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Light Hall School - Geography

Subject Overview

Switch on your television, listen to the radio or pick up a newspaper and the environment seems to be top of everyone’s agenda. We are bombarded with facts and figures relating to the need for energy conservation and climate change. For instance, did you know that:

  • each person in Northern Ireland uses an average of 145 litres of water per day;
  • every household in the UK generates around six tonnes of carbon dioxide every year; and
  • UK households are wasting approximately £979 million worth of energy per year by leaving gadgets and appliances unnecessarily on standby.

Sustainability is the buzz word of the 21st century. The study of geography helps students have a clearer understanding of this important world issue. Geography is the study of the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments – both its physical features and its political and cultural characteristics. Geographers work to examine and solve issues like those above by looking at:

  • how places differ from one another;
  • the impact of people on the environment;
  • the sources and impact of pollution; and
  • strategies for environmental protection and restoration.

Geography involves a synthesis of facts, figures, ideas and perspectives to help us understand and protect the world we live in. By studying geography, students learn about important contemporary issues like global warming, desertification, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, groundwater pollution and flooding


  Autumn Spring Summer
yr 7
Making Connections
Map Skills


yr 8
Weathering, Erosion & Coasts
Europe & Italy
yr 9
Weather & Climate


Key Course Information

The GCSE Geography course follows the OCR B Syllabus.

  • Students have an externally assessed examination called Key Themes, worth 50% of the final grade. This examination is based on three topics which rotate each year (Natural Hazards, Population and Settlements, Economic Development or Rivers and Coasts).
  • Students have an externally assessed examination called SDME (Sustainable Decision Making Exercise), worth 25% of the final grade. This examination is based on one of the Key Themes and rotates every year (It is always the Key Theme they will not have in the main examination).
  • Students are required to complete one piece of Controlled Assessment, worth 25% of the final Grade. This work will be based on data collected through fieldwork.

Area of Study:

The following Key Themes are studied in Year 10 & 11 (The order of study changes each year according to the examination requirements).

  A.O.S. A.O.S. A.O.S. A.O.S.
yr 10
yr 11
Natural Hazards
Population & Settlement
Economic Development
Rivers & Coasts


What are the aims of the course?
To simulate an interest in the world around us; gain knowledge and understanding of a variety of places, environments and
geographical patterns from local to world scale; develop an awareness of how people and environments interact; acquire and apply geographical skills and techniques.
What topics will I study?

  • Theme 1: Rivers and Coasts
  • Theme 2: Population and Settlement
  • Theme 3: Natural Hazards
  • Theme 4: Economic Development

What skills will I develop?
Extracting data from books, videos, the media, maps, statistics, graphs, photographs, satellite images, people, IT sources and using evidence and data to make informed decisions and become a critical, analytical thinker; using ICT in an effective and appropriate way.

What examination will I take?
The OCR Syllabus B Geography GCSE course involves:

  • 1½ hour written paper worth 25% of final gradeSustainable Decision Making Examination. The exam will involve students making an informed decision based on their knowledge and information provided on a particular scenario (Externally marked).
  • Fieldwork Focus which make up 25% of the final grade – This will involve the collection of data on a fieldtrip and the production of a report which will be no more than 2000 words. (This will be marked by your teachers and moderated externally).
  • 1 ¾ hour written paper worth 50% of the final grade –  Key Themes Examination. This paper has three sections based on following themes: Rivers and Coasts, Population and Settlement, Natural Hazards or Economic Development – students will answer three questions. (Externally marked)

What independent study will I have to undertake?
Watching various Discovery Channel, National Geographic programmes aids in developing further understanding of the themes that we cover in class. Weekly homework will be set. This may include research, examination practice, revision etc.). As from this year, all coursework will be written up in class time.
It is recommended our students purchase the OCR B GCSE GEOGRAPHY CGP revision guide to support their revision.
What career opportunities could the course help to give me?
Geography has a unique combination of skills relevant to employment including the language of maps, practical use of ICT skills, data analysis, problem solving and decision-making. It also is very strong in the area of environmental education and understanding the differences between places, cultures and economies. Geographers use their skills and knowledge in a wide variety of careers.
What are the special features of the course?
Apart from going on fieldtrips and looking at geographical themes that surround us in everyday life, one of the special features of GCSE Geography is the results that students achieve. Over the last several years, many students have achieved A* - C grades. This is down to the hard work of the individual students and also the experienced and dedicated staff.


The Geography Staff:

Mrs S Tomkins 
Head of Geography
MR J Thompson
Geography Teacher  
Miss R Pritchard
Geography Teacher
Miss R Imam
Geography Teacher