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Higham Lane School

Higham Lane School


Geography FAQs

Why is studying geography important?

“So many of the world's current issues – at a global scale and locally - boil down to geography, and need the geographers of the future to help us understand them. Global warming as it affects countries and regions, food and energy security, the degradation of land and soils from over-use and misuse, the spread of disease, the causes and consequences of migration, and the impacts of economic change on places and communities.”


What trips do we go on?

‘Fieldwork is a large part of studying geography. Fieldwork investigations are a compulsory part of the geography GCSE and A level. We regularly offer trips across all year groups and undertake a yearly trip abroad. Previous years we have visited Iceland, The Netherlands and Morocco.’


What will I be studying in geography at Higham lane school?

‘At Key stage 3 (Year 7 and 8) we explore the continents of the world, focusing on key human and physical issues that effect that continent. From Australia’s forest fires to industrialisation in China. Learning the skills and knowledge to progress to GCSE.

At GCSE we follow the Edexcel B syllabus which focuses on global geographical issues, UK geographical issues and the conflict between people and the environment, which is assessed across 3 exam papers in Year 11.’


We are a highly successful department with four dedicated specialist teaching staff who are committed to ensuring that your son or daughter achieves his or her full potential. We aim to develop pupils’ understanding of space and scale through local, national and global locations, whilst learning about the interaction and inter-connectedness of human and physical environments. Current topics offer a range of interests and insights into different nations, cultures, physical environments and lifestyles that cannot be gained through life in the UK.

Year 7 Curriculum

In Year 7, students begin by learning about what Geography actually is, developing their knowledge and understanding of key geographical concepts. For three lessons a fortnight, students will study a variety of continents, learning about key physical and human elements of geography with a modern twist whilst developing their spatial awareness of the world.

Once a fortnight, students will have an extra lesson of Geography dedicated to developing key geographical skills including map skills and grid referencing.

Year 8 Curriculum

In Year 8, students develop their understanding of key Geographical topics including: Natural Hazards, Rivers and Coasts, Settlement and Population, and Development and Globalisation.

Year 9 Curriculum

From Year 9, Geography is an optional subject which is highly popular with our students. We follow the EDEXCEL B exam specification and students sit three exams at the end of Year 11.

In Year 9, we study global Geography to prepare students for their first exam paper at the end of Year 11. The first topic in Year 9 is Climatic Hazards where students will develop their understanding of the global climate patterns, natural and human consequences of climate change, the impacts of global warming and the causes and devastating consequences of tropical storms. Furthermore, we build on students’ knowledge of tectonic hazards by looking at real life examples of earthquakes and what can be done in the future to reduce the impacts of these hazards. In addition to this, we look at global development inequalities. We investigate the causes and consequences of these inequalities and focus on India’s development in the last few decades.

Year 10 Curriculum

In Year 10, students focus on UK Geography. As part of this we begin by looking at the UK’s physical landscape by exploring rock types across the UK and how landscape influences the land use. In addition to this, we look at the UK’s rivers and the risk of flooding on the residence. All GCSE students attend a compulsory trip to Carding Mill Valley where they will carry out fieldwork tasks to understand how the river changes downstream and how this influences the flood risk. Students will be examined on this in their final GCSE exams. Another aspect of UK Geography that students study is coasts. Students will be exploring the processes that take place along the UK coastline and the impacts of this. Finally, in Year 10, students will study the UK’s human landscape by looking at land use in the UK. Students will focus on London as their main example of a UK city and will carry out further compulsory fieldwork in Nuneaton.

Year 11 Curriculum

In Year 11, students will be focusing on their decision making skills in Geography. The first topic we study in Year 11 is People and the Biosphere which involves students understanding the location of the biomes around the world and humans are connected with these locations. Furthermore students will compare the Tropical Rainforest biome with the Taiga biome and understand how these are being exploited by humans and begin to think about should be done to conserve these fragile environment. The final topic that students will study at GCSE will involve examining current oil supplies and thinking of ways we can overcome the increasing demand for a finite product.

Year 12 Curriculum

A-Level Geography: Edexcel

Within a short space of time, A-Level Geography has developed a fantastic reputation at Higham Lane School, with exceptionally high standards being set and outstanding results being achieved. Students will sit three exam papers at the end of Year 13 (Paper 1- Physical, Paper 2- Human and Paper 3- Synoptic) and will complete an assessed independent investigation worth 20%.

Geography in Year 12 and 13 is divided into two halves: Dynamic Landscape (Physical) and Dynamic Places (Human). Tectonic Processes and Hazards and Coastal Landscapes and Changes are the two physical topics taught in Year 12. Globalisation and Diverse Places (or Regenerating Places) are the two human topics taught in Year 12.

Furthermore, in Year 12, students will attend a field trip to Wales where they will undertake a variety of tasks to improve their knowledge and understanding of fieldwork. This will prepare the students for their independent investigation which they will complete in Northumberland.

Year 13 Curriculum

All three exams are sat at the end of Year 13 for Geography A-Level.

In Year 13, students will continue with their Human and Physical Geography topics while being encouraged to think synoptically when studying Geography. The topics in Year 13 include: the Water Cycle and Water Security, Carbon Cycle and Energy Security, Superpowers and Migration, Identity and Sovereignty.

Extra-curricular Activities

We have a highly effective revision programme on offer for Year 11 students after school, three days a week, from January-May.

In Year 10, students carry out fieldwork in Shropshire and Nuneaton.

In Year 12, students carry out fieldwork in Norfolk and their own independent investigations in Northumberland.

J BLANKLEY, Acting Subject Leader for Geography