest in the world around them and be prepared to carry out independent background reading and keep up to date with current issues. The nature of Geography requires students to have a thorough grasp of scientific and literary skill sets.

What websites are recommended?

What equipment is needed?

A folder, calculator, ruler, pen and pencil are essential at all times.

References to recommend?

  • Geography Review
  • Geofactsheets
  • Geographical Association lectures/conferences
  • Royal Geographical Society lectures/conferences

Career Paths:

The subject enables students to develop a whole range of skills making them highly employable. Throughout the course students have an opportunity to develop their numerical, communication, ICT and problem solving skills.  They are encouraged to work with others, particularly when doing fieldwork.

Get in touch

Mr P O'Neill, Trust Business Manager

Sandridgebury Lane

St Albans



01727 853134