Curriculum Leader:

Mrs K Maiden

Department Introduction:

Rarely has it been more important to develop an awareness and understanding of the Earth's changing and varied environments. Never has it been more crucial for students to show sympathy towards ideas of protection and conservation.


In Geography, students will discover what makes our dynamic planet tick. Care for the environment underscores much of the course from Year 7 through to Year 13, where the management of global problems is an integral part of the syllabus. If pupils pass through GCSE and reach the AS and A2 modular courses, they will no longer be neutral on environmental matters... and the travelling will have been fun.

Key Stage 3:

During Key Stage 3 pupils investigate a wide range of people, places and environments at different scales around the world. They learn about geographical patterns and processes and how political, economic, social and environmental factors affect contemporary geographical issues. They also learn how places and environments are interdependent. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this, they identify geographical questions, collect and analyse written and statistical evidence supporting them as they develop their own opinions. They use a wide range of geographical skills, and resources such as maps, satellite images and GIS.

Year 7 Units of Work include:


  • Exploring England
  • Geographical Skills
  • Out of Africa
  • The Horn of Africa
  • Population and Settlement
  • Changing Places: Ludlow


In the Summer Term we visit Ludlow, Shropshire where an enquiry based approach to the fieldwork enables the girls to test hypotheses by collecting, analysing and evaluating primary data.


Year 8 Units of Work includes:


  • Plate tectonics
  • Earthquakes & volcanoes
  • Into Asia
  • The rise of China
  • Rivers
  • Flooding


In the Summer Term we visit the Ashes Hollow valley near Church Stretton in Shropshire. Measurements are recorded – both river and valley processes – and we look at the land-use and management issues in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


Year 9 Units of Work include:


  • Tourism
  • Glaciation
  • The Geography of Conflict
  • Weather and Climate
  • Climate Change


In the Autumn Term a day is spent in the Peak District. The aim is to assess the impact that tourism has upon the area. The students set their own set of hypotheses which are then tested via data collection, statistical analysis and methods of evaluation.

Key Stage 4:

Year 10 follow the new AQA specification at GCSE.  The units of study are:


  • Physical Landscapes in the UK (rivers and coasts options)
  • The Living World
  • The Challenge of Natural Hazards
  • Urban Issues and Challenges
  • The Changing Economic World
  • The Challenge of Resource Management


The structure of assessment is as follows:


  • Paper 1: Physical Environment – 35%
  • Paper 2: Human Environment – 35%
  • Paper 3: Geographical Applications – 30%


Year 11 follow the legacy OCR Specification B at GCSE. The Units of Study are:


  • Population and Settlement
  • Rivers and Coasts
  • Economic Development
  • Natural Hazards


The structure of assessment is as follows:


  • Fieldwork Controlled Assessment 25%
  • Sustainable Decision Making Exercise 25%
  • Terminal Examination 50%


In Year 10, a three day residential fieldtrip is organised to Broad Haven, Pembrokeshire. Coastal processes, landforms and management are studied. In Year 11 an appropriate fieldwork day is being developed in association with recent changes in GCSEs.

Key Stage 5:

Year 12 follow the new OCR AS and A Level.


The units of study are:


  • Landscape Systems: Coasts
  • Earth’s Life Support Systems (A Level only)
  • Changing Spaces; Making Places
  • Global Connections: Human Rights and Migration (A Level only)
  • Geographical Debate: Disease Dilemmas
  • Geographical Debate: Hazardous Earth (A Level only)
  • Independent Investigation (A Level only)


Assessment is as follows at AS Level:


  • Landscape and Place - 55%
  • Geographical Debate – 45%


Assessment is as follows at A Level:


  • Physical Systems – 22%
  • Human Interactions – 22%
  • Geographical Debates – 36%
  • Independent Investigation – 20%


Year 13 follow the legacy AQA Specification at AS and A2.


The Units of Study are:


Unit 1:


  • Physical & Human Geography:
  • Rivers, floods and management
  • Cold environments
  • Global population change
  • Geography of health


Unit 2:


  • Applied Geography:
  • Geographical Skills
  • Fieldwork


Unit 3:


  • Contemporary Geographical Issues:
  • Plate tectonics and hazards
  • Weather and climate
  • World Cities
  • Contemporary conflicts and challenges


Unit 4:


  • Geographical Issue Evaluation


Assessment is as follows:




  • Unit 1: Written exam ( 2 hours ) 70%
  • Unit 2: Written exam ( 1 hour ) 30%




  • Unit 1: Written exam ( 2 hours ) 35%
  • Unit 2: Written exam ( 1 hour ) 15%
  • Unit 3: Written exam ( 2 hours ) 30%
  • Unit 4: Written exam ( 1.5 hours ) 20%


A residential fieldtrip is organised in the Spring Term of Year 12. This is usually to the Blencathra Fieldstudies Centre near Keswick in Cumbria.


In Year 13 a study of regeneration is undertaken in Birmingham City Centre.


The department runs biennial enrichment trips to Iceland during the Easter holidays.

Wolverhampton Girls' High School


Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton, WV6 0BY

T: 01902 551515