Curriculum aims

Learning and undertaking activities in geography contribute to achievement of the curriculum aims for all young people to become: • successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve • confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives • responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.

The importance of geography

The study of geography stimulates an interest in and a sense of wonder about places. It helps young people make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world. It explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected. It builds on pupils’ own experiences to investigate places at all scales, from the personal to the global. Geographical enquiry encourages questioning, investigation and critical thinking about issues affecting the world and people’s lives, now and in the future. Fieldwork is an essential element of this. Pupils learn to think spatially and use maps, visual images and new technologies, including geographical information systems (GIS), to obtain, present and analyse information. Geography inspires pupils to become global citizens by exploring their own place in the world, their values and their responsibilities to other people, to the environment and to the sustainability of the planet


“Geography is the subject that holds the key to our future.” Michael Palin Geography as a subject continues to move forward. As the world becomes ‘smaller’ with the development of new technologies and the emergence of new superpowers such as India and China, the study of Geography has never been more relevant. At The Hawthorne’s Free School, we feel that the GCSE that we offer is relevant and exciting for 21st century learners in Liverpool! The GCSE course that we offer at The Hawthorne’s Free School is the OCR ‘A’ specification. The course is contemporary and offers a wide variety of assessment techniques for pupils. The course is split into four modules: UNIT 1: EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS Learners study two contrasting environments; desert environments and polar or mountain environments. This unit is assessed through a 1 hour written examination that is worth 25% towards the final GCSE grade. UNIT 2: YOU AS A GLOBAL CITIZEN Learners complete two pieces of work. First piece – investigate how consumer decisions may have an impact on people locally, or on a global scale. Second piece – investigate a local retail area and assess the extent to which this area is sustainable, and make suggestions to improve future sustainability. This work is moderated by teachers in school and is worth 25% towards the final GCSE grade. This work would be submitted during Year 11 UNIT 3: SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES Learners study a UK place that is special to them (‘your place’) and one non-UK city or region. We would complete a study of Liverpool for ‘our place’. Learners will be required to identify and explore the links between the two locations. This unit is assessed through a 1 hour written examination that is worth 25% towards the final GCSE grade. UNIT 4: ISSUE’S IN OUR FAST CHANGING WORLD Learners will deal with identifying issues, effects and possible future scenarios. Issues covered in this unit will be of global concern, and could include population change, our changing planet, trade, aid and superpowers. This unit is assessed either through a 1 hour written examination or computer-based test that is worth 25% towards the final GCSE grade. A pre-release booklet is used in conjunction to this examination. This information will be used in lessons in preparation to the examination. There are two tiers of assessment and candidates can be entered into either tier. The tiers are targeted at the following grades: TIER Grades Available Foundation (F)  G to C Higher (H) A* to E