GCSE Geography

Exam Board: Cambridge Assessment International Education.

Syllabus Number: 0976

What will I be studying?

The syllabus aims are to encourage the development of a ‘sense of place’ and an understanding of relative location on a local, regional and global scale, with an awareness of the characteristics and distribution of a selection of contrasting physical and human environments. This is done by encouraging an understanding of some of the processes affecting the development of such environments, the spatial effects of the ways in which people interact with each other and with their environments, and the development of an understanding of different communities and cultures throughout the world, with an awareness of the contrasting opportunities and constraints presented by different environments.

Students are encouraged to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a wide range of processes, spatial patterns and interactions, and the importance of scale and changes through time, contributing to the development of physical, economic, social, political and cultural environments and their associated effects on the landscape.

The IGCSE specification places considerable emphasis on skills and analysis, particularly the analysis and interpretation of a wide range of geographical data, including use of maps, and to recognise patterns and deduce relationships through the techniques of observing, collecting, organising and presenting data.

The syllabus allows the opportunity for judgement and decision making in personalised and independent learning; students should be able to reason and make judgements (including evaluation and conclusions), gain aesthetic appreciation of the Earth, as well as an appreciation of the attitudes, values and beliefs of others in cultural, economic, environmental, political and social issues which have a geographical dimension, and develop a willingness to review their own attitudes in the light of new knowledge and experiences, through the processes of decision making within a geographical context.
The key text used for this specification is Cambridge IGCSE Geography Coursebook, Second Edition, Gary Cambers and Steve Sibley, Cambridge University Press (2015), ISBN978-1-107-45894-9.

Fieldwork is carried out in Lower Fifth involving a three-day residential field trip to a field studies centre. This will aid students in their completion of the coursework. The field studies centres have expert staff with a wealth of experience in geographical fieldwork. Field trips are not just about work however, they are very popular with the students as they also learn good team work skills and make good friendships within their peer group.

Topics covered in Lower Fifth

Theme 1 – Population & Settlement

Topic 1: Population & Migration – Population growth / Over & under population, Case Study 1: Nigeria, Case Study 2: Australia, Causes of a change in population size, Population change, Case Study 3: Niger Case Study 4: Russia, Migration, The impacts of migration, Case Study 5: Qatar, Population pyramids, Case Study 6: Italy, 
Population density, Case Study 7: Japan, Case Study 8: Namibia. 

Topic 2: Settlement – Settlement patterns, Settlement growth, site and function, settlement hierarchy, Case Study 9: Bristol area & Sardinia, Urban land use, Urban problems & solutions, Case Study 10: Bristol, Rapid urban growth, Impacts of urban growth, Case Study 11: Lima/Rio de Janeiro.

Theme 2 – The Natural Environment 

Topic 3: Tectonics – Features of Earthquakes and Volcanoes, Plate Tectonics, Causes and Effects of Earthquakes and Volcanoes, Hazards and Opportunities of Earthquakes and Volcanoes, Case Study 12: Haiti Earthquake, Case Study 13: Mount Sinabung, Indonesia.

Topic 4: Rivers – Drainage basins, The work of rivers, River landforms, River hazards & opportunities, Managing river flooding, Case Study 14: The Elbe River.

Topic 5: Coasts – The work of the sea, Coastal landforms, Mangrove swamps, Hazards & opportunities on the coast, Coastal erosion, Case Study 15: Mauritius.

Topic 6: Weather & Climate – Collecting weather data, Using weather & climate data, The equatorial climate, Tropical rainforests, Case Study 16: Ecuador Tropical Rainforest, Hot desert climates, desert ecosystems, Case Study 17: The Sahara & Mali.

Coursework – Residential field trip to Nettlecombe Field Studies Centre – Completed over two weeks and handed in for marking over the summer break.

Topics covered in Upper Fifth

Theme 3 – Economic Development 

Topic 7: Development – Indicators of development, classifying production, employment structure, globalisation, Case Study 18: a TNC.

Topic 8: Food Production – Agricultural systems, Case Study 19: Arable Farm, food shortages, Case Study 20: Darfur.

Topic 9: Industry – Industrial systems, Case Study 21: Pakistan steel complex.

Topic 10: Tourism – The growth of tourism, Benefits and disadvantages of tourism, sustainable tourism, Case Study 22: Dubai.

Topic 11: Energy – Energy use varies, Nuclear power or renewables, Case Study 23: Iceland

Topic 12: Water – Managing water, Case Study 24: Lesotho

Topic 13: Environmental Risks of Economic Development – Economic activities pose risks, Sustainable development, Case Study 25: Fracking in California.

*Please note that case studies may change 

How will I be assessed?

Paper 1 – Geographical Themes (1 hour 45 minutes 45%).

Paper 2 – Geographical Skills (1 hour 30 minutes 27.5%).

Coursework – Residential field trip to Leeson House Field Studies Centre – Completed over two weeks and handed in for marking over the summer break.