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GCSE GEOGRAPHY

Course Specification available here (Edexcel B, 1GBO)

“Our world is a unique, diverse, dynamic and beautiful place”.

Learning about the world and its people helps us become truly global citizens. GCSE Geography is an opportunity to learn and discover more about our amazing planet. The GCSE course not only looks at the interactions between the human and physical environment but also helps to develop a number of skills: enquiry, communication, ICT and analysis. 

There are three examination papers, all papers are 1 hour 30 minutes long. Content covered in the examinations includes:

  • Unit 1: Global Geographical Issues (37.5%)
    • Hazardous Earth: How does the world’s climate system function? How are extreme weather events increasingly hazardous for people? Why do the causes and impacts of tectonic activity and management of hazards vary with location?
    • Development dynamics: What is the scale of global inequality and how can it be reduced? How are the world’s emerging countries developing?
    • Challenges of an urbanising world: What are the causes and challenges of rapid urban change? Why does quality of life vary within a city or developing country?
  • Unit 2: UK Geographical Issues and Investigations (37.5%)
    • The UK’s evolving physical landscape - How has geology, geomorphic processes and human activity changed the UK’s landscape overtime? How is the coastal landscape of the UK shaped? What are the challenges for people living on the coast? How can they be managed sustainably? What are the processes that shape river landscapes? What are the challenges for river landscapes and the people who live there face? How can they be managed?
    • The UK’s evolving human landscape - Dynamic UK cities: How are cities in the UK changing? What are the challenges and opportunities created when cities change?
    • Fieldwork and research - will be examined in this Unit. Two fieldtrips will take place to investigate coastal change and conflict and dynamic urban areas
  • Unit 3: People and Environmental Issues – Making Geographical Decisions (25%)
    • In this unit, students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the processes and interactions between people and the environment in three different areas: people and the biosphere, forests under threat and consuming energy resources.

Steps to Success in GCSE Geography

  1. Learn the examples you study throughout the course.  You should try to prepare revision cards over the two year period.  Make sure you know why you are learning each example and how it relates to the syllabus.
  2. Learn and use geographical vocabulary in your written and spoken answers.  You should try to read around the subject to develop your general knowledge and understanding.  Ask your teacher for information on how to subscribe to GCSE Wideworld magazine.
  3. Practise examination questions throughout the course. Look at the mark schemes to check how to achieve full marks.
  4. Use Point Evidence Explanation Link (PEEL) to help you to structure your answers. Look for command words and key words in the question. Plan your answer before attempting it and only answer what the question asks.
  5. Remember that the number given in brackets after a question shows the maximum number of marks available.  This should help you allocate your timing and identify the number of points the examiner is looking for.
  6. Your two fieldwork days are compulsory.  They are worth ¼ of your final GCSE grade.  Make sure you follow the instructions and advice given to you by your teacher.
  7. Always consider how a geographical issue affects the economy, people and the environment.
  8. Highlighting key information, concept maps, post-it notes and quizzes are all different ways to memorise information. Think what kind of revision techniques work best for you.
  9. Try to include annotated diagrams to support your written answers.  Always read through written work and check for mistakes.  In your examination, marks are awarded for accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar.
  10. Use the online resources to access relevant background reading, practise examination papers and links to interesting web sites. Keep up-to-date with current items in the news and read newspapers when possible.

Useful websites:

https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/geography-b-2016.html

http://www.s-cool.co.uk/gcse/geography http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/ http://www.geography.learnontheinternet.co.uk/gcse/index.html http://www.georesources.co.uk/indexgcse.htm