Why study Geography?

At Barnhill, students learn powerful knowledge about the planet and its people; gaining critical insight into the key geographical issues of our time. This is achieved through a rich and diverse curriculum, which is designed with concepts of Place, Space, Scale and Interconnectedness at its fore, as well as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – transformative for our pupils’ generation and the future of Geography as a discipline. Students begin their study close to their own lived experiences, exploring key concepts/skills with familiar backdrops including their local area as well as similar urban landscapes. As students gain greater fluency with human and physical geography discretely, they come to study farther regions such as The Middle East and Africa, where they examine how various strands of geography interact and influence one another. Within such areas of study, students are encouraged to challenge the simplistic binaries that are often tied to these spaces. Geography staff are subject experts and are committed to designing and delivering contemporary material driven by key disciplinary knowledge. Our students will leave Barnhill able to navigate the world as critical-minded and solution-focussed young people who are actively engaged in universal discourse, as well as key debates of our time. 

The Geography Programme of Study

YEAR 7: A Geographer’s Toolkit 

  • What is Geography? 
  • Why are populations changing? 
  • How does water shape land? 
  • Can we ever live safely with natural hazards? 
  • Is renewable energy the solution? 

YEAR 8: Regional Studies 

  • Can we ever use tropical rainforests sustainably? 
  • What should happen to Antarctica in the future? 
  • Does Africa have a single story? 
  • Is the geography of Russia a blessing or a curse? 
  • Is the Middle Easr the blueprint for success? 

YEAR 9: Global Issues 

  • Can we ever close the development gap? 
  • Does wealth always mean health? 
  • Who will be the next global superpower? 
  • How does development affect tectonic hazards? 
  • How can we manage climate change? 

Year 10: AQA GCSE Geography 

  • What issues are created by urban growth and what are the solutions? 
  • What issues are created by urban decline and what are the solutions? 
  • How can flooding be managed effectively? 
  • How can coastal erosion be managed effectively? 
  • To what extent has longshore drift been stopped in Brighton? 
  • To what extent has regeneration in Stratford been successful? 

Year 11: AQA GCSE Geography 

  • How can we reduce the development gap? 
  • What has enabled Nigeria to develop so rapidly? 
  • What are the features of the UK’s post-industrial economy? 
  • How can we manage tropical rainforests sustainably? 
  • How can we reduce the risk of desertification? 

Year 12: Edexcel A-Level 

  • Who are the winners and losers of Globalisation? 
  • Why might rising nationalism be threatening Globalisation? 
  • What areas are in most need of regeneration? 
  • How might criteria for successful regeneration vary? 
  • How can we best mitigate risks from tectonic hazards? 
  • How do coastal erosion and sea level change alter the physical characteristics of coastlines and increase risks? 

Year 13: Edexcel A-Level 

  • How do the world’s superpowers control the global economy? 
  • Which superpowers are most threatened today and by whom? 
  • Why do migration policies change? 
  • How can migration influence identity and sovereignty? 
  • How does water insecurity occur and why is it becoming such a global issue for the 21st century? 
  • How are the carbon and water cycles linked to the global climate system?

Important textbooks, resources and websites we use at each Key Stage




Each paper has an individual subject reading list, which will be given to students. A copy of all books on reading list are available in the School and Sixth Form library.    

Homework in Geography

At Key Stage 3, homework will include ‘four lessons in a nutshell’ where students create lesson summaries. 

At Key Stage 4, homework will include practice past paper questions alongside knowledge recall through Seneca Learning. 

At Key Stage 5, homework will inform the subsequent lesson. Students are expected to independently read ahead and note take according to their PLC (Personalised Learning Checklist), as well as complete more precise and detailed homework which will be reviewed during the next lesson. Students are then expected to consolidate their notes and acting on feedback provided by the teacher. 

Enrichment Opportunities in Geography

All students will be enriched primarily through the study of a diverse curriculum reflecting the multicultural community and society of the students. This will be enhanced through field trips to Kew Gardens, Brighton Beach, Stratford City Centre, Walton-on-the Naze coastline and the town of Ipswich. Here, students will experience geographical concepts, such as adaptations, regeneration and coastal management, come to life. Students will also get to explore their local area in a geographical concept, with visits to Southall and Yeading. 

In school, the History Department also runs a ‘Geographical Committee’ for different year groups, offering the chance for students to be involved in bringing about change in the school and beyond in the name of sustainability.