Department Vision:


To develop the interest of our students about the world they live in; by investigating the diversity of the physical and human processes that shape our planet and the interaction of humans with the natural world. To develop the geographical awareness, skills and understanding of our students.

Curriculum Information

Key Stage 3

In key stage 3, pupils are taught by all five Departmental staff in two lessons per week. Each unit is taught over the duration of a term, and is based around a place. The topics are introduced in relation to the place, and built up across the years.

Homeworks are set as per the College timetable, and after school sessions are available in room G4 every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3:15 until 4:30.

Year 7

Term 1: Our World

Pupils study the different aspects of the subject of Geography. Physical and human geographical features are studied, related to places in the real world. Global features, both physical and human, are studied to enable pupils to develop a spatial awareness of different areas and features of our planet. Locational skills are developed. Densely populated and sparsely populated areas of our world are located, with the characteristics of various regions investigated. An individual investigation into the geography of a chosen continent is undertaken for homework.

Pupils also develop their map skills in this opening term. Skills involving direction, distance and scale, relief, and the use of Ordnance Survey map symbols are developed. Locational skills are also developed; through the study and use of four-figure and six-figure grid references, and lines of latitude and longitude. Technology and maps is also investigated, through studying Google Maps and GIS. A booklet of various mapskills is completed for homework.

Term 2: Our Developed World

Pupils reinforce learning they began at key stage 2 and further their understanding of the composition of the United Kingdom and its major physical and human features. Farming in the UK is studied, along with the climate of the nation (and variations within it). The characteristics of urban areas of the UK are investigated; such as the central business district, the inner city, and the inner and outer suburbs. Issues in the inner city and on the rural-urban fringe are also investigated, along with policies to address such issues. An individual investigation into the geographical features of a chosen UK city is completed for homework.

The nations and major features of the continent of Europe are studied, and the work of the European Union is evaluated. The country of Italy is then studied, contrasting the north and south of the country. An individual investigation into the geography of a European nation of choice is undertaken for homework.

Term 3: Our Less Developed World

In contrast to the previous unit, pupils investigate the continent of Africa. The climate across the continent is studied, along with the ecosystems created as a result of it. The nations of Africa are located, and pupils study population distribution across the continent with its associated factors. Variations in wealth are investigated, and the importance of trade is evaluated. Individual investigations into the geography of two chosen African nations are completed for homework in this unit.

The country of Kenya is focused on; in terms of physical features and location. Development and urban areas are investigated, with the lives of the rich and poor in Nairobi studied. The lifestyle of the rural Maasai people are investigated; enabling pupils to empathise with the lives of other people across the world. The topic of tourism is introduced, with pupils investigating the different types of holidays Kenya has to offer, and the impacts of such tourism.


Year 8

Term 1: Our World’s Superpowers

Pupils study the concept of global development, and industry. Employment sectors and structures are investigated, comparing nations of different levels of economic development. Industrial location factors are evaluated, with their relative importance studied for different types of industry. Trans-national corporations are investigated, as are high technology industries and the car industry.

The major physical and human features of the USA are located, together with population distribution across the nation. The causes, impacts and responses of Mexican migration into the USA are studied. An individual investigation into a chosen US city is undertaken for homework.

The major physical and human features of Japan are then located, and the concept of plate tectonics is introduced. Population distribution across the Japanese islands is investigated, followed by comparing traditional Japanese life with that of today. A further individual investigation into a chosen Japanese city is also undertaken for homework.

Term 2: Our World’s Future Superpowers?

This unit involves the pupils investigating the two most populated nations on our planet: China and India. The global population explosion is studied, along with factors affecting the population of a place. The demographic transition model is introduced, with nations at different stages of the model compared. The population policies of China (one-child) and Kerala in India (indirect) are evaluated and compared.

The physical features and nations of the Asian continent are located, along with population distribution. The physical features and population distribution of both China and India are investigated, along with studies of urban and rural life in each country. Homework tasks include the individual investigations into two other Asian nations of choice.

Term 3: Our Developing World

Pupils investigate Russia and the countries in the Middle East in this unit of work. The initial concepts studied involve environmental issues and the evaluation of non-renewable and renewable resources, with a focus on oil and wind power. An individual investigation into the scale and impacts of nuclear energy is undertaken for homework.

The location of physical features and major cities in Russia are studied, along with population distribution across the world’s largest nation. Climates across Russia are compared, and their influence on biome location. The concept of time zones is introduced, and the features and dismantling of the Soviet Union are investigated.

