Geography is the study of of the earth, and the role it plays in human society. Things like natural ecosystems, migration patterns, ethnic distribution patterns, and other human-environment interactions. Nothing could be more important in our ever globalising world than understanding the many links that connect us with the rest of the world!


That is the stand point we take in our highly successful GCSE course at George Spencer Academy. Consistently achieving above the national average we look to add breadth and depth to student understanding of the world around them in the new look GCSE course. Students will embark on a learning journey which will see them which will see them gain an appreciation of the physical and human geography of the UK. Topics such as landscape development; demographic issues such as an ageing population and sustainable cities of the future will be covered. In terms of the wider world student will gain an appreciation of the role of climate change, future energy provision and the impact on global ecosystems. In contrast to their study of Nottingham, students will also develop an understanding of the LIDC of Lithuania and its primate city, Vilnius



GCSE Exam Board - OCR Specification - 'A'


Past Papers

Click here to access past paper questions on topics your student will cover in their GCSE course. Select 'Past Papers' from the menu.


Recommended Revision Materials & Websites

Unfortunately there is no revision guide published for the 'new' GCSE course. However the revision guide here from CGP on the link below will cover the majority of topics on the course.


The following links can be used to help revise and complete activities to supplement the learning done in the classroom.


Units of Study

Geography GCSE is broken down as the following:

  • 100% Exam on the themes of UK, Wider World and Geographical Skills





 GCSE Geography students develop skills which allow them to not only play a role in solving these problems but also in becoming an asset to any business. The skills students develop during the GCSE course include:

  • Problem-solving & Logical thinking
  • Team work / interpersonal skills
  • Project work
  • Mapping
  • Data Analysis
  • Empathy
  • Understanding of scientific principles
  • Ability to adapt and transfer knowledge and skills to any situation


What could be more important than studying a subject that deals in contemporary issues, whether that is political unrest, sustainability of our energy supplies or dealing with natural disasters and the dynamic nature of our planet?



Famous Geographers!

    • Prince William
    • Michael Palin
    • Professor Ian Stewart
    • Mother Teresa



Students will undertake two compulsory day visits in Year 10 to the River Trent (at its source in Biddulph Moor) and in its middle course in the vicinity of Nottingham. In Year 11, students will be offered the chance to take part in one of two residential trips; a two-day visit to York and the Holderness coastline of NE Yorkshire or a four-day visit to Vilnius in Lithuania. This unique opportunity at George Spencer Academy affords our students the very best opportunities at accessing the highest grades possible during their exams.


(Time of Year: September/March | Approximate Cost: £50-£350)



Year 9 Geography is a vital year for students to hone their skills and develop further knowledge as the scale of study is widened to cover 'world issues'. By the end of the year students will have a heightened awareness of political issues which affect our decisions, such as crime nationally and internationally, as well as deal with current issues in Africa, such as HIV/aids and the debt crisis. All of this comes as we prepare students for our broad GCSE programme where students will be expected to use the skills they have developed to analyse, critique and evaluate issues across the world.


Units of Study

Issues in Africa


Current Issues

Knowledge of place

What is crime?

Case studies of contemporary issues faced by different countries are focused on in preparation for GCSE. These include:


Mapping crime, with regards to scales; Local-Regional-National and international

Development & Debt Crisis

Political Issues faced in crime trails e.g. the Heroin trail




During their studies in year 8 students are expected to develop the following skills:

  • Chloropleth mapping
  • Awareness of culture
  • Empathy for world issues
  • Data handling / analysis
  • GIS
  • Fieldwork (Team work)



The Geography Department are proud to invite students to apply for a place on our residential 'overseas' fieldwork. The Italian Volcanic Odyssey; a six day adventure across Italy, Sicily and the Lipari Islands will fill you with excitement and awe at the world around you. You will climb some of the most active volcanos in Europe and heighten your awareness of other cultures.

(Time of Year: Easter | Approximate Cost £750)

 Mt Etna  Beach and boats



In year 8 the 'lens' of study is widened to incorporate Europe and the European Union. Students will gain knowledge and countries which are in Europe and how those differ from those in the EU. They will develop an understanding of a range of contemporary social, political and economic issues that affect many of us directly and indirectly. For example the UK's role in the EU and whether or not we should use the Euro. Within this year of study the students will uncover individual case studies on Volcanic Hazards across Italy, Sicily and the Lipari Islands. Current issues are regularly incorporated into schemes of learning which gives students a chance to voice their opinions and reflect on stories in the media.


Units of Study

Use the table below to give a 'flavour' of topics studied in year 8




Fantastic Places

Introduction to the Geography of Europe

The geography of Italy (mapping & knowledge of place)

Introduction to fantastic places around the world

EU & Europe

Volcanic Hazards of Italy

What makes somewhere fantastic

Current issues (who should be allowed to join)

Cultural Geography of Italy

Sustainability & the importance of conserving these places



During their studies in year 8 students are expected to develop the following skills:

  • Mapping – Countries in Europe
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Cultural awareness
  • Research skills
  • Political Debating skills
  • Cooperative work within a team or group



Students are invited to apply for a place on our year 8 residential fieldwork visit to Snowdonia, Wales. During the 3 night stay students will leave their comfort zones and climb the highest mountain in England & Wales (Mt Snowdon). An introduction to coastal geomorphology, urban studies and fieldwork techniques will be delivered during the trip.

(Time of Year: May | Approximate Cost: £150)


Snowdon lake  View half way up! 


Please note our trip in year 9 'Italian Volcanic Odyssey' is worth a look at for students inspired by their studies in year 8.