Introduction and benefits

There has never been a better or more important time to study Geography. With growing interest in issues such as climate change, migration, environmental degradation and social cohesion, Geography is one of the most relevant subjects you could choose to study. Geographers are also highly employable.

By studying Geography, you should have knowledge and understanding of:

  • Why our human and physical environments and landscapes appear as they are, how they form and operate, and how they inter-relate at various scales
  • How and why patterns of human and physical features differ from place to place across the earth
  • Differences and inequality within the human world; especially the economic, social and political causes of inequality and economic development
  • The importance of different spatial scales – global to local –and time scales for physical and human processes, together with their interactions and interdependence.

By studying Geography, you will gain valuable skills :

  • Intellectual skills, such as critically evaluating theories and judging evidence in order to make informed decisions and to develop reasoned arguments
  • Research skills, such as using a range of technical methods for the collection and analysis of spatial and environmental data, and undertaking fieldwork
  • Transferable skills, such as teamwork, problem solving, IT skills, communication skills (presentation, writing, debating)
  • Personal attributes, such as time-management, development of responsibility, coping with uncertainty, self-reflection, motivation, flexibility, and creativity

The Geography department at Colston’s Girls’ School Academy looks forward to introducing you to the many and varied aspects of our subject.

Curriculum outline

Year 7

  • What is Geography?
  • Map skills
  • Survivor!
  • Rivers and flooding
  • Population
  • Independent country study

Year 8

  • Biomes – Tropical Rainforests, Savannah and deserts
  • Energy
  • Cities
  • The Geography of crime
  • Antarctica – a decision-making exercise

Year 9

  • Tectonic hazards
  • Development
  • The geography of war
  • Weather and Climate
  • Climatic hazards
  • Independent enquiry

Years 10-11

At GCSE we study the WJEC Specification A syllabus. This course content is summarised in the table below:

Course summary Content
Controlled Assessment (25%) Decision making exercise (15%)
Fieldwork enquiry (10%)
Core examination (40%) Water
Climate change
Living in an active zone
Changing populations
Options examination (35%) Our changing coastline
Living things

The controlled assessment fieldwork enquiry changes annually, in recent years we have travelled to the Dorset coastline to study depositional landforms and tourism. On the field trip, primary data is gathered and then written up at school under controlled assessment conditions.

The controlled assessment decision making enquiry is an independent report on a geographical topic eg How should the coral reefs in Australia be managed sustainably? The students use a resource booklet and their own independent research carried out in lessons to reach a decision. This is completed under controlled assessment conditions.


We use a large variety of resources such as web sites, video clips, maps, satellite photos, atlases, newspaper reports, DVDs and interactive whiteboards.

For GCSE, WJEC textbooks written specifically for the course. We also use a large variety of other resources such as interactive whiteboards, web sites, video clips, maps, satellite photos, atlases, newspaper reports and games. We also encourage the students to subscribe to ‘Wide World’ a geographical magazine written specifically for GCSE students.

Extra curricular

Bristol Geographical Society world wise quiz

Staff contacts

  • Miss N Francey – Head of Geography (
  • Miss S Mackenzie-Smith