Nations of the Middle East are located, as are its physical features. Oil production in the region, and conflict are also studied. The concept of tourism is studied in detail in this unit, including the scale of the industry and the stages of the Butler resort life cycle model. The case study of tourism in Dubai is also investigated. An individual investigation into a chosen country of the Middle East is also completed for homework.


Year 9

Term 1: Our Unstable World

This unit begins with pupils studying the history of the earth, with the geological timescale investigated. The structure of the earth is also studied, with the characteristics of each layer of the earth’s interior investigated. The theory of plate tectonics and its origin are looked at, along with the processes and landforms associated at each types of plate margin.

The distribution, location and impacts of volcanic eruptions are investigated, and the concept of supervolcanoes is introduced. Earthquakes are investigated, along with their impacts and human responses in nations at different levels of economic development. Tsunamis and their impacts are also studied.

The location, causes and impacts of tropical storms are investigated, as are recent events of extreme weather in the UK. Related to these, the concept of global warming and its causes and impacts are introduced.

Term 2: Our Natural World

Pupils study the different elements of the weather at the start of this unit. They investigate air pressure systems, factors affecting temperature, the process creating rainfall, and the different types of rainfall. Soil formation, characteristics and types are introduced; as are the components of ecosystems and the world’s natural biomes.

Tropical rainforests are investigated; including their location, climate, vegetation, creatures and human life. The issue of deforestation is evaluated. The concept of microclimates is introduced, through the study of a tropical rainforest floor. The location and characteristics of other warm biomes are studied; including the savannah grasslands, hot deserts and the Mediterranean ecosystem. An individual investigation is conducted for homework, on a chosen tropical rainforest or hot desert.

Cold ecosystems are also studied. Mountain ranges, the tundra, and polar regions are investigated; with focus on the continent of Antarctica. Adventure tourism in Antarctica is evaluated. Glacial processes of erosion, transportation and deposition are studied; as well as their resultant landforms. An individual investigation into deciduous and coniferous forests is also undertaken.

Term 3: Water on Our World

This unit begins with an overview of climatic change since the Pleistocene period, building on the global warming work from a previous unit. The stores and flows of the hydrological cycle are studied, along with features and processes within river basins. Fluvial processes are introduced, as is the concept of water supply (both domestically and globally).

Pupils locate the major rivers of our world, and learn the concept of river valley profiles. Landforms in all sections of a river valley (upper course, middle course and lower course) are studied, as are the processes which create them. The causes of river floods are investigated, along with the impacts of floods in countries at different levels of economic development. Different strategies to manage rivers are looked at, and the concept of flood hydrographs are introduced (along with their associated skills of drawing and interpreting a hydrograph).

Processes and landforms at the coast are studied, both erosional and depositional. Types of waves are investigated, as are strategies to protect our coastlines from erosion and flooding. Sea defences on the Holderness Coast in Eastern England are evaluated. Homework investigations involve the study of a chosen coastal area, and major rivers of choice.


Key Stage 4 (GCSE):



Year 10 – Term 3a: Physical Landscapes in the UK

This unit also builds on the concepts introduced in year 9, and begins with overview of physical features in the UK; including coastal areas, rivers, mountains, waterfalls, etc.

Coastal landscapes are then focussed on in detail; with a concentration on processes and landforms. The processes of weathering and mass movement are looked at; along with the characteristics of wave types. Processes and features associated with coastal erosion and deposition are investigated, before looking at the different strategies used to manage our coastlines. Case studies include the Sefton Coast and the Dorset Coast.

River landscapes are also investigated in this unit of study. Fluvial processes and landforms in each section of a river valley are studied; along with river flooding and the possible responses to such a natural hazard.

Year 10 – Term 3b: The Changing Economic World

The year 10 academic year concludes with a return to the human geography (unit 2) topic of the changing economic world. Global development is investigated, including the various indicators of such. Possible solutions to the global development gap are also investigated.

A detailed study of a Newly Emerging Economy is then undertaken. The students investigate development in Nigeria, and the impacts of transnational corporations in the country.

The unit concludes with an investigation into the changing UK economy; focussing on deindustrialisation and the rise of the service economy. The north-south divide in the UK is studied, and the modern position of the UK in the wider world. Changes (in terms of industry, rural areas, and the transport network) are also studied.

