Geography

Find out more about studying Geography at Westminster

Geography

  • About
  • Curriculum
  • Enrichment
  • Staff
  • After Westminster
  • About

    If you have an interest in issues such as climate change, migration, environmental degradation, spatial epidemiology and inequalities, Geography is one of the most relevant courses to study. Geography helps us explore and understand space and place; it develops our understanding of the differences in cultures, political systems, economies, landscapes and environments across the world. The subject offers many opportunities to travel through fieldwork and expeditions, and to develop a wide range of skills and apply them to real-world problems.

    Department Contact Ms Julia Hughes
    julia.hughes@westminster.org.uk
  • Curriculum
    Lower School

    The Fifth Form (Year 9) course is  designed to open up a range of geographical topics of importance in the 21st century, which helps to underline the relevance of the subject and prepare pupils for GCSE. Pupils study a wide range of topics from Geopolitics, which includes conflicts in the Arctic and Antarctic, to the division of Sudan and South Sudan, to the Geography of Korea. We also introduce pupils to GIS (Geographical Information Systems), where they have the opportunity to develop their own GIS skills and explore the wide range of uses the software can offer.  

    Pupils follow the AQA GCSE Geography syllabus in the Lower and Upper Shells (Years 10 and 11). The specification enables a variety of teaching and learning approaches. This exciting and relevant course studies geography in a balanced framework of physical and human themes and investigates the link between them.   

    Pupils take part in two separate fieldwork days, one to Eastbourne and one more locally to Spitalfields. There is also an opportunity to join the expedition to Iceland in the Lower Shell. There is no coursework element, but pupils write about their fieldwork in Paper 3. 

    Syllabus & Code
    AQA GCSE 8035 Geography
    Upper School

    For A Level Geography there are four papers, all taken at the end of the second year. There is no coursework at A Level. 

    In Papers 1 and 2 the answers require responses to stimulus material, allowing pupils to demonstrate wider knowledge and to explore one theme in detail in a short essay. The Papers look at the key elements of the physical and human environment, and include core topics on atmosphere and weather, river processes and the lithosphere, as well as population and resources, migration and settlement dynamics.  

    Papers 3 and 4 are both essay-based and allow a deeper exploration of issues, drawing on the synoptic links between different topics. There is in-depth treatment of a selected number of themes, taken from both the physical and socio-economic elements of the subject. There is also greater emphasis on the interplay of the natural and human environments and how they shape contemporary issues. These units include themes such as globalisation, trade and the global economy, geopolitics, social justice, tourism, sustainable development, hazard management and desertification. 

     

    Syllabus & Code
    CAIE A Level 9696 Geography
    Sixth Form Entry
    Subject requirements for the course
    The major requirement for any prospective pupil of Geography is an interest in society, the world around us, and the issues at the forefront of political, economic, environmental and social debate. Those taking the course should have taken Geography at (I)GCSE level and should be on track to score a grade 8 or 9.

    Entrance Examination

    The examination lasts 45 minutes and comprises two sections. The first section requires candidates to read and interpret material, which could be a graph, diagram, map or image, and in the second section they will be asked to write a short essay from a choice of titles on key geographical themes. These titles are designed to allow candidates studying any GCSE specification to attempt an answer. The principal aim of the exam is not to test knowledge, but rather to provide candidates with the opportunity to display their geographical interest and understanding.

    Overseas Candidates
    There is no (I)GCSE requirement for those who attend schools overseas that do not prepare pupils for (I)GCSE examinations. Candidates will be considered for a place based on their performance in the School’s entrance examinations and a transcript of results from their current school.
  • Enrichment

    Fieldwork is an integral part of any geographical study and all A Level pupils currently attend a four-day fieldwork course in Nenthead, Cumbria. This offers the chance for first-hand investigation and the opportunity to apply theories and key ideas to a new location. There may also be opportunities to take part in an optional overseas expedition; recent destinations have included Morocco and Jordan.  

    The John Stace Geography Society is a flourishing pupil-led society, with a remarkable range of external speakers as well as talks and presentations by senior pupils. This complements the central location of the School, allowing pupils the opportunity to attend lectures and events at the Royal Geographical Society and benefit from a range of close connections that the department has with a variety of business, environmental, geopolitical and civic organisations. 

  • Staff

    * denotes Head of Department
    † denotes Housemaster

    Miss Emma Blakemore (EVB) — Head of RSHE and Wellbeing  *
    Ms Julia Hughes (JJH) — Head of Geography  *
    Mr Simon Wurr (SDW) — Guidance and Work Experience Coordinator
  • After Westminster

    We have an outstanding record of academic success, with all Westminster candidates achieving the equivalent of an A* at A Level in 2018 and 2019 (the most recent year of formal examinations), and A Level pupils regularly go on to study Geography at top universities. And many have gone on to study Masters and PhDs.

    Geography A Level is a versatile and broad-based qualification and is, therefore, an outstanding steppingstone to a career in business, law, diplomacy and the arts, as well as in the fields of science, technology and engineering. Alumni proceed to successful careers in a host of different field.

"From the very beginning of my first year, I have always looked forward to my lessons, without fail they are stimulating, fun, as well as challenging. It has been brilliant to study such an incredible variety of topics, often reaching way beyond GCSE."

— Benjamin, Year 11 pupil

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