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Why Choose GCSE Geography?
The GCSE Geography course is a new course that is completely up to date in terms of the subject content and approach. All exams are taken at the end of the course in the summer of Year 11. Coursework has been reduced in content, and is now mainly done within school.
GCSE Geography offers students a course that creates many useful and attractive skills – team work, investigation, contemporary issues research, Geography is also multi-disciplinary, allowing students to improve those key skills required by universities and future employers. If studied at Advanced Level, Geography will also compliment all other subjects and allow students to apply for a vast range of future careers, town planning, sustainable and ‘green’ industries, logistics and energy companies, anywhere where a knowledge of how the world works, ICT skills and data handling skills are required.
GCSE Geography is hugely popular at Hagley, and well recognised by universities as a facilitating subject – meaning it opens the door to more academic routes. It also is one of the English Baccalaureate GCSEs.
Unit 1: The Urban Environment: The world is becoming increasingly urban – it is estimated that by 2020 over 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. In developing countries large numbers of people are moving to slums in the hope of improving their quality of life. This rapid urbanisation creates challenges for urban planners in relation to housing and the supply of basic services. In developed countries many urban areas have gone through a period of economic decline; the challenge in these areas is often about improving socio-economic conditions and addressing environmental issues. The global future will be an increasingly urban future and this will create a need to put in place sustainable methods of managing urban living in existing areas and designing new urban centres that operate in sympathy with both people and the environment.
Unit 1: The Coastal Environment: Coastal areas are very important for the economy – they are where we trade with other nations, and where the majority of tourism takes place and therefore very important to our economy. However, they are places of great conflict between local people, tourists and industry which wish to exploit them. We look at how we can sustainably manage the coastlines and their development, what will happen if sea levels rise as predicted. We also look at the traditional geography of physical processes along the coast of erosion and deposition, and the landforms created like caves arches and stacks.
Unit 2: Hostile World – Living with natural hazards: Many people now live in hostile areas of the world. Areas close to plate boundaries (volcanoes and earthquakes) and areas that suffer from tropical storms or wildfires can pose dangers for the people who live there. They have to be able to understand the causes and effects of these hazards in order to prepare for and respond to them.
Unit 2: Investigating the Shrinking World - Investigating the Globalisation of Industry: Companies organise and locate all over the world as industry becomes increasingly globalised. This change has impacts on people and places and requires careful management in order to ensure that it is sustainable. The global nature of modern industry has led to changes in the development gap. This unit focuses on geographical investigation. Candidates should be given the opportunity to investigate a range of places and to consider how globalisation impacts specific localities and groups of people.
Unit 3: Local Investigation including Fieldwork and Geographical Issue Investigation
Task One: Local Investigation including Fieldwork (15% of the full GCSE)
Task Two: Geographical Issue Investigation (10% of the full GCSE)
Fieldwork: Fieldwork is undertaken in Year 10 – we offer an optional fieldwork trip to Sicily in October which we have undertaken since 2008. This does not contribute towards the fieldwork requirements in any way, and is not required for course completion.
We will also be taking students out on a local fieldwork at some point during the year to undertake the local investigation requirement of the course; this is completed in Birmingham City Centre.
Unit 1 – 1hr30min examination (37.5% of the GCSE) to be taken in June of Year 11. This exam will cover the urban environment and coasts.
Unit 2 – 1hr30min examination (37.5% of the GCSE) to be taken in June of Year 11. This exam will cover the hostile world and globalisation.
Unit 3 - Local Investigation including Fieldwork and Geographical Issue Investigation. These are two separate pieces of coursework:
• The first piece is worth 10% of total marks, is marked out of 24 and has a word guidance of a maximum of 800 words. This should be written in about 2 hours at school.
• The second piece is based on local investigation and worth 15% of total marks, is marked out of 36, and has a maximum word guidance of 1,200 words. It should be written up in school in about 4 hours.
Homework expectations: Homework will be set regularly.
Examination board: AQA Syllabus code: 9037
Head of Department: Mr. N. M. Taylor