2020 - Another impressive set of GCSE results


Click here for more details


Head of Department: Miss V Lee

Intent: The intent of the Holy Family Geography department is to develop student’s awareness of the world around them and inspire pupils to make a difference. We want our students to appreciate their natural environment and to take some responsibility for our geographical futures. As a department we seek to equip our pupils with the necessary skills and tools to prepare them for life after Holy Family.

KS3: KS3 is a continuous course which, builds upon the foundations of KS2. We aim to develop students skills learned at KS2 and widen their knowledge of geography at varying scale. By the end of KS3 we want pupils to be confident young people that have a detailed understanding of the world, how it has been formed, and current issues and developments. At KS3 students enjoy a wide range of topics, such as; extreme weather, populations, coastal erosion and world ecosystems. The KS3 curriculum is developed to allow progression and create detailed knowledge and understanding that prepares students adequately for GCSE. Topics are a mixture of geographical themes and places and aim to meet all the expectations of the KS3 national curriculum.

KS3 Geography Curriculum

Year 7 

Topic: My Liverpool Home

I am learning:

  • My position in the world.
  • About my local area.
  • How to use a variety of geographical skills.


By the end of the topic I will:

  • be able to clearly DESCRIBE Liverpool’s location.
  • be able to CREATE a climate graph.
  • be able to CONFIDENTLY use grid references, OS maps, latitude/longitude, contours.

Topic: World Development

I am learning:

  • how the world has developed over the last 300 years.
  • who in the world has been winners and loser (HICs/ LICs)
  • how globalisation has changed the world in the last 50 years.


By the end of the topic I will:

  • be able to MAP global development and the winners and losers.
  • be able EXPLAIN the contrasts between HICs and LICs.
  • be able to EVALUATE how globalisation has impacted the world.

Topic: Africa

I am learning:

  • To identify the physical and human features of Africa.
  • The weather and climate of Africa
  • About the desert environment
  •  About the Sahel region
  • How Lagos has developed as the fastest growing city.
  • How developed is Africa


By the end of the topic I will:

  • be able to CREATE and ANALYSE a variety of maps on both human and physical geography of Africa.
  • be able to EXPLAIN the desert environment and how animals and plants have adapted to the conditions.
  • be able to UNDERSTAND life in the Sahel.
  • be able to EXPLAIN the reasons why Lagos has developed and EVALUATE the issues present in the city.
  • be able to ASSESS Africa’s level of development.

Topic: Brilliant Britain

I am learning:

  • How Britain was formed.
  • How the physical landscape of Britain has developed.
  • How Britain has been shaped by glaciation, rivers and the sea.
  • Why our weather is so changeable.
  • How our cities grew.
  • How Britain became rich.
  • How jobs have changed in Britain


By the end of the topic I will:

  • be able to EXPLAIN the tectonic processes that have formed Britain.
  • be able to EXPLAIN the processes of erosion which shape Britain’s landscape.
  • be able to DESCRIBE how glaciers, rivers and the sea have and are changing Britain.
  • be able to EXPLAIN how the industrial revolution and the empire have led to increased development and urbanisation in Britain.
  • be able to ANALYSE how jobs have changed in Britain.

Topic: Russia

I am learning:

  • The geography of Russia.
  • How Russia have developed its resources.
  • How the population cope with the harsh living conditions.
  • How Russia’s geography can be a blessing or a hindrance.


By the end of the topic I will:

  • be able to DESCRIBE and ANALYSE Russia’s geography.
  • be able to LOCATE physical and human features of Russia.
  • be able to EVALUATE how people live.
  • be able to ASSESS how Russia’s geography is affecting their ability to develop or not.

Year 8

Topic: Fantastic Places

I am learning:

  • How different landforms have been created.
  • How processes of erosion work.
  • How fantastic global places are shaped by physical and human processes.


By the end of the topic I will:

  • be able to DESCRIBE erosion processes.
  • be able to demonstrate a wider knowledge of global places.
  • be able to EXPLAIN the reasons behind the formation of landforms and landscapes.

