Overview of Department 

Key Stage 3 Geography at Rye College 

As Michael Palin stated, “Without Geography – you are nowhere!” Knowing where we are, and how we fit into this world, helps us to see how we can progress globally into a new transnational world. Through a study of the world around us, the Geography curriculum helps to ground students in their culture and place in the world, whilst simultaneously learning. Through the study of other countries and the comparisons made, we can better understand our own contexts, socio-politics and situations, and help us to create brighter futures.  

Curriculum Statement: Values and Aims 

At Key Stage Three, students develop the key skills of a geographer: from map work to location finding before moving through a series of Human and Physical geography units. Students will explore the world around them, both through local geographical examples and by studies of other countries from every continent. Within the course, students’ debating and decision-making skills are tested, so that topical events can be explored and discussed from a range of angles. All the topics and skills learned feed into the GCSE course framework, so that students have already created the foundations of skills and knowledge needed to excel in their upper school courses.  

Lessons are tailored to all levels and styles of learning, to ensure that all can access and enjoy the lessons, whilst challenging students to develop independent thinking skills which benefit them across the curriculum. “Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future… Geography prepares for the world of work – geographers, with their skills of analysis are highly employable.” 

GCSE Geography  

Geography helps you to make sense of the world around you. It is hands on, it is relevant and it is fun. The GCSE course is a good mix of topics such as urban issues, world development, extreme environments, rivers and hazards – to name but a few. The course will give you the chance to get to grips with some of the big questions that affect our world, and understand the social, economic and physical forces and processes which shape and change our world. 

The GCSE is examined over 3 papers: 

Paper 1 – Living with the Physical Environment 

This exam is 90 minutes long and examines you on your knowledge and understanding of 3 areas: 

  • The Challenge of Natural Hazards (Earthquakes, Tropical Storms, Climate change and extreme weather events) 

  • The Living world (Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests and extreme cold environments) 

  • Physical Landscapes in the UK (Coastal and River processes and landforms) 

The exam consists of a mixture of short answer, multiple choice and some extended writing. 

Paper 2 – Challenges in the Human Environment 
This exam is 90 minutes long and examines you on your knowledge and understanding of 3 areas: 

  • Urban Issues and Challenges (Mega cities, Population growth in poor and Rich Cities, Sustainable cities) 

  • The Changing Economic World (Development in Nigeria and the UK) 

  • The Challenge of Resource Management. (The challenge of providing food, water and energy for an ever-increasing population) 

The exam consists of a mixture of short-answer, multiple choice and some extended writing. 

Paper 3 – Geographical Applications 
This exam is 75 minutes long and examines you on your evaluation and fieldwork skills. 

  • Issue Evaluation (You will have to make a decision on a topical issue near to the exam, e.g. should roads be built through the Amazon Rainforest?) 

  • Fieldwork (You will answer generic fieldwork questions and specific questions about fieldwork that you have carried out as part of your studies. 

There has never been a better time to study Geography. It is a subject which is both directly relevant to your everyday life, whether in relation to travel, sustainability or lifestyle and to further study at college or university. 

Our Geography Learning Journey

Knowledge Summaries - Geography

Progression Routes

Geography is a subject that is highly respected by employers. Geography graduates have one of the highest rates of graduate employment, pursuing a wide range of career paths. It is often said that there is no such thing as a geography job; rather there are multiple jobs that geographers do. 

Some examples of potential careers are working with Non-Governmental Organisations, town planning, geospatial analysts, technology consultants, education, hydrologist, flood risk management, coastal risk management, Wildlife trust, climate change consultant, environment consultant and many, many more. 

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