Our aim in the Geography department is to make students more aware of the world around them and encourage them to be responsible, global citizens. We aim to achieve this by teaching students not only about their local area but also providing an insight into the lives of others around the world.

Key Members of Staff

Mrs J Mills – Subject Leader—

Mr R Henderson —

Mrs S Drayson —



Term 1: What is Geography? & Map Skills

Students start to consider what studying Geography is really about and will learn about the Geography of Sheffield.

We will then move on to learn the basics of map skills. This includes learning about longitude and latitude, as well as how of world maps have changed over time. During the run-up to Christmas, we learn about OS maps; what they are and how to read them. This will include learning about scale, map symbols and six figure grid references.

Assessment: ‘My favourite place essay’, atlas skills test & OS map test

Term 2: Weather and climate.

This is a broad topic which looks firstly at what weather is before considering why our climates vary from country to country, but within each country or region. As part of this topic, students will learn how to read and interpret climate graphs.

Assessment: Written task on why the UKs climate varies & test

Term 3: Geography of Sport & Settlement

This is a short topic which we cover around Easter time. This gets our students thinking about how Geography is linked to a different aspect of sport; from how weather affects different activities to where to build a football stadium.

For the final topic, we study settlement. First, we consider what different types of settlements there are and how they have changed over time in both MEDCs and LEDCs. We will then learn about how our cities can be more sustainable as they grow to meet an increasing demand for housing.

Assessment: Essay on the location of a sports club, decision-making task on where to locate a new housing estate & settlement test.

Term 1: Tectonics

Through this topic, students gain an understanding of earthquakes and volcanoes. This includes being able to explain both the causes, effects and response to these tectonic hazards. Throughout the course, students will look at real life examples to add depth to their understanding.

Assessment: Case study of a volcanic eruption & why do some earthquakes cause more damage than others? (essay)

Term 2: Development

The main focus for this for students to understand why different countries are at different stages of development. Students will also about how we can measure the wealth and quality of life in a country, before moving on to consider how aid and trade can boost these. The final aspect of the topic is an in-depth study of Ghana.

Assessment: Comparing an LEDC to an MEDC (essay) & development test

Term 3: Rivers & flooding

This physical geography topic teaches students about how rivers have changed our local landscape by learning about v-shaped valleys and waterfalls. They will then study the causes and affects of river flooding and how the risk from this can be reduced.

Assessment: Rivers test

Term 1: Tourism & Eco-systems

By studying tourism students are gaining in-depth knowledge of one industry; why it has grown, both the positive and negative impacts this has had and how tourism can be sustainably managed.

During the eco-systems topic, students learn about the science of food chains and how the climate and growing conditions of an area lead to different eco-systems. We then move on to look at how people use these different resources and the impact that this can have. During this topic, students will learn about a variety of different global eco-systems.


Why has tourism increased? write-up eco-tourism design, comparing lives of tribes and how can Antarctica be used in a sustainable way? (all essays or extended answers)

Term 2: Globalisation & Population

These important human Geography topics are the foundation for much of the GCSE topics. Through these two topics, students will gain an understanding of how our lives and culture has been affected by increasing global links.

During the population topic, the focus is on understanding why the population structure of a country changes as a country develops and the population becomes wealthier. We will also look at the issues facing countries at different stages of development, with a focus on both youthful and ageing population and the issues that this brings.


Why does Nike want to be a global brand? (essay) comparing countries using population pyramids & tests

Term 3: Climate change & sustainability

This important final topic brings together much that our students have learnt over the past three years as they learn about the human and physical causes of climate change. We also teach about the likely impacts that climate change will cause and how these can be reduced. The sustainability aspect of the topic looks at how we live our lives in the UK and aims for the students consider how we can live more sustainably.


Is SHS a sustainable school?

GCSE Geography

Over the next two years our students will study the following six topics:

  • The challenge of natural hazards
  • The living world
  • Physical landscapes in the UK
  • Urban issues and challenges
  • Changing economic world
  • Challenge of resource management

For full details of the Geography GCSE course visit the GCSE Options Page and download the options booklet

Term 1: Controlled assessment & complete Natural Hazards topic

The controlled assessment element of the course accounts for 25% of the GCSE grade; so it’s vital that is it completed to a high standard. To complete this work the students will take part in a field visit where they collect their own evidence. We then spend time in lessons completing the write-up. If at any stage they fall behind in their work they will be expected to stay back after school to catch up.

The natural hazards topic covers four main hazards; earthquakes, volcanoes, tropical storms and droughts. For each students will learn the causes, effects and responses to these hazards. As well as considering how the effects can vary depending on the wealth of the country and its ability to manage to hazards.

Assessment: end of topic test

Term 2: Population and Settlement

This topic is being taught for the decision making exam. In the exam students will need to apply their knowledge of the topic and use this to help them answer questions based on different unseen resources. The final question is worth 16 marks and will pose a scenario with a number of different options. Students will need to select the option which they think is most suitable and be able to justify their choice.

Assessment: end of topic test

Term 3: Exam preparation

Curriculum Downloads


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