Exam Board: OCR Spec B

Why study Geography?

Geography helps you to make sense of the world around you. It is hands on, it is relevant and it is fun. AQA’s 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 which affect our world and understand the social, economic and physical forces and processes which shape and change our world.

There are so many ways of learning in geography. It is very practical with opportunities to learn new skills such as modern computer based mapping (called GIS), map skills, interpreting photographs, fieldwork skills, presenting, role play and debating techniques.

You will improve your literacy through your report writing and written work and make practical use of your numeracy skills when you interpret data and construct graphs. 

Fieldwork, or working outside the classroom is a really important part of geography. Whether you go locally or get the chance to travel further away it will be a brilliant opportunity to experience some of the things you have learnt about in class, see things differently and of course have fun.

Michael Palin, President of the Royal Geographic Society, says ‘Choosing geography at school can open the doors to a university degree, either specifically in geography or by combining geography with other A Levels to gain a place on a degree programme in another subject. An A Level in geography is recognised for its academic ‘robustness’ and, most importantly, it also helps young people into the world of work.’


How it is assessed:

50% Final Exam

25% Controlled Assessment (Coursework)

25% Sustainable Decision Making Exercise (SDME): Resources provided on a topic (Population and Settlement), combined with students' knowledge to make and justify a decision on an issue

Suggested Texts:

Set text ORC GCSE Specification B edTom Miller (produced by Heinemann) ISBN 978-0-435353-70-4

GCSE Geography Spec B Widowsonet al (produced by Oxford) ISBN 978-0-199136-14-8

Topics covered in GCSE:

Natural Hazards (Earth<quakes/Volcanoes/Tropical Storms and Drought)

Population and Settlement

Economic Development

Rivers and Coasts