Department Overview

The department is made up of four experienced geographers with expertise covering both physical and human aspects of the subject and a wealth of experience in running field study visits both home and abroad:

Mr McLoughlin

Mrs Mills

Mrs Egan

Mrs Walshe

Miss Gumbley

The department is located on the 2nd floor of Cartwright Building. We have three dedicated geography classrooms adjacent to each other and all are equipped with interactive whiteboards.

As a department we believe strongly that geography plays a unique and important role within the wide range of educational opportunities on offer at Alderbrook. Geography is a subject that pulls together strands from many other subjects and applies them to real life scenarios. As a subject it encourages flexible thinking and the transferable skills which it fosters are an asset in the complex world of employment today.


Key Stage 3

All pupils cover the National Curriculum requirements at Key Stage 3 through studying a range of both physical and human geography topics whilst developing a variety of geographical skills. Students study in mixed ability groups.

The units of work covered in Year 7 are:

Personal Geographies, Atlas Skills, Divided World, Hot Environments, OS map skills, Population, Kenya.

The units of work covered in Year 8 are:

Global warming, Earth Hazards, Cold Environments, Japan, Weather and Climate, Sustainability, Global Problems and Solutions.

Each unit includes a standardised assessment.

Field study opportunities currently include a trip to Conkers to study map skills and sustainability in Year 8.


Key Stage 4

Students follow the AQA Specification A GCSE geography course. This is structured into three units as follows:

Unit 1 – Physical Geography – 1.5 hour exam (37.5%)

Unit 2 – Human Geography – 1.5 hour exam (37.5%)

Unit 3 – Local Fieldwork Investigation – 20 hours in lessons (25%)

Human topics: Tourism, Population Change, Changing Urban Environments

Physical topics: The Coastal Zone, Restless Earth, Water on the Land

Controlled assessment of the Local Field work Investigation will be completed during the Summer Term of year 10 following a study visit to Dovedale in the Peak District National Park to look at the impact of tourism on the area.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Year 8 – Conkers day trip (all pupils) – OS map skills and sustainability issues

Year 9 + 10 – Iceland- 6 day study visit (optional) – volcanoes, rivers, glaciation, coasts

Year 10 – Dovedale, Peak District National Park – controlled assessment on impact of tourism

Year 11 – Birmingham city centre – regeneration of the inner city + CBD, sustainable cities

Year7-9 – G+T inter-school geography competition


Skills for Success and Career Opportunities

Geography allows you to develop a wide range of skills and knowledge and is highly regarded by employers and educational establishments. It is also an excellent choice at this stage of your education as it ties together elements of many other subjects (including science, maths, history and English) which will help keep your options open for any future educational or career choices.

Some of the careers that see a geography qualification as being an advantage are:


  • Urban planner
  • Environmental engineer
  • Hazard manager
  • Seismologist
  • Volcanologist
  • Conservation officer
  • National Park officer/ranger
  • Forestry manager
  • Pollution analyst
  • Architect
  • Environmental health
  • Estate agent
  • Local government officer
  • Cartographer
  • Census data analyst
  • Coastal engineer
  • Hydrologist
  • Weather forecaster
  • Flood protection manager
  • Travel agent

Other qualities and skills that can be gained from studying Geography can be: Analysing Facts, Data & Situations, Sensitivity to Global Concerns, Punctuality and Respecting Others.


Contact the Head of Department:

For further information; please contact Mr McLoughlin