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Welcome to the Geography Department


Mrs D Bate

Head of Department, Teacher of Geography

Miss A Scott

Teacher of Geography and
Values and Ethics

Mr M Wickham

Director of Studies for Brunel House, Teacher of Geography

Mrs S Macdonald

Director of Studies for Shakespeare House, Teacher of Geography & Values and Ethics

Mrs S Hall

Assistant Head of Geography and Head of Law, Teacher of Geography, BTEC Law, & Values and Ethics

Mr C Flanders

Head of Values and Ethics, Teacher of Geography, BTEC Law,
& Values and Ethics

Miss R Clark

About Our Subject

Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. When learning about Geography, we are looking back through thousands of years of discoveries about the world and at the same time, acquiring both the knowledge and skills to add to these discoveries in the future. An education in Geography enables students to know enough about our complex world and how it works to make sense of anything new they come across by being able to relate it to what they already know. Geographers can stand at the top of a mountain and read the landscape or can turn on the news and make sense of the global issues they see.


Through our curriculum, we teach ‘the best of’ Geography developing student’s sense of location, knowledge of places and processes and understanding of the interdependent world they live in. We aim to develop our students into global citizens who are both aware of their impact on the planet and are able to respect and understand different cultures. Geography encourages open, enquiring minds and develops crucial problem-solving skills; our students question both why something is the way it is and also what can be done to improve it.

Our curriculum helps to develop a wide range of skills. We are one of the only subjects that has strong links with all 4 stands of the Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs) meaning that our subject helps to develop student’s verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and spatial reasoning skills. We also have strong cross-curricular links to many subjects including Maths, English, Science, History, Business Studies and Religious Studies.

Our 7-year journey (see attached) provides students with a broad and balanced education about the future of our planet; this is their inheritance.

Click here to view the CWLC Geography Department 7 Year Journey

A broad curriculum encompasses contemporary topics as well as the more traditional Geography topics. The KS3 curriculum is designed to inspire and stimulate student’s curiosity about the world, whilst also providing them with the knowledge of key human and physical processes as the foundations for future study. We also build in opportunities to develop key geographical skills including: mapwork, literacy, numeracy, graphicacy, ICT, independent research, decision making, problem solving and teamwork.

In Year 7, students will study:

  • Our Fantastic and Impossible World
  • Shaping Landscapes
  • Tourism
  • Environmental Management

In Year 8, students will study:

  • Restless Earth
  • Megacities
  • Asia
  • Weather and Climate

Both years end with the completion of a Geographical Enquiry, providing students with the opportunity to engage with their local environment and go outside of the classroom to complete fieldwork.

We follow the Edexcel A specification at GCSE. The KS4 curriculum builds on the foundations of the topics studied at KS3 but provides an increasing level of challenge for students by asking them to apply theoretical understanding, consider issues on a global scale, see the links between different topics and to use a greater range of complex skills.

There are 3 exam papers which each look at different themes:

Paper 1: The Physical Environment:
a. The Changing Landscapes of the UK
b. Weather Hazards and Climate Change
c. Ecosystems, Biodiversity and Management

Paper 2: The Human Environment:
a. Changing Cities
b. Global Development
c. Resource Management

Paper 3: Geographical Investigations: Fieldwork and UK Challenges
a. Investigating Physical Environments

b. Investigating Human Environments

c. UK Challenges

To prepare for Paper 3, students will undertake 2 days of fieldwork. We visit Carding Mill Valley, Shropshire to complete their rivers investigation and Birmingham City Centre to complete their cities investigation.

The 3 exam papers sat at the end of Year 11 are assessed in the following way:
Paper 1 – The Physical Environment: 1 hour 30 minutes, worth 37.5%
Paper 2 – The Human Environment: 1 hour 30 minutes, worth 37.5%
Paper 3 – Geographical Investigations: Fieldwork and UK Challenges: 1 hour 30 minutes, worth 25%

We follow the Edexcel specification at A Level. The KS5 curriculum explores many of the contemporary challenges facing our planet and provides students with an in-depth understanding of places, processes and the interactions between these at different scales (time and space). A Level Geography helps to shape students into critical, reflective and independent learners setting them up for further study or the world of employment. Geography is classed as a facilitating A Level, meaning that it enables students to access a wide range of options post KS5.

Students look at 4 areas of study over the 2 years:

1. Dynamic Landscapes:

  1. Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  2. Glaciated Landscapes and Change

2. Dynamic Places:

  1. Globalisation
  2. Regenerating Places

3. Physical Systems and Sustainability:

  1. The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity

b. The Carbon Cycle and Energy Insecurity

4. Human Systems and Geopolitics:

  1. Superpowers
  2. Health, Human Rights and Intervention

There are 3 exam papers sat at the end of Year 13, which are assessed in the following way:

Paper 1 – Dynamic Landscapes/Physical Systems and Sustainability: 2 hours 15 minutes, worth 30%

Paper 2 – Dynamic Places/Human Systems and Geopolitics: 2 hours 15 minutes, worth 30%

Paper 3 – Synopticity and Skills: 2 hours 15 minutes, worth 20%

Paper 3 will assess a student’s ability to work across different parts of a qualification and to show their accumulated knowledge and understanding of a topic or subject area. They will also be assessed on their ability to combine their skills, knowledge and understanding with the breadth and depth of this subject.

The remaining 20% will be assessed through the NEA (non-examination assessment) or Independent Investigation. Students will undertake 4 days of fieldwork at the end of Year 12 and from this design and complete a geographical enquiry about an area of interest to them. They will be required to produce a 3000-4000 word written report with the outcomes of their enquiry. Whilst they will be supported with this, this is an independent investigation and students are required to complete their write up outside of lesson time and with minimal teacher input. The 4 days of fieldwork are completed at the Field Studies Centre in Rhyd-y-Creuau in Snowdonia National Park.


Christopher Whitehead Language College and Sixth Form,
Bromwich Road,

Phone: 01905 423906

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