Year 11 Term 1: The Living World

This unit to start year 11 also builds on the concepts introduced in year 9, and begins with an investigation into a small-scale local ecosystem and its components. Global ecosystems are introduced, with deeper studies into the characteristics of tropical rainforests and case study causes and impacts of mass deforestation. Sustainable management of the world’s tropical rainforests is introduced.

The location and characteristics of hot deserts are studied, along with the opportunities and challenges for development in such biomes. The causes and impacts of desertification are introduced, along with strategies to reduce desertification.

Year 11 Term 2: The Challenge of Resource Management

The final unit of GCSE work focusses on the issue of managing the world’s resources. The global distribution of resources is investigated; before an overview into the provision of food, water and energy resources in the UK.

Food management is then studied in greater detail. Global food supply and the impacts of food insecurity are investigated. Strategies for sustainable food production are then also studied.

Term 3: Unit 3 – Geographical Application and Skills

The final term of the GCSE course is dedicated to analysing the two fieldwork investigations undertaken in term 3 of year 10. The physical geography fieldwork was undertaken at Ainsdale sand dunes, whilst the human geography fieldwork was an investigation in Liverpool CBD. The data collected from these activities is investigated further before the summer examination.

Upon receiving the geographical issue evaluation material from the examination board in April, the students also conduct investigative work on the relevant material in preparation for questions on such in the summer examination.

The final term also involves revision and examination preparation. Past paper questions are studied in detail, and mapskills consolidated.


KS5 (A level):

Year 12 – Term 1 and 2a:

The A level course is run with Miss Cain delivering the physical geography unit 1 topics and Mr Bright delivering the human geography unit 2 topics.

During terms 1 and 2 the physical course content is focussed on the topic of Coastal Systems and Landscapes. Coastal areas as natural systems are investigated; along with the coastal processes of erosion, transportation and deposition and their resultant landforms. The processes of weathering and mass movement are also studied in detail. The impacts of sea level changes are investigated, along with the various coastal management strategies.

The first topic in the human geography unit of the A level course is titled Contemporary Urban Environments. The process and impacts of urbanisation across the world is studied, along with urban forms and land use. Economic and social urban issues are investigated; along with the environmental issues of urban climate, drainage, waste disposal, dereliction and pollution. The possibly of

sustainable urban development is studied. All work is focused on the case studies of Liverpool and Rio de Janeiro.

Year 12 – Term 2b and 3:

The second topics in year 12 are the Water and Carbon Cycles in the physical geography unit, and Changing Places in the human geography element of the course.

The Water and Carbon Cycles work looks at natural systems on our planet, before focusing on the stores and flows of the water cycle. River drainage basins are studied, along with variations in river discharge. The carbon cycle is also investigated; including the human impacts on such. Links between the two cycles are also investigated.

The Changing Places topic focuses on the concept and character of places. Perceptions of place, and their influences, are studied with a large focus on Liverpool and Formby. Factors which contribute to the character of places and place representation and rebranding are also studied in detail.

Year 13 – Term 1:

In year 13, the first term involves students working on their individual investigation for the unit 3 section of the course (worth 20% of the final mark). This investigation may be based on the four fieldwork days undertaken in the local area in the final term of year 12. Alternatively, it can be based on data collected by the students themselves out of school.

Year 13 – Term 2:

Students return to the course content for the examinations in the summer.

Hazards is the final topic in the physical geography element of the course. Plate tectonics are investigated in this unit, including the processes and landforms which occur at the different types of plate margins. Both volcanic and seismic hazards are investigated. Other natural hazards are also studied; including storm hazards and wildfires.

Global Systems and Global Governance is the final topic in the human geography element of the A level course. The growth and impacts of globalisation are investigated; along with international trade and the growth and impacts of transnational corporations. Global governance is studied, along with the global commons case study of Antarctica.

Year 13 – Term 3:

The final term sees the focus largely on revision for the summer examinations; including the comprehensive use of past paper questions as a revision source.





Department Staff:

  • Mr G. Bright - Head of Department
  • Mr A. Burke
  • Miss S. Cain
  • Mr C. Ritchie

Department Courses:

Key Stage 3:

Schemes of work in line with the National Curriculum

Key Stage 4:

GCSE Geography (AQA)

Key Stage 5:

A Level Geography (AQA)

Out of Hours Activities:

PC facilities, resources & teacher assistance in room G4.:

Tue, Wed, Thu 3.15 to 4.15

Department Links: