Geography at Sir Thomas Rich's

“Geography is not only up-to-date and relevant, it is one of the most exciting, adventurous and valuable subjects to study today. So many of the world's current problems boil down to geography, and need the geographers of the future to help us understand them.”
- Michael Palin

Geography is a key subject which acts as a bridge between the Sciences and the Humanities. Geography can, therefore, be combined appropriately with a wide range of other studies, from Physics and Mathematics to Languages, History and Business Studies. Students find that the study of Geography develops their ability to express themselves effectively in writing and in basic statistics, and to design, carry out and present a project or investigation. These skills are relevant to a wide range of careers and courses of study.
Geography remains a popular higher education option for Rich's students, many of whom go on to study the subject at Russell Group universities.


Key Stage 3 - Years 8 & 9

Teaching Arrangements: Year 7, 8 and 9: 4 periods a fortnight.
Homework Guidance: 30 minutes a week.
Assessment Arrangements: Each order period includes a major assessment. These include classroom tests and extended project work. There is a 90 minute examination at the end of Year 7.
Topics Covered:
Year 7
  • Connections and Crickley Hill fieldwork
  • Map skills
  • UK and Europe
  • Plate tectonics
  • Coasts
Year 8
  • Middle East
  • Superpowers - China
  • Superpowers - USA
  • Weather and climate
  • Hydrology and River Churn fieldwork
Year 9
  • Food supply
  • Development and Zambia case study
  • Global issues
  • Ecosystems - rainforests and polar

The foundations of GCSE Geography are laid in Key Stage 3. This includes development of the key skills listed below. In Year 9 we start teaching the GCSE specification to pupils. This allows GCSE topics to be explored in greater depth than would otherwise be possible, while still meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum.

Teaching Arrangements: Year 10, 5 periods a fortnight.
Year 11, 5 periods a fortnight.
Homework Guidance: Two 30 minute homeworks a week.
Assessment Arrangements: Three papers at the end of Year 11.
Exam Specification: OCR Geography GCSE Topics Covered:
Year 10 & 11
  • UK in the 21st century
  • Tectonic hazards
  • Urbanisation and urban challenges
  • Weather hazards
  • Changing climate
  • Distinctive landscapes - UK coasts
  • Fieldwork - Gloucester Docks and Lulworth Cove
  • Geographical Skills
  • Rivers
  • Decision making exercise

GCSE Geography includes two fieldwork days for students. The first is in the local area and explores the human geography of Gloucester Docks and Quays. The second is a physical geography field day exploring the formation of the landforms on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.

Entry Requirements: A GCSE Grade 6 in Geography is required to study this course.
Teaching Arrangements: Year 12 and 13, 10 periods a fortnight.
Homework Guidance: Minimum requirement 4 hours a week.
1 hour assignment per teacher plus additional reading each week.
Assessment Arrangements: Three papers at the end of Year 13 on three components.
Plus an Independent Investigation Non-Examined Assessment.
Exam Specification: Edexcel A Level Geography Topics Covered:
Year 12
  • Glaciated landscapes
  • Changing places
  • Global governance – migration and oceans
  • Global systems – water
Year 13
  • Global systems – carbon
  • 21st century challenges
  • Tectonic hazards
  • Energy challenges and dilemmas
  • Development in an African context

Associated reading lists for Key Stage 5 are available on SharePoint.

University courses this subject may be required for or lead onto:
  • Archaeology, Palaeoecology and Geography
  • African Studies
  • Climate Change
  • Countryside Management
  • Development and Globalisation
  • Development Studies
  • Earth Sciences
  • Ecology
  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Environmental Earth Science
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Environmental Hazards and Disaster Management
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • GEOGRAPHY
  • Geography, Politics and International Relations
  • Geography, Urban Environments and Climate Change
  • Geographic Information Science
  • Geology
  • Geoscience
  • Global Studies
  • Global Development and Sustainability
  • HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
  • Human Sciences
  • Human, Social and Political Science
  • Human Ecology
  • Human Geography and Tourism Development
  • Human Sciences
  • International Tourism Management
  • Marine Geography/Oceanography
  • Media, Culture and Identity
  • Outdoor leadership/education
  • PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
  • Planning
  • Population and Geography
  • Social Sciences
  • Surveying and Mapping Science
  • Rural Enterprise and Land Management
Careers that Geography may lead onto: Geography has possibly the most diverse future career options, from environmental protection, planning, to developing Geographical Information System (GIS) software. Geography is recognised for its academic ‘robustness’ and, most importantly, it also helps young people into the world of work. Careers and industry sectors that a Geography-based degree can lead to are:
  • Agriculture
  • Aviation
  • Cartography
  • Climatology
  • Community/Town Planning
  • Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Management
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Geomatics
  • Geomorphology
  • Geospatial Analysis
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Hydrography
  • International Aid
  • Land Management
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Logistics
  • Meteorology
  • Paleontology
  • Pollution Analysis
  • Remote Sensing
  • Science Copywriting
  • Soil Conservation
  • Surveying
  • Sustainability
  • Teaching
  • Tourism
  • Transport Planning
  • Water Conservation

"Whoever knew a Geography A Level course would lead me to Iceland, walking on a glacier was just one of the many amazing things we did. Getting so close to a glacier was very useful when I was learning the section of the A Level course on glaciation. This Department holds many opportunities that shouldn’t be missed. I think Geography is such a great subject; it is a very interesting course, and would appeal to many people." Former student
"I chose to study Geography at A Level because I enjoy learning about people and their societies, economies, cultures and the environment. Geography particularly appeals to me as it enables me to learn and develop a wide range of skills – I plan to study Geography at university because of how broad the subject is and the opportunities it can present in a future career with the wide range of transferable skills that are explored through studying the subject." Former student
"I chose to study Geography at an advanced level due to the diversity of the topics available. My preference is Physical Geography. However, I have particularly enjoyed studying the topic of global governance, including study of both the world’s oceans and migration. I also enjoy being able to learn the information specific to each part of the course; then access several additional documents, where I can read around a particular subject and thus improve my understanding." Former student

In addition to the many local and UK-based educational visits and fieldwork trips which support learning in the classroom, the Geography Department likes to offer students the opportunity to travel overseas, with trips tending to occur alternate years. Destinations visited in recent years include China, Iceland and Italy.