The world in which we live is likely to change more in the next 50 years than it has ever done before. The study of Geography helps students to understand our dynamically changing world and to prepare them to become responsible global citizens. Students in the Geography department are encouraged to develop a sense of wonder about places. Geography explains how places and landscapes are formed, how people and the environment interact and the links between societies and economies. Geographical enquiry encourages questioning, investigation and critical thinking about issues affecting the world and people’s lives, for the present and future. Geography inspires students to think about their own place in the world, their values and responsibilities to other people, to the environment and to the sustainability of the planet.

Our Geography department aims to inspire and captivate our students, to know their place in the world and allow then to better understand the impacts that they have on our planet. Teaching in the department is robust and dynamic, supporting and challenging students to engage with higher level thinking about the topics that we cover.

Department Staff: Mrs A Mangan (Head of Department), Mr R McCluskey, Mrs K Athawes, Ms W Deans, Mrs C Evans.

Department Facilities:The department is housed on the third floor of the new Collage, in the Humanities and MFL wing. There are three rooms in the Humanities wing of the College, including two flexible learning classrooms, which allow for the opportunity for team teaching. All classrooms are equip with large HD interactive screens and flexible seating. The department has shared access to a suite of computers on the third floor and an open plan learning area for small scale group work.


All students in Years 7, 8 and 9 receive 100 minutes sessions of Geography per fortnight.

Key stage 3 classes are taught a variety of topics based around 3 main themes:

  • My World
  • Diverse World
  • Risky World

During their studies there is a progression in expectation of students based on increasingly complex issues and themes.
Students will also get the opportunity to carry out fieldwork at KS3 studying the local area from a social, economic and environmental perspective.
Throughout Key Stage 3 students will be practicing and developing their key geographical skills such as map skills and interpreting data.
The high number of students who continue Geography onto GCSE is a testament to our enjoyable, informative and innovative programme at KS3.

The topics covered at KS3 are as follows:-

Year Group

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Year 7

Geo Skills

This teaches student the basic skills of a good Geography student.



Human and physical features.

SEE (social, economic and environmental)


Research skills

Population and the UK

This unit helps student to understand the country that they live in.


Including:-The population of the UK.

Features of the UK.

Diversity and migration to the UK.


This unit explains some of China major developments over the last 100 years.



China’s landscape.

Population policy.

China’s manufacturing industry.


Climatic Hazards

This unit is designed to look at hurricanes and tornadoes and their impacts.



Formation of climatic hazards.

The impact of climatic  hazards.


Map Skills

This unit aims to allow students to begin to build a foundation of understand the skills of map reading.



4 and 6 figure grid reference.

Map symbols.

Scale and distance.


There are opportunities for working within the school ground on outdoor activities.




Year 8

Tectonic Hazards

This unit aims to give students an understanding of the dynamic processes on our planet that lead to the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and their impacts.



Tectonic plate.

The formation of volcanoes and earthquakes.

The impacts of these events.

Case studies of earthquake and volcanic events.


This unit allows students to assess how their lives have been impacted by the process of globalisation.


How and where products are made.

Our links around the world.

TNC’s and global trade.


Ecosystem services

This unit focuses on the diverse systems which make the rainforest unique.



The systems in the rainforest.

How the rainforest aids us in our daily lives.

The problems that the rainforest faces going into the future

Rivers and Coasts


This unit aims to give students an understanding of the main processes that help to shape our landscape by rivers and coasts. 



The main processes of erosion and deposition.

Rivers and coastal landforms.

How rivers and coasts are managed to prevent flooding and erosion.


Year 9


This unit aims to give students a fundamental understanding of the way that we use energy and how this may change into the future.


Renewable and nonrenewable energy sources.

Nuclear energy and its safety debate.

Oil use in Nigeria.


Fantastic Places and Local Area Study/ group project

This unit is designed for students to contrast different countries throughout the world


The location and landscape of the countries.

The culture and lifestyles of different people.

The dynamic economies around the world.

Africa and Guinea (Conakary School)

This unit focuses on the issues and hot topics surrounding Africa. We are linking with a school in Guinea to educate our students about different young people’s lives and how they compare to their own.


The countries of Africa.

The different cultures and values in Africa.

How politics in Africa is causing tension and the impact this is having on people lives.


Homework is set on a regular basis and is expected to be completed by all students to a high standard. Ample time is given to complete homework assignment (2 weeks). Homework tasks vary throughout the year from worksheets to assessment style questions, all of which are designed to build upon the understanding and knowledge that students will gain in their time in class.

Mini assessment activities are given in class every half term and a full formal assessment is given to students at the end of every full term on the topics that have been covering. The assessments are deigned to assess the skills and knowledge that students have learnt over that term and have a focus on extended writing to accurately assess pupils progress.


At KS4 all students undertaking Geography for GCSE receive three 100 minutes sessions per fortnight. We encourage all GCSE students to attend the revision sessions that are run every week within the department. This is a time where KS4 students can come to the department and spend time working on revision material, attempting practice papers and receiving support with any homework activities that they may, have supported by the Head of Department and additional Geography staff.

The topics covered at KS4 are as follows:-

Year Group

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Year 10



Controlled Assessment

Controlled Assessment



Year 11

Tectonic Hazards

Climatic Hazards

Economic Development

Economic Development



All GCSE Geography students are expected to complete homework on a weekly basis. the tasks will predominantly be exam style questions or past paper questions. In the department we believe that the more frequently that students complete exam practice questions the better chance they have of achieving their target grade in their examination.

Assessment is completed by students every half term in the form of a formal assessment. This will consist of a past paper examination question to ensure that student know and understand what is expected of them in the final examinations. This also gives staff an accurate assessment of how our pupils are performing against the national standard to allow for accurate tracking of pupils progress.

The Specification
Ercall Wood Geography students will be taught to the OCR GCSE Geography B specification from September 2012. The course is varied and follows the foundations built in KS3.

The themed content and tiered papers* enables the department to extend knowledge and stretch our more able pupils while remaining accessible to all ability students.

* Both the Terminal Examination and the Decision Making Exercise have two tiered papers. Each Foundation Paper assesses grades G to C whilst each Higher Paper assesses grades D to A*.

The specification consists of three units:-

UNIT ONE: Sustainable Decision Making Exercise

This is a 1 hour 30 minute written paper and is worth 25% of the total GCSE mark. This unit will develop real-life skills relevant to future decision making and aims to tests candidates’ ability to apply the ideas contained in the four key themes to a particular scenario. i.e. How to manage our coastlines?; Where to locate a wind farm?; How to respond to the energy crisis?

UNIT TWO: Geographical Enquiry

This unit is worth 25% of the total GCSE mark and is a 2000 word controlled assessment. The task requires the collection of primary data and therefore fieldwork is necessary. The fieldtrip enables pupils to see firsthand what they have learned about in the classroom and brings to life the GCSE programme.

UNIT THREE: Terminal Examination (Key Geographical Themes)

In this section is worth 50% of the total GCSE mark and is a 1 hour 45 minute written paper.

This paper also includes marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar (SpAG).

There are four key themes within this specification:-

Key Geographical Themes

Theme 1: Rivers and Coasts:What are drainage basins? Why does flooding occur and how can it be managed? What is the coast like? What processes and landforms are found on the coast? How can coastal erosion and flooding be managed?

Theme 2: Population and Settlement:How and why are the populations of countries different? What causes population to change? Why do people move? How are cities changing?

Theme 3: Natural Hazards:What causes hazards? How do they affect people in different parts of the world? How can people be protected from hazards?

Theme 4: Economic Development: What is development? How does development vary between countries? How do multinational companies affect development? How do we cause and how can we manage global climate change?

Top 5 tips to revise well in Geography

When looking over topics or case studies use mind maps to illustrate the key points to remember. Highlight and use colour to help structure these e.g. SOCIAL IMPACTS – blue, ECONOMIC IMPACTS – red, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS – green. Revision cards are also good to help you remember key facts / issues.
Ensure you learn and understand Geographical keywords. Then make sure you are confident in using them in your writing.
Try and remember some place specific examples or statistical evidence. This will help you achieve A/A* grades when included in your extended question answers

Try and challenge yourself to explain things… If you can’t explain it to yourself out loud using Geographical terminology then you won’t be able to in the exam! Revisit the appropriate section of your notes or textbook and make sure you are confident in your ability to explain it before moving onto the next section.
Talk to your teacher if there is anything you come across during revision that you do not understand, lack notes in or need some clarification.

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