Geography Department



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‘Geography is concerned with the study of places, the human and physical processes which shape them and the people who live in them. It helps pupils to make sense of their surroundings and to gain a better appreciation and understanding of the variety of physical and human conditions on the earth’s surface.’

Glenshane2015074 geog1

The study of geography helps make sense of the beautiful, complex and dynamic world and prepares pupils for roles as global citizens in the 21st century.  Geography stimulates an interest in, and a sense of wonder about places in a holistic way. It explains how places and landscapes are formed, how people and environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies and societies are interconnected.  It builds on pupils’ own experiences to investigate at all scales from the personal to the global.

Geographical enquiry encourages questioning, investigation and critical thinking about issues affecting the world and people’s lives, for the present and future.  Fieldwork is an essential element of this. Pupils learn to think spatially using maps, visual images and new technologies including geographical information systems, to obtain, present and analyse information. Geography inspires pupils to think about their own place in the world, their values and responsibilities to other people, to the environment and the sustainability of the planet. Through this Geography helps develop pupils as individuals, contributors to society and to the economy and environment.  


General Aims of Geography

The Geography Department at St Pius X College fully supports the general aims and objectives of the school, and the specifics outlined below are designed to encourage achievement in all pupils, of whatever gender or ability. Pupils should enjoy Geography at St Pius X College, be exposed to a variety of teaching and learning styles and be determined to aim for the highest standards in all that they do.


Geography at St Pius X College should help pupils to:

  • develop a strong interest in, and help them identify with their own environment and have an understanding of the wider world and their place within it
  • appreciate the variety of physical and human conditions on the earth’s surface and recognise the interaction between them
  • understand how change can result from physical and human processes
  • realise that others may hold different beliefs, attitudes and values to their own which are equally valid
  • encourage sensitivity towards others and develop an understanding of an empathy towards the nature of multi-cultural and multi-ethnic societies
  • gain a fuller understanding of topical and controversial issues, allowing them the opportunity to make and communicate their own informed judgements
  • have respect for their natural and built environment
  • build upon existing geographical knowledge, introducing new concepts as appropriate
  • acquire a wide range of geographical and other skills
  • develop an enquiry approach towards their work, allowing them to extend their intellectual skills through problem solving and fieldwork
  • enjoy learning and inquiring about their world
  • gain the confidence to work individually and as part of a group
  • become proficient in the applications and uses of ICT inc GIS
  • have opportunities to develop and display personal qualities such as:  Managing information / Working with Others / Thinking and problem solving skills / Being Creative Self Management / Working independently

Year Group

Course Title

Course Description


Teachers Involved

Key Stage 3 Year 8



Year 9

Year 10



The flexible nature of the NI KS3 curriculum has enabled us as teachers to establish foundations for Key Stage 4 study by providing opportunities for pupils to demonstrate deeper understanding;

Pupils to become more independent learners who will be more adept and experienced in managing their own learning. Students develop their knowledge, understanding and skills in a variety of areas. Through evaluation students feed into the planning of their curriculum

This specification has been designed to build on the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired through the Geography Area of Learning at Key Stage 3. Throughout the specification there is a diverse range of learning opportunities for students to continue to

develop as individuals and as contributors to society, as well as to the economy and environment



The specification builds on the broad objectives of the revised Northern Ireland

Curriculum. This specification contributes to spiritual, moral and cultural education by requiring

students to study issues in physical and human geography. It also contributes to

environmental and sustainable development education by requiring students to develop

an understanding of processes and issues in the human environment. Furthermore, the

specification has both a European and global dimension requiring students to study geographical processes and their outcomes in places and contexts at a range of scales from local to global.

Year 8 GeographyInduction: Atlas skills & Northern Ireland and its Neighbours

Unit 1 :  Maps . How can we use them including GIS

Unit 2 : Weather & climate – global water supply (Connected Learning –Languages -Mathematics)

Unit 3: Rocks and Renewable Energy

Unit 4: Settlement 

Fieldwork–School microclimate  & settlement Magherafelt

Year 9

Geography Induction :Atlas skills & Europe and the European Union: What’s the difference?

