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The Geography department at Notre Dame RC Girls’ School is very successful, combining a track record of consistently excellent exam results, with numerous fieldwork opportunities and an emphasis on the student’s wider role as a citizen. We are extremely pleased with the 2019 GCSE exam results, with 72% of students achieving a Level 4 or higher and 56% of students achieving a Level 5 or higher.  Overall, our students achieved a higher average GCSE mark than the national average and 20% of our students achieved Level 8 or 9, also higher than the national average. Another successful year for our students!

As far as possible an enquiry- based approach to learning is encouraged. Geography lessons throughout the school facilitate the development of a wide variety of transferable skills, including questioning, group work, decision making, listening, debating, empathy and problem solving. A variety of resources - including photographs, DVDs, mini whiteboards, model making, music and interactive whiteboard activities - are used to enable students to develop their geographical skills and understanding.’ 

Ms Froomes, Head of Geography

Key Stage 3 - Year 7, 8 and 9

Students study a wide range of physical and human Geography topics at a variety of local, national and international scales. Lesson plans are adapted to incorporate current news events of geographical significance which provoke interesting discussions that reflect directly on the concept of citizenship, both from a local and global perspective.

Year 7 Topics

  • Atlas and map skills
  • Britain and the UK
  • Extreme Environments: Africa and Kenya
  • Hydrology, rivers and flooding
  • Earth’s Natural Resources
  • Fieldwork in the local area

Year 8 Topics

  • Further atlas and map skills
  • Ecosystems and importance of tropical rainforests
  • International Development
  • Glacial environments and processes
  • Challenges of population problems
  • Urbanisation and living in an urban world

Year 9 Topics

  • Further atlas and map skills
  • Weather and Climate
  • Global Warming and Climate Change
  • Earning a Living - the global economy
  • Coastal environments and processes
  • Our Restless Earth – earthquakes and volcanoes

Year 7, 8 and 9 - Useful websites

KS3 Geography BBC Bitesize - contains information about all the topics studied plus useful video clips.

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

We follow the OCR B Geography GCSE syllabus. The key features of this course are:
- exciting content studied in topics and brought to life by engaging enquiry questions
- opportunities to study in depth contemporary case studies across a range of scales
- study of the geography of the UK in the 21st century
- exploration of the interconnections of topics through synoptic assessment
- geographical skills, including fieldwork, being embedded within assessment

Component 1 - Our Natural World

Assessment - one exam 1hr 15mins 35% of total GCSE
Topics studied are: Global hazards, Changing climate, Distinctive landscapes, Sustaining ecosystems, Fieldwork and Geographical skills

Component 2 - People and Society

Assessment - one exam 1hr 15mins 35% of total GCSE
Topics studied are: Urban futures, Dynamic development, UK in the 21st century, Resource reliance, Fieldwork and Geographical skills

Component 3 - Geographical exploration

Assessment - one exam 1hr 30mins 35% of total GCSE
Topics studied are: Geographical skills and a Decision making exercise

KS3 and KS4 Fieldwork

At KS4 students will undertake fieldwork outside the classroom on at least two separate occasions, in contrasting locations. We undertake urban fieldwork in Stratford, London and coastal fieldwork in Brighton, East Sussex.​ At KS3, where appropriate, we take students outside during their Geography lessons so they can practice using fieldwork skills and put into practice what they have learnt in the classroom.

GCSE - Useful websites

The specification we study is OCR B, and this link gives more details on the course content, plus assessment materials and revision tools:
BBC bitesize provides useful subject summaries for revision:
Map Zone
Royal Geographical Society
Geography Matters