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KS4 and GCSE Geography

KS4 Intent

Why do we teach this?


The Edexcel B specification content is framed by geographical enquiry questions that encourage an investigative approach to each of the key ideas. As part of this enquiry process, students are encouraged to use integrated geographical skills, including appropriate mathematics and statistics, in order to explore geographical questions and issues. Students are encouraged to make geographical decisions by applying their knowledge, understanding and skills to real-life 21st-century people and environment issues.


Fieldwork environments are aligned with the core content of the course so that the experience of fieldwork can reinforce and enlighten learning in the classroom, and learning in the classroom can underpin learning in the field. The specification content develops students’ knowledge and understanding of place, process and interaction by first introducing them to UK issues and then global ones, including two fieldwork investigations. Building on this, via a decision-making exercise, students will investigate a contemporary local, national or regional people and environment issues within a global setting, drawing on their wider knowledge and understanding from across the course.


KS4 Implementation

What do we teach? What does this look like?


The Key Stage 4 curriculum is an extension of what students have learnt at Key Stage 3 and offers a seamless transition to GCSE. Students at Gartree High School receive three 50-minute lessons of Geography a week by a Geography specialist exploring human, physical and environmental themes over nine topics that utilise case study knowledge from Key Stage 3.


At Key Stage 4, students follow the Edexcel B specification for a GCSE qualification. It has a clear and coherent structure with a straightforward format made up of three components – Global Geographical Issues, UK Geographical Issues and People and Environment Issues – Making Geographical Decisions. The Edexcel B specification was deliberately chosen as it fits well with the existing Key Stage 3 curriculum, meaning that students would be well prepared for the rigours of GCSE. Furthermore, the case studies selected by the exam board in their official resources on Mumbai (for a nominated megacity in an emerging or developing country) and India (for a nominated emerging country) are well suited to the large Indian student demographic in the school who have prior knowledge of the places being studied.

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KS4 Impact

What will this look like?

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  • There are three externally examined papers that provide gradual progression in demand throughout the topics. Across all three assessments there is consistent use of 12 different command words so that students know what to expect.

  • Majority of students are expected to meet their Gartree Indicator Grade set by the school for the subject.


Geography 2023 GCSE results

  • 84% attained Grade 4+ (19% above national average)

  • 70% attained Grade 5+ (18% above national average)

  • 33% attained Grade 7+ (9% above national average)

  • Average progress score was 0.92.

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