Geography GCSE

WJEC GCSE Geography adopts an enquiry approach to the study of geographical information, issues and ideas. The course enables learners to extend their knowledge of places, environments and processes. They will build on their locational knowledge of Wales, the UK, the continents and oceans as well as at least one low income country and one newly industrialised country. Students will learn to appreciate the differences and similarities between people, places and cultures, leading to an improved understanding of societies and economies.

The course is designed to enable students to think like a ‘geographer’ by posing geographical questions about the world around them. Fieldwork is an integral part of the course and will give students the opportunity to collect, record and critically analyse their findings.
Mathematical, cartographic, mapping and statistical skills are embedded in the qualification.

Course content

We follow the WJEC specification.

Unit 1 : Changing Physical and Human Landscapes

Core themes
1. Landscapes and Physical Processes
2. Rural-Urban links
Options
3. Tectonic Landscapes and Hazards
4. Coastal Hazards and Management

Unit 2: Environment and Development Issues

Core themes
5. Weather, Climate and Ecosystems
6. Development and Resource issues
Options
7. Social Development issues
8. Environmental challenges

Unit 3: Fieldwork Enquiry

Two enquiries in contrasting environments:

1. Fieldwork with a focus is on the methodology e.g. use of transects, changes over time, qualitative surveys, geographical flows
2. Fieldwork using a conceptual framework e.g. place, sphere of influence, cycles and flows, mitigating risk, sustainability, inequality

Assessment

Unit 1 : Changing Physical and Human Landscapes – Written Examination : 1 hour 30 minutes ( 40 % of qualification )

Section A : Core themes – Two structures questions assessing Core theme 1 and Core Theme 2

Section B: Options – One structures question ( from a choice of two ) assessing either Theme 3 or Theme 4. Assessment will be data response. Some questions will require extended writing.

Unit 2 : Environmental and Development Issues – Written Examination : 1 hour and 30 minutes ( 40% of qualification )

Section A : Core themes – Two structured questions, data response assessing Core Theme 5 and Core Theme 6

Section B : Options – One structured question ( from a choice of two ) assessing either Theme 7 or Theme 8. These themes provide additional depth of study for the content assessed in the core themes. Assessment will be data response. Some questions will require extended writing.

Unit 3 : Fieldwork Enquiry – Non-examination: 2 hours 30 minutes ( 20% of qualification )

Where does it lead?

The subject is very versatile, allowing students to develop skills that are relevant in a number of different careers or Higher Education courses. Studying Geography allows students to develop effective communication skills and to become a reflective thinker with an enquiring mind.

Many ‘A level ‘ students at St. Michael’s combine Geography with other Humanities subjects but it is equally popular with students studying Mathematics and Sciences.

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