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The aim of the Geography Department is to stimulate the pupils’ enjoyment of and interest in the natural and human environment and to enable them to empathise with, and play a responsible role in, society. Our department is innovative and progressive, embracing new styles of teaching to further enhance pupils’ learning.

Geography Overview: 

Opportunities exist for field investigations in the local area at all key stages including a river study at GCSE and a sand dune study at AS level. Pupils in L6 and U6 may also attend some lectures at QUB to enhance case study knowledge when such occasions occur. Study trips abroad occur every 2-3 years. The first Coleraine Grammar Geography trip to Iceland took place from 8th to 11th October 2015 and subsequent trips occurred in 2017 to Iceland and 2019 to Italy. 

Careers in Geography 

“Many employers prize the knowledge and skills that studying geography can provide” (Michael Palin). Geography related careers include; 

  • Teaching 
  • GIS 
  • Meteorology 
  • Environmental Management 
  • Urban Planning
  • Conservation
  • Diplomatic Service 
  • Disasters Management including aid agencies. 

There are, however, many skills which are acquired through the study of Geography which can be applied to a wide variety of careers in society. 

Geography Staff

  • Mrs J. Currie B.Sc. P.G.C.E. (Curriculum Leader)
  • Dr G. Hull B.Sc. Ph.D. P.G.C.E.
  • Ms P. Murphy B.A. P.G.C.E.
  • Mrs R. Smith M.Ed. M.A. P.G.C.E.

At Key Stage 3 pupils study the following topics; 

Year 8: Map skills, the UK, Rivers and Africa. 

Year 9: Weather, Global warming, Population, Coasts and GIS (Geographical Information Systems). 

Year 10: Tectonics, Soils, Living off the Earth’s Resources, International Development and Earning a Living. 

Pupils will all join their class Google Classroom which will be a source of information throughout their course including revision lists for assessment.                  

Throughout Key Stage 3 pupils will be encouraged to develop ICT skills and will be involved in group activities to develop valuable skills. Geography is taught by specialist teachers who are knowledgeable with subject content. 

We follow the CCEA GCSE course, which is composed of both Physical and Human elements of Geography. 

Unit 1 is entitled “Understanding Our Natural World” and the topics studied will be; 

  • A.River Environments; 
  • B.Coastal Environments; 
  • C.Our Changing Weather and Climate; and 
  • D.The Restless Earth. 

Unit 2 concerns “Living in Our World” and the topics studied will include; 

  • A.Population and Migration; 
  • B.Changing Urban Areas; 
  • C.Contrasts in World Development; and 
  • D.Managing our Environment. 

Unit 3 (Fieldwork) will involve bringing fieldwork data collected from a field study, such as a river study, into an examination where you will be asked questions about your results. Unlike previous years, there will be NO project to complete. 

The skills developed in Geography will be useful in most types of employment, ie research, planning, decision-making, collection of data, self-management, teamwork and analytical skills. 

Geographers, however, have been known to go into the following subject specific areas of work: 

Travel and tourism, Local Councils (Planning or Environmental issues), Chartered Surveyor, Ministry of Agriculture, Meteorological Offices (eg in the BBC) and Teaching. It is not necessary, however, to follow a geographical related career to study Geography as many careers value the skills acquired through the study of this subject.

This is a CCEA course which builds upon skills developed at GCSE. At AS level there will be both physical and human components of Geography studied. 

In AS 1 you will study human interaction in fluvial environments, plant succession, human impact on ecosystems, weather and climate, including global weather issues like El Niño and hurricanes. 

In AS 2 you will study aspects of natural population change including the need for fertility policies; planning in rural areas and the challenges posed in urban areas both in MEDCs and LEDCs as well as appreciating how emerging markets have been changing LEDCs more recently. 

AS 3 will give you the opportunity to participate in primary data collection relevant to a chosen geographical issue or question. There will be no fieldwork report, but you will utilise the data collected from fieldwork in a written examination. We have investigated changes in a sand dune ecosystem as part of our investigations in the past couple of years. In AS3 you will also use your skills acquired through the study of Geography in part of your examination paper. This may include graphing skills, mapping skill, statistical skills and analysis of data presented in the paper. 

Studying Geography to A2 level is very different to the units you have been learning to date. It is a very relevant subject addressing current local and global issues and trying to make sense of the world you live in. You will study 2 out of the 4 options available from A2 1 and A2 2. 

 A2 1 

Plate Tectonics- Theory and Outcomes- trying to understand how and why such events occur and discussing the extent to which they can be predicted. 

Dynamic Coastal Environments- how these have been created over time and how the impact of climate change is threatening islands in the world. 

A2 2 

Planning for Sustainable Settlements- what strategies are planners using to create settlements which are sustainable in terms of social, economic and environmental concerns. 

Tourism- how tourism has developed globally over time, the economic, social and environmental impacts of mass tourism, and the drive towards more sustainable and eco-friendly policies. 

A2 3

In A2 3 you will have the opportunity to review real life developments in a decision-making exercise. This is an unseen paper, and you will adopt a role and write a report regarding whether a planning issue should proceed or not. Valuable skills are adopted in this work. You will learn how to extract relevant information, manipulate it appropriately and write a detailed report based on evidence. This is an important skill which is valued by many universities and employers.