The Geography Department at Saint Aidan’s Church of England High School fully supports the mission statement of the school. The curriculum outlined below is designed to encourage achievement in all students of all abilities.

The department seeks to promote geography as a dynamic, exciting subject and believes students should enjoy geography and be exposed to a variety of teaching and learning styles. Through enjoyment of the subject, they will be encouraged to aim for the highest standards in all that they do.

The department has an active membership with the Geographical Association. As a department we are committed to maintaining high professional standards through continued professional development (CPD) which we hope will keep our curriculum at the leading edge of developments for both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

Geography Curriculum Statement

Key Stage 3

Geography at Key Stage 3 contributes to our broad and balanced curriculum which meets the needs of all students. We teach a spiral curriculum designed to introduce and revisit key geographical concepts and skills whilst applying them to new and unfamiliar places and contexts. A broad range of geographical skills are also woven into our units of work.  All students access the same curriculum and individual class teachers provide scaffolding to help all students succeed. Year 7 builds on the foundational knowledge from Key Stage 2 and focuses on UK Geography. In year 8 we focus on global issues, such as climate change and plastic pollution, and global biomes such as deserts.  In year 9 students begin to explore their geographical futures, considering the environmental and economic challenges the world will face in their lifetimes and exploring the role they will play as global citizens.

Our curriculum has been carefully designed to help students understand their place in an ever changing world, preparing them for life beyond school and leaving them with a high standard of geographical literacy. This curriculum also prepares students for success at GCSE Geography by the teaching and revisiting of key concepts and skills.

All lessons are built around a key question and, as well as enabling students to be successful, our curriculum aims to foster a passion and interest for geography and the world around them. Alongside this, students will develop a range of transferable skills that can be used in other areas of the curriculum. Units of work currently being taught are:

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
What is my place in the world? 21st Century Issues Race to the top
Water in our lives (River Wyre and the Fylde Coast) Amazing Places River Wyre fieldwork investigation
How do we conduct a fieldwork investigation? Risky World Into Africa
What next for our oceans and Antartica? Running out of resources?

Key Stage 4

Students studying Geography GCSE at Key Stage 4 follow the AQA GCSE Geography (8035) syllabus. The full exam specification can be found at


The specification (8035) recognises the vital role geography has in the 21st century curriculum enabling our students to appreciate the complexity of our world and the diversity of its environments, economies and cultures.

The course now comprises three papers; one physical, one human and one that is skills and fieldwork based. All three papers and the units we are most likely to be teaching within them are outlined in the table below.

GCSE Curriculum Plan

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment

How is it assessed?

1hr 30min written exam (35% of GCSE)

Section A: The challenge of natural hazards

Tectonic hazards, Tropical storms, Extreme weather in the UK, Climate change

Section B: The living world

Ecosystems, Tropical rainforests, Hot Deserts

Section C: Physical landscapes in the UK

UK physical landscapes, Coastal landscapes in the UK, Glacial landscapes in the UK

Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment

How is it assessed?

1 hr 30 min written exam (35% of GCSE)

Section A: Urban issues and challenges

Section B: The changing economic world

Section C: The challenges of resources management

UK Resources management, Global Water Resource Management

Paper 3: Geographical applications

How is it assessed?

1 hr 15 mins written exam (30% of GCSE)

Section A: Issue evaluation

This section assesses students’ geographical skills and applied knowledge by looking at a particular issue. It will challenge students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Section B: Fieldwork

Students need to undertake two geographical enquiries. Students will be examined using a range of questions that assesses their understanding of fieldwork design, data collection and analysis.

Throughout the GCSE course all students are challenged to achieve the best they possibly can and provided with bespoke resources to help with this. Homework at GCSE is based on our department’s knowledge organisers which are provided to all students in a booklet along with retrieval questions at the start of the course. Metacognitive strategies are used to support students in their work and help them to become aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as providing tools to help them improve on areas of weakness.


The department works hard to develop a range of activities that enhance our students’ geographical experiences and complement the curriculum we offer.  In school the department is passionate about developing active geographers who are keen to take their place as global citizens.  This results in many of our students participating in practical projects such as raising money to sponsor areas of rainforest in Indonesia or selling large quantities of fairly traded rice to help send children to school in Malawi.


Fieldwork is essential to us bringing Geography to life for our students.  We try to do this through offering a wide range of trips and practical activities within the local area.  Throughout the year we aim to provide a fieldwork experience for every student in every year group.

In year 7 students learn how to conduct a fieldwork investigation and complete a microclimate investigation on the school grounds. In year 8 students learn about secondary data and complete virtual fieldwork activities based in glaciated environments. Students in year 9 investigate the flood defences along the River Wyre at Garstang and at GCSE we take students to the Lake District and the sea defences at Cleveleys.

Further afield, we run an annual family field trip to Malham in the Yorkshire Dales, and we run our bi-annual trip to Iceland for our GCSE geography students.

Department Staff

Mr A Corbridge Director of Humanities
Mr D Eccles Geography Teacher, Assistant Headteacher
Miss A Wilkinson Geography Teacher

Saint Aidan's Geog