Faculty of Geography

Learning to be Extraordinary


Geography at CSIA provides students with an excellent experience.

At A level, we have consistently achieved 100% pass rate over the years, with the 2022 cohort achieving 93% A* – C pass rate, which is above the national average.

Our track record with GCSE is also positive. 63% of last year’s year 11 students achieved grades 4-9, with 23% of the students achieving grades 7-9.


“Geography is the subject that holds the key to our future” – Michael Palin

There has never been a more important time to study Geography. With growing interest in issues such as climate change, migration, environmental degradation, and social cohesion; Geography is one of the most relevant courses that you could choose to study. Geographers are all also highly employable due to their ability to think critically and the skills acquired through the discipline.

The Geography Department is a forward-thinking team consisting of seven highly dedicated and passionate teachers who are committed to enabling students to reach their potential. As a result, it is an increasingly popular subject choice at both GCSE and A level.


The Key Stage 3 Geography programme is compulsory for all Year 7 and Year 8 students and plays a vital part in the school curriculum.

At Key Stage 3, there is an emphasis on developing skills and providing the foundations of knowledge that can be built on in subsequent years. The topics studied include Our World, Development, Climate Change, Globalisation and Tectonics. Our Key Stage 3 Curriculum is currently undergoing an exciting redevelopment to include new topics such as Walking the Nile and Prisoners of Geography.

The wide range of topics allows students to develop a broad understanding of our world and also to find out what parts of the topic they are interested in ahead of taking their GCSEs.


The Geography department follows the AQA syllabus of learning and we use all three Key Stage 4 years to prepare them for their 3 examination papers at the end of Year 11. These papers comprise a Physical Geography paper, a Human Geography paper and an Issues and Evaluation paper which includes fieldwork questions.

The Physical Geography paper includes three topics: The Challenge of Natural Hazards; The Living World; Physical Landscapes in the UK.

The Human Geography Paper also includes three topics: Urban Issues and Challenges; The Changing Economic World; The Challenge of Resource Management.

The final exam paper is split between an issues evaluation, where the students will be issued a topic prior to the exam and will be examined on how well they understand and use evidence that is provided for them. In addition, there will be questions to assess their knowledge and understanding of the two fieldwork investigations that they have undertaken in the Spring Term of year 11.

Throughout all these units of study, Geography students will be taught a range of skills including map, cartographic, numerical and literacy skills to enable them access to the variety of questions that will be asked of them on their GCSE exam papers.

Although the key focus is preparing students for their GCSE examination throughout the Key Stage 4 years, the department is mindful of engaging the students in interesting and diverse topics of study that will help them to become better global citizens.


Similarly to GCSE, A Level Geography will cover both the Physical and Human environments and the complex interaction of processes that shape our world. It will also, importantly, show the applied side of the subject – how human intervention affects the environment and how people adapt and mitigate the effects of processes on their environment. This is complex and dynamic and varies from place to place depending on people’s resources, technology and culture.

In A level Geography, there is plenty of room for discussion and extended research which will help students become independent thinkers and learners. By the time students sit their exams, they will be able to show understanding of a range of opinions and be able to illustrate answers with case studies from local, national and international examples.


Students will learn in a wide variety of ways such as by using maps, GIS skills, data analysis, photos, and videos. Students will be encouraged to frame their own questions using higher level thinking skills and show their grasp of complex issues through report and essay writing.

Fieldwork will be an essential part of the students’ A Level course, which prepares them for their individual Geographical investigation which is worth 20% of their overall grade. For example at CSIA VI Form, we visit Cardinham woods to investigate infiltration rates, Praa Sands and Gwithian to compare and contrast the changes to our coastlines, and urban areas to investigate the changes and challenges that have affected these environments over time.

As Geography is multidisciplinary, it combines well with many subjects including History, Economics and Biology.

International Programme

The Geography department is hugely supportive of the International Programme at CSIA and encourages students to take part in the programme as much as possible. We believe that this experience of travel and immersing themselves in the culture of various countries allows them to become better global citizens and gives them an awareness of how the topics that they are taught within the classroom apply to real life.

The Geography department also run their own international trips that support the learning that takes place in Key Stage 4 and 5. The team have successfully run trips to both Italy and Iceland for a number of years, and these educational visits have allowed the students to gain a much higher understanding of the content that we teach. The Italy trip focuses on the areas around Naples and Sorrento and takes place in bi-annually in July; the Iceland trip focuses on tectonics, sustainable energy and glacial geography and takes place bi-annually in February.


As a degree subject, Geography is highly respected by employers.

Geography graduates have one of the highest rates of graduate employment, pursuing a wide range of career paths. Put simply, there is no such thing as a Geography job; rather there are multiple jobs that geographers do.

For example, students that study Geography can follow careers in sustainability and green issues, urban regeneration, green finance, sustainable energy supplies, town planning, and hazard management.

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