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Key Stage 3
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In year 10

Urban Futures: Never before has the landscape of the planet looked more urban. Cities are growing at unprecedented rates. This topic seeks to explore why, and consider how the global pattern of urbanisation is changing. Urban challenges and opportunities are varied and unique and learners will examine these through studying two cities, one from an advanced country (AC) and one from either an emerging and developing country (EDC) or a low-income developing country (LIDC). Within each city, contrasting ways of life, geographical processes, problems and solutions will be studied in order to gain a holistic understanding of what makes up the urban fabric of each place.

Dynamic Development: We live in an unequal world, where the gap between prosperity and poverty is widening. This topic asks learners to consider the changing nature and distribution of countries along the development spectrum before examining the complex causes of uneven development. The future for LIDCs is uncertain and will be investigated through an in-depth study of one country, considering its development journey so far, how its global connections may influence the future and possible alternative development strategies.

Changing Climate: Climate change is one of the most controversial global issues of the 21st century. In this topic learners will analyse patterns of climate change from the start of the Quaternary period to the present day, considering the reliability of a range of evidence for the changes. Learners will study the theories relating to natural climate change and consider the influence of humans on the greenhouse effect. Social, economic and environmental impacts of climate change at both local and global scales will be examined.

Distinctive Landscapes: The UK contains a diverse and distinct range of landscapes. This topic gives learners the opportunity to unravel the geographical processes that make them distinctive. A deeper understanding of the geomorphic processes that shape river and coastal landscapes is developed and consideration of the human influence on these.

Fieldwork:We undertake fieldwork in Birmingham city centre and the Shropshire hills to complete the human and physical fieldwork elements of the course.


In year 11

Global Hazards: This topic allows learners to develop an understanding of a variety of hazards that impact human lives both within the UK and worldwide. Learners investigate how weather can be hazardous, gaining knowledge of the major processes within the atmosphere and their impact in creating extreme weather. This is contextualised through two case studies of natural weather hazard events. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are just some of the deadly hazards we face on Earth. Not only do they impact humans but they also shape our land. An understanding of tectonic hazards is developed; exploring the causes, consequences and responses to a tectonic event of choice.

UK in 21st Century: A diverse range of cultures, identities and economies make up the patchwork of the UK. This topic poses questions about the changing nature of people’s lives and work in the UK in the 21st century. It asks learners to consider some of the drivers for this change. As new economic superpowers emerge, questions have been posed about the global significance of the UK. This will be investigated through a study of the UK’s political and cultural connections with the rest of the world.

Resource Reliance: Supplies of food, energy and water are three of the most challenging issues the world faces. Significant numbers of people are resource-poor, whilst others consume more than their fair share. This topic investigates emerging patterns, where demand is outstripping supply, before taking the issue of food security and considering the question ‘can we feed nine billion people?’ Learners will investigate what it means to be food secure, how countries try to achieve this and reflect upon the sustainability of strategies to increase food security.

Ecosystems: Life on Earth is supported by global ecosystems and the link between human well-being and ecosystem wellbeing is vital. This topic seeks to explore the distribution and characteristics of the Earth’s ecological wonders. Learners investigate the two contrasting ecosystems of tropical rainforests and polar environments, exploring physical cycles and processes that make these ecosystems distinctive, the threats posed to their existence and how humans are attempting to manage them for a more sustainable future.

How will I be assessed?

We are studying OCR B (9-1 for enquiring minds)


Students can expect between 1-2 hours of work to be completed outside of class – about the same as most a-level subjects. Sometimes work will be research based, or answering past exam questions. Other times you may be required to complete and essay.


What fieldwork is involved?

There will be two days of fieldwork in preparation for the geography fieldwork element of the exam; a day in Birmingham completing human fieldwork and a day in Church Stretton completing physical fieldwork.


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