Bobmore Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1JE
Telephone - 01628 483 752
Company Registration No.07690054

Geography Department


Geography is the study of the Earth’s landscapes, people, places and environments. Stated simply, it is about the world in which we live. Geography builds many of the physical concepts studied in science and investigates the impact of these on the world’s people.

Geography links this understanding of human and physical processes to places and regions – recognising the big differences in cultures, economies and environments across the world. Understanding the causes of differences and inequalities between places and people are a key part of modern geography.

Geography provides an ideal framework for relating other subject areas. It is not surprising that those trained as geographers are often involved in global decision-making, such as politics or working to manage the challenges of climate change and sustainable development.

Adapted from the Royal Geographical Society


Geography is a very popular subject at Great Marlow School. Feedback from students confirms that the curriculum at Key Stage 3 is modern, interesting and engaging, as a result, many students continue studying the subject further up the school.

Indeed, geography is consistently one of the most popular option choices at both GCSE and A-level and results are often above both the school averages and those for similar schools in the area.

There are three dedicated classrooms, all equipped with a PC, digital projector and DVD playing facilities. In addition, there is a suite of netbook computers available for use by students in the classroom, which complement the wide selection of up-to-date textbook resources.

Lessons at all levels are dynamic and use multimedia resources to engage and motivate all students, regardless of their particular learning styles.



The Wider Curriculum allows students to take a further interest in their subjects and subject related material they study at school. The Wider Curriculum also enables parents and carers to actively engage with the opportunities offered by each department. Each PDF is hyperlinked, so when you click on them, the links will take you to areas where you may read, view, listen, visit and be creative.



Our aim at Key Stage 3 is to stress the importance of the interconnection between human and physical processes, location and the effects on people and the environment. In doing this Great Marlow School geographers gain knowledge and build a stronger sense of place.

Year 7

  • Why study geography at Great Marlow School? Students learn that geography uses many types of maps to make sense of the world. They study key OS map skills, such as map symbols and grid references. Students look in detail at the geography of the UK; they study both the physical and human geography of the country.
  • Why is food a geographical issue? Students study where their food comes from and the geographical processes involved.
  • What makes a place fantastic? Students study a wide range of fantastic places: fantastic due to physical factors such as Svalbard, but also due to human factors such as the new seven wonders.
  • Which biome is of more value? Students look at a variety of biomes at varying latitudes and discover the biotic and abiotic elements of them.
  • To what extent are rivers a threat? Students study rivers, looking in detail how the change from source to mouth.

Students are assessed at the end of each topic.

Year 8

  • Can China be described as a superpower? Students look in detail at the human and physical features that shape China.
  • To what extent can we manage disease? Students study how different diseases spread and move across borders and how diseases can impact the geography of a country.
  • How does climate change impact the planet? Students study the impacts of global warming on vulnerable ecosystems.
  • What does Africa have to offer? Students look at the continent of Africa to understand more about its diversity, while challenging preconceptions.
  • What processes shape our coastline? Students study coasts, looking in detail how the change through erosion, transportation and deposition.

Students are assessed at the end of each topic.

Year 9

  • What risks to tectonic hazards pose? Students study plate tectonics; the different hazards these create and the impact of these hazards.
  • To what extent can a place be described as impossible? Students study a range of locations across the world that are impossible places for people to live.
  • What risks are associated with extreme weather? Students study types of weather hazard. Most particularly, weather hazards such as tornadoes and hurricanes.
  • How does geographical injustice affect our society? Students look at how geography plays a part in conflict and how conflict impacts on people.

Students are assessed at the end of each topic.


There are three components in the new OCR Geography A qualification, which will be taught to Year 10 from September 2016.

Component 1: Living in the UK Today.

This component is based on the changes that the UK is undergoing in both its physical and human geography. Studies of river flooding, coasts and our changing climate are combined with human geography topics concerning population change, the impacts of migration and life in our cities. Students will also investigate the environmental challenges that are faced over climate change, flooding and energy security, evaluating the possible solutions to these issues.

Component 2: The World Around US

This component gives a global view of geographical issues and is an opportunity to investigate places that are very different from the UK. Candidates will study how ecosystems such as tropical rainforests and coral reefs have been directly affected by human activity and examine the environmental challenges that the planet faces in terms of climate change and extreme weather. Candidates will also investigate human geography topics including global economic development, the rise of countries like China, India and Brazil and life in cities such as Shanghai and Rio de Janeiro. There will be an exploration of the growing interdependence between countries and the global economy.

Component 3: Geographical Skills

In this component candidates will have the opportunity to enjoy a residential fieldwork visit to Swanage and the Jurassic Coast where there will be an opportunity to develop and practice investigative geographical skills. This component, central to geography, will also support the learning process in other subjects where research, analyse data and draw conclusions from your findings is carried out. The skills developed here will also help prepare candidates for A-level studies in geography and other subjects too.


There are three written papers (components 1 and 2 are worth 30% and component 3 is worth 40% of the final mark). There is no controlled assessment or coursework. Each exam paper requires a mix of shorter, data-response answers, plus some longer answers requiring specific case study knowledge. Component 3 examination will also ask about fieldwork experiences and test geographical skills


Students will study the new OCR A-level Geography specification. This is a full two year A-level course with no AS -level .

How is the course taught?

The Geography Department has a team of experienced and motivated teachers. Teaching is conducted in small groups and the subject matter is shared by two teachers in the geography department classrooms. There is a mix of traditional lessons with tutorial and seminar type lessons – closer in style to university teaching. Homework is set regularly; it comprises undertaking additional reading and research both independently and in small study groups; as well as essay and exam question based tasks.

Specification overview

  • Unit 1 – Physical Systems. In this unit candidates study a range of topics based on coastal landscapes, tropical rainforests, and the water and carbon cycles.
  • Unit 2 – Human Interaction. In this unit a range of topics will be studied based on globalisation, economic development, geopolitics, and population migration
  • Unit 3 – Geographical Debate. In this unit you will engage with a range of dynamic, controversial and contemporary global issues such as climate change and food security.
  • Unit 4 – Investigative Geography. In this unit students produce an independent investigation following a residential fieldwork visit to the Cranedale Centre in North Yorkshire. At Cranedale students will be given the opportunity to carry out fieldwork and research that will both embed previous learning on the physical geography topics and provide data for their coursework investigation.

How is the course assessed?

There are three final examinations worth 80% of the final mark. Unit 1 and Unit 2 examinations are 1 hour and 45 minutes long, each worth 24% of the final mark. The Unit 3 exam is 2 hours and 30 minutes long, worth 32% of the final mark. 20% of the final mark comes from the internally marked non-examination independent investigation.

Entry Requirements

Students should have achieved at a Grade 6 or above in GCSE Geography.


There are a wide range of university courses available, ranging from more traditional courses with either a physical or human geographical bias, to environmental or other issues-based courses, all of which are very relevant today and most of which open a wide range of career options. Some career possibilities are listed below.

Agriculturalist Exports/Imports Manager River and Coastal Engineer Teacher
Chartered Surveyor Geologist Tour Guide
Conservationist Mapping Tour Operator
Customs Officer Landscape Gardener Tourism Wildlife Warden
Disaster Management Local Government Worker Town Planner
Economist Mapping Travel Rep Representative
Environmental Consultant Meteorologist Travel Writer
Environmental Management Oceanographer Urban Geographer
Environmental Scientist Public Relations
Explorer Renewable Energy Researcher


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