Geography - Key Stage 4
OCR Specification B exam board
Key Geographical Themes: 1 hour 45 Minutes examination (50% of final mark)
Exam questions based on the following 4 GCSE topics:
- Rivers and Coasts: This unit studies the physical processes and landforms along rivers and coasts. A key focus is the interaction between people and the natural environment such as flooding and coastal management.
- Population and Settlement: This unit focuses on how and why global population is changing. A key theme throughout the unit is comparing rich and poor countries in terms of population and their strategies to cope. The second part of this unit focuses on where people live and the landuse patterns emerging from these rapidly changing cities. One important issue studied is the need for sustainable development and how this can be managed and planned.
- Natural Hazards: This unit starts with a focus on volcanoes and earthquakes, looking at the distribution causes and impacts. An important aspect of this unit is considering the responses to such natural disasters and how these differ between poor and rich countries. The second part of this unit focuses on natural climatic hazards such as tropical storms (hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons) and drought. One particular focus is on how rich countries cope with these disasters much better than poor countries.
- Economic Development: This unit focuses on how development of a country is affected by it’s wealth and reliance on international aid. Employment structures are also studied in an attempt to explain the disparity of wealth around the world. Students learn about the effect different economic activities have on the environment and people.
Sustainable Decision Making Exercise: 1 hour 30 minutes examination – 25% of final mark(Worth 25% of GCSE)
The examination requires students to investigate the issue of sustainable development in one of the four GCSE topics. For current Year 11 this will be based on the key themes unit “natural hazards” and for current Year 10 this will be based on the “economic development” unit. Students will consider alternative ways of resolving issues related to the theme, the values and attitudes of key stakeholders and ways of managing sustainable environments. Such examples examined in the past include ‘Why are some strategies for flood management more sustainable than others?’ and ‘Why is there a need to protect some of our coastline?’
GSCE Geography Controlled Conditions: Internally assessed (coursework worth 25% of final mark)
This unit consists of a Fieldwork Focus task on a key question. For current Year 11 this will be “How well do changes in Stafford affect its sustainability?” Students will collect primary data from the CBD and the out of town retail park to help them in their investigation. A key theme explored will include how the development of out of town shopping may lead to a decline in the Town Centre. Students will analyse their data and produce a 2000 word enquiry based on their findings.