"Geography is the study of the earth's landscapes, peoples, places and environments. It is, quite simply, about the world in which we live."


The four strong geography team at Vandyke are all passionate geographers with their own areas of specialism. As a team, we aim to create a lifelong interest in geography and to inspire all pupils to investigate the world around them, to stimulate a sense of awe and wonder about places and to help them make sense of the rapidly changing world around them.

We aspire to engage all students through excellent teaching and interesting topics of study. Geographers at Vandyke will become more confident independent learners through fieldwork and will have confidence to actively question the world around them. 



Geography builds on a range of skills, developing students' abilities to use distinctive hands-on tools to open their eyes to the beauty and wonder of the world around them. These transferable skills help to equip students with lifelong learning as responsible global citizens.

Geography Year 9

As part of the year 9 curriculum, geography is taught as part of humanities, with students having a variety of history, geography and project based lessons.

Topic 1 – Geographical disasters

This topic is designed to enable students to develop their knowledge of place and of physical aspects of the world. They will study global through to localised hazards such as: climate change, super volcanos, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and avalanches. Within this topic they will also fine tune their atlas and map skills readying themselves for the GCSE skills later in their geographical careers.
This unit will build upon baseline knowledge of hazards which pupils study in middle school and hopefully spark their interest in the world around them

Topic 2 – Rising superpowers

Students will learn what makes a country a superpower, looking at the past, present and future. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of a range of countries and will have the opportunity to develop their own opinions and presentation skills.

Topic 3 – Amazing places

This unit covers both physical and human geography.  We will consider some of the amazing physical landscapes of the world such as coral reefs, Polar Regions as well as deserts and rainforests. While also considering some of the amazing man made world features such as megacities.

Topic 4 - Geographical skills enquiry

Students will investigate an area of geography (TBC) practicing geographical enquiry skills, using field equipment and starting to write enquiry reports.


Topic 5 – Violence of the world

One of the most interesting modern topics covered in geography is how climate change, rise in wealth and populations has created world conflicts. This unit will investigate the rise in refugee camps, the continual rise in water conflicts and other resource conflicts, such as oil and deforestation, branching out into acts of terrorism and cultural clashes.

This unit is perfect for geographers and historians regardless of their GCSE choice for September.


Geography at GCSE is an extremely popular subject option, with well over 200 students currently studying in years 10 and 11, numbers which are growing year on year.  We encourage pupils to consider both geography and history as an option at GCSE as both have outstanding teaching and a track record of good results. 

Year 11

The current GCSE for year 11 students (2016-2017) is Edexcel B. All the specification past exam papers and revision resources can be found on Edexcel website. Pupils are encouraged to use the past papers on the website to enhance their understanding of how the exams work. Most pupils will study a variety of unit 1 and unit 2 topics in both years 10 and 11, concentrating on the controlled assessment in year 11.

Year 10

The new GCSE specification for year 10 is AQA. The specification and sample assessments can be found on the website. The new specification has a larger focus on geographical skills and pupils understanding of place. This requires pupils to be more familiar with maps and countries of the world; a geographical skill which has been declining with the rise of smart phones.
As this course develops we will publish guidance sheets and activities to help advance these skills.

Field trips  In 2014-2015 a 4 day residential fieldtrip to Sicily was organised to enhance pupils understanding of topics covered in both units 1 and 2 of the GCSE, with 4 days in Iceland in 2015-2016. This year we are running a 4 day trip to the new forest to gain a qualification in the John Muir award. 

Further to this we have run day trips to London, Birmingham, oxford and Milton Keynes to carry out urban enquiries.

A level

The current course of study is Edexcel in both the old and new specification. Pupils will again study a range of human and physical topics with specialist subject teachers. As of September 2016 we are running a 2 year A level in geography only.
The fieldwork units of the trip have been run as residential and one day trips over the years. The proposed trip for the new A level course (2016-2018) is to Snowdon in June 2017 with further day trips in the second year to allow for the individual coursework unit.



Parental Advice

Here are some ways you can support your child in their geographical studies at Vandyke:

- Aid your children in their knowledge of geographical place by learning the names of countries, capitals and places they have been or are going to and helping them to place them onto a map.

- Allow them access to a good national newspaper that covers world issues in depth - “The Guardian” and “The Independent”are both especially good in this respect, particularly when it comes to environmental matters. Whilst it is true that both papers have online versions, and “The Guardian” is in the library daily, subscribing to one or other of these at home would be an excellent support. The online versions are at: and

- It is also vital that your son or daughter has access to a good World Atlas that is detailed and as up to date as possible. Downloading ‘Google Earth’ and ‘Google Maps’ is also worthwhile.
The following two sites are the main associations in the UK for Geography - students can find up-to-date coverage of topical issues, join the associations, enter competitions and participate in all sorts of other activities: (The Geographical Association) (Royal Geographic Society)

TV programmes such as ‘Panorama’, ‘Cutting Edge’, ‘unreported world’ and ‘Horizon’ (and, of course, the news), often cover issues that are relevant to Geography on a number of levels.

Mapping (Global to local):