Unit 1: Population change and the Migration Debate

Unit 2: Rivers, Coasts and Global Warming (CCS task – using Mathematics)

Unit 3: Industry & Farming

Unit 4: Kenya: A developing country

Fieldwork– Glenshane Eco-orienteering

Year 10

Geography Induction : Atlas skills & Our Worldwill include also include 1 Geography careers lesson.

Unit1: The Restless Earth to including formation of basalt columns Giants Causeway

Unit  2: Fashion and Sport  & Fair Trade (Connected Learning Unit – H.E.)

Unit 3: Tourism and what is Eco-tourism?Unit4: Ecosystems and deforestation debate – controlled assessment

Unit 5: Impossible Places, Against All the Odds – Japan

Fieldwork – Giants Causeway & Portrush tourism impact study

Year 11

Unit 1:Understanding Our Natural World

This unit covers the following themes:

Theme A: The Dynamic Landscape (50%)

Theme B: Our Changing Weather and Climate (25%)

Theme C: The Restless Earth (25%)

Year 12

Unit 2:Living in Our World

This unit covers the following themes:

Theme A: People and Where They Live (50%)

Theme B: Contrasts in World Development (25%)

Theme C: Managing Our Resources(25%)

Unit 3:Fieldwork Report

Controlled Assessment

Candidates must complete a report of no more than2000 wordsbased on primary datacollection.

AS 1: Physical


(including fieldwork skills)

-      Fluvial processes, features & interaction with the human environment

-      Ecosystems as an open system, succession and human interactions

-      Atmospheric processes, mid-latitude and extreme weather systems

AS 2: Human

Geography (including skills and techniques)

-      Population data, structure and resources

-      Challenges for rural and built environments and planning issues in rural environments.

-      Development measures and issues

Internal assessment.   Student work is regularly marked and formative feedback given to students (in line with school assessment policy)

Pupil preparation supported by their on-line Kerboodle text

External written exam

1 hour 30 minutes

Three multi-part questions are set with one on each theme. Candidates answer all three questions.

Each question includes:

resource material which may

take a variety of forms, for

example statistical, pictorial

and written text; and

some parts that require

extended writing.


Every Summer

Completed over the 2 year course

25% - submit Year 12 only

All Summer series only from 2014

External examination paper (to include

an assessment of fieldwork)

50% of AS

25% of A Level

1 ½ hours

Mrs MA Diamond

MrsC Bell

Mr P Kerr

Mrs C Scott

Mrs MA Diamond

MrsC Bell

Mr P Kerr

Mrs MA Diamond

MrsC Bell


Option based units – selection as shown

A2 1: Human

Interactions and Global Issues

Option A Impact of Population change

Option B Planning for Sustainable Developments

Global Issue – Tourism

A2 2: Physical

Geography and Decision-Making

Option B The Nature and Sustainability of Tropical Ecosystems

Option C The Dynamic Earth


Examination paper

1 ½ hours

25% of A Level



paper (to include

a decision making

exercise) 2 ½ hours

25% of A Level

Mr Kerr

MrsC Bell


Useful website for GCSE/AS/A2 specifications






FIELDWORK – opportunities within the Geography curriculum



Micro-climate study

Settlement Investigation Magherafelt




Eco-orienteering Glenshane




Giant’s Causeway




Rivers Data Collection(Curly Burn)

Belfast Urban Study



Rivers Study (River Roe)& University of Ulster Remote

sensing & GIS workshop

Tourism Impact Studies




International Fieldtrip

Italy 2013


Potential jobs/careers available from studying this subject

Travel Agent, Architect, Teacher, Marketing, Urban Planner/Community Development, Estate Agent, Cartographer, Farm manager, Forestry, GIS Specialist, Climatologist/Meteorology, Transportation management, Environmental Management, Writer/Researcher, Demographer, Librarian, Information Scientist, National Park Service Ranger, Geologist


Departmental Photographs




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St Pius X College
59 Moneymore Road,

Co Derry
BT45 6HQ

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