Geography is about the world around us and how we interact with it. It is a broad and varied school subject that encompasses a range of studies including the physical and social sciences and mathematical, scientific and literacy skills. With only a limited time per week with which to study this exciting subject we have drawn up a curriculum that is as wide-ranging as possible and includes the recommendations set out in the National Curriculum. Take a look at the topic lists below to see what is coming up in your geographical studies at Sancton Wood…

Key Stage Three (Years 7 and 8)

Year 7: exploring geography

  • What is geography? Place and space and the world around us
  • Map skills: OS maps, direction, scale, grid references and navigation
  • Earthquakes and volcanoes: a look beneath the surface of the earth into the tectonic processes that result in earthquakes, a closer look at how volcanoes and earthquakes are formed and an examination of the human and physical effects of these tectonic events
  • Settlement and urbanisation: exploring how and why people live together in different types of settlement and the reasons for the growth of rural settlement patterns. We will explore rise of the megacity and the spread of urbanisation worldwide. We will explore the benefits and problems that come with rapid urbanisation and compare urban areas in the UK with cities in less economically developed countries (LEDCs).

Year 8: Humans, the environment and the world around us

  • The Living World: ecosystems and world biomes: discovering the major world biomes (including tropical rainforests, hot deserts, the savannah and deciduous woodlands) that make up our incredibly diverse planet and exploring the link between biomes, climate and human activity. We will also discuss how human activity is tipping the balance within fragile ecosystems, the threat of climate change and the possibilities of sustainable management.
  • Coasts: learning about the powerful physical processes that shape our changing coastlines, especially in the UK, how we use our coastlines and how we can both exacerbate and manage coastal recession.
  • International Development: in this unit we will explore the importance and challenges of measuring the development of a country with a particular focus on measurements of economic growth and the reasons behind the widening development gap within and between countries worldwide. We will look at poverty in the developing world and potential solutions to debt and evaluate ways to shrink the development gap.


Key Stage 4 (GCSE Years 9-11)

For geography GCSE at Sancton Wood we follow the Cambridge International Examination Board’s IGCSE syllabus. We begin in Year 9 and our studies include extensive fieldwork skills and map skills as well as the study of various human and physical geographical themes (see below) culminating in three examinations at the end of Year 11.

IGCSE topic list:

Theme 1: Population and Settlement



Theme 2: The natural environment

Earthquakes and volcanoes




Climate and natural vegetation

Theme 3: Economic Development


Food Production





Environmental risks of economic development

Image: taken from; “Understanding Cultural and Human Geography”