Year 9 Curriculum - Geography


Students completing the foundation Geography course will be provided with a thorough grounding in the skills and techniques needed to complete the GCSE Geography course in Years 10 and 11.

We aim to provide students with:

  • A balance of theoretical and practical work, encouraging an active involvement in the subject, which aims to motivate and inspire interest.
  • An understanding of global geographical issues and encourage them to apply this to a range of contexts. This means students’ real-life skills are developed and become relevant to future decision making.
  • A solid grounding and contextual understanding of the countries which will reappear in the Year 10/11 GCSE course as example case studies.
  • An opportunity to use real skills (such as map reading) and the use of new technologies, such as GIS, enquiry and analysis through fieldwork and research to assist geographical investigation – helping to motivate students, as they can see how their skills fit into the modern world.

These units will be covered during the course:


In this unit, students carry out a holistic study of ‘Kenya’; investigating a variety of aspects of the country (biomes; population growth; development; inequality; culture and tourism) through the context of a single country.  Students will begin to develop their key vocabulary and skills that will allow them to achieve highly at GCSE, whilst gaining a deep understanding of this fascinating country.


Another deep dive into one of the world’s most significant countries.  China is a country with a rich cultural heritage and one that has seen unrivalled economic development in recent years.  Students will investigate a variety of geographical topics (biomes; population control; economic development; urbanisation, transnational companies (TNCs) and resource management).  Again, students will learn to develop key GCSE skills and will deepen their understanding of many essential geographical concepts during this unit.

Natural Hazards

Building on the tectonic hazards unit studied at the beginning of Year 8, students will spend half a term addressing the causes, consequences and management strategies of ‘Tectonic Hazards’ and half a term on ‘Climatic Hazards’. Time will be spent addressing the theoretical background causes, impacts and management solutions to some of the most devastating

and significant hazards of the 21st century. Students will begin the actual GCSE content towards the end of Year 9; therefore, it will be essential that those who wish to take Geography into Years 10 and 11 opt for Geography in Year 9. Students will find that this unit will help to develop their graphicacy; description, explanatory techniques; analysis and evaluative skills.



  • Team work.
  • Creative thinking.
  • Independent enquiry skills.
  • How to solve problems and justify decisions made – essential for most jobs and careers.
  • Using secondary data to find out about different people, cultures & environments – research and filtering skills.
  • Reflective, analytical skills and communication skills.
  • Higher order analysis and evaluation skills.
  • Developing extended writing skills.
  • Exam technique.
  • Time management.


Regular mid unit and end of unit assessments will take place, in addition to skills development in self and peer marking activities. End of unit assessments will mirror the GCSE assessment criteria in their style:

100% of the student’s end of year mark will come from written exams throughout the course, during mid-unit and end-of-unit assessments.

NB: The actual GCSE assessment will comprise three papers:

  1. UNIT 1: “Living with the Physical Environment” (1hr 30, 35%)
  2. UNIT 2: “Challenges in the Human Environment” (1hr 30, 35%)
  3. UNIT 3: “Geographical Applications” (1hr 30, 30%)

Please note: It is imperative that students who wish to take Geography at GCSE choose it as an option in Year 9, as important GCSE course content is covered in the second half of the year.


Enquiries to: Mr B Ware – Subject Leader: Geography