Manor Academy

Achievement, Engagement and Enjoyment.

KS4 Geography

Weblink to exam specification


In this subject, students experience, through engaging and topical content, a stimulating blend of traditional and contemporary Geography to suit all abilities. Students study physical and human Geography in discrete, self-contained topic areas that focus on physical processes and factors that produce diverse and dynamic landscapes over time.

Studying this course will give students of all backgrounds the opportunity to develop communication skills, graphical and cartographical skills and technological skills including ICT and GIS. Students will also practice interpersonal skills through debate and discussion.

A heavy emphasis on literacy, numeracy skills and problem-solving skills will help pupils to develop entrepreneurial skills and awareness of career possibilities.

Units studied and a brief description of their content

Students study the following three physical geography topics:

Unit 1 (Year 10):

The Coastal Zone, Ice on the Land and Restless Earth.

The Coastal Zone is about the processes and landforms found at the coats, rising sea levels and coastal erosion, coastal habitats and how the coast should be managed. Ice on the Land is about changes in the amount of ice and the landforms and landscapes created by ice. The Restless Earth is about the Earth's plates, earthquakes and volcanoes, the impacts that earthquakes and eruptions have and our responses to them.

Unit 2 (Year 11):

Students study the following three human geography topics: Tourism, Population Change and Globalisation. Tourism explains the growth in tourism, its impacts and managing tourism in the future. Population Change explores policies used to control population growth, ageing populations and migration. Globalisation examines the impacts of globalisation on the world in the twenty first century, looking at the changing importance of manufacturing and increasing demands for energy and food production.

Students also undertake a local fieldwork investigation (controlled assessment). The production of a good controlled assessment report will help ensure that a pupil achieves her/his potential at GCSE. Controlled assessment lessons have been built into the scheme of work and most homework from June of Year 10 onward is devoted to the production of the report. Controlled assessment topics change annually.


Units 1 and 2 are assessed through end-of-course external examinations which are set and marked by AQA. Papers are available in foundation or higher tiers.

  • Both examinations are 90 minutes long.
  • The Unit 1 paper is worth 37.5% of the final GCSE grade.
  • The Unit 2 paper is worth 37.5% of the final GCSE grade.

The local fieldwork investigation (controlled assessment task) is moderated in school and externally by an AQA moderator.

The local fieldwork investigation is worth 25% of the final GCSE grade.

Other useful information

The GCSE in Geography counts as one of the humanities components of the E Bacc qualification and is the best progression route to study geography at A Level.