Topic: Risky Places

I am learning:

  • What the geological timescale is.
  • How the process of plate tectonics works.
  • How super volcanoes form and the impact they can have on the Earth.
  • How tsunamis are caused and the impacts they can have.


By the end of the topic I will:

  • be able DESCRIBE the geological timescale and link global events to time periods in Earth’s history.
  • be able to EXPLAIN the process of plate tectonics.
  • be able to ASSESS the causes and consequences of super volcanoes.
  • be able to EVALUATE the impact of a tsunami.

Topic: Are we running out?

I am learning:

  • About global resource issues such as supply and demand.
  • How the UK is adapting to hanging demands for food.
  • How the UK is going to supply its people with water.
  • How energy demand will change in the future and how do we meet these demands.


By the end of the topic I will:

  • be able to ANALYSE global resource availability.
  • be able to SUGGEST how Britain is aiming to meet the changing demand for food.
  • be able to EVALUATE water transfer schemes.
  • be able to SUGGEST how the world and Britain could met future energy demand.
  • be able to ASSESS the advantages/disadvantages of fracking.

Topic: Crime and Conflict

I am learning:

  • About global to local crime.
  • How climate change has created conflict including the illegal destruction of the rainforest.
  • How conflict in the Middle East has arisen.
  • How geographical issues has led to crimes such as human trafficking, pirates in Africa.
  • How migration into cities increases crime in slum areas.
  • How increasing lifestyle changes has led to more cyber-crime in Britain and how to use GIS to map this.


By the end of the topic I will:

  • be able to show a diverse range of knowledge on global and local conflicts.
  • be able to SUGGEST the causes and consequences of climate change and how this has led to conflict and protests.
  • be able to EVALUATE the causes of conflict in the Middle East.
  • be able to independently investigate issues with piracy in Africa.
  • be able to EXPLAIN the issues causes by mass rural to urban migration.
  • be able to use GIS to map crime.

Topic: Asia

I am learning:

  • The physical and human geography of Asia.
  • About the region, SE Asia.
  • How the biomes in Asia have their own distinctive characteristics, investigating the Indonesian rainforest.
  • How rapid population issues in both India and China have created issues within these countries.
  • How foreign investment has changed the face of Asia.


By the end of the topic I will:

  • be able to map and IDENTIFY the physical and human geography of Asia using a variety of maps at different scales.
  • be able to DESCRIBE the contrasting biomes of Asia.
  • be able to EXPLAIN the characteristics of Asian biomes.be able to ASSESS issues arising from the destruction of the Indonesian rainforest.
  • be able to investigate the impacts causes by rapid population growth and EVALUATE population policies. be able to ASSESS the positive and negative aspects of foreign investment from TNCs.

Assessment across KS3 includes one at the end of each themed topics.  Each year 3 assessments are in the form of timed assessments comprising of a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended answer which are designed to allow access to the assessment for all ability ranges.  In Y7 one assessment is a geographical investigation designed to improve fieldwork and data analysis skills as specified in the national curriculum.  In Y8 one assessment is a decision making assessment that gives pupils a chance to develop clearly constructed arguments about a local issue.

There is a strong local context throughout our curriculum including;

  1. Skills topic at the start of Y7 focussing on the local area and NW.
  2. Coastlines in Y7 topic 3 which looks at erosion in Southport and Crosby and the risks of coastal flooding.
  3. Fracking in Y8 which looks at Formby and the Alt Car site.
  4. Study of Manchester and Liverpool and the changes (redevelopment) that has taken place.


Pupils at KS3 are given a variety of tasks to enable all students to engage with at home learning.  Some topics have differentiated menus where each pupil is able to challenge themselves and pick homework from a wide range of choices and challenge levels.  Each activity is directly linked to a lesson, further enhancing their learning.  Some topics have a project based homework such as World Ecosystems, where each week pupils must use what they have learnt in the lesson to directly apply to another world biome of their choice.  Challenge tasks are set each week beyond the normal homework.  Finally, some topics require weekly homework to support learning such as exam-style practise questions using structure strips in preparation for assessments.

KS4: Geography is an exciting and diverse subject to study at GCSE, not least because it lends itself to a wide variety of careers including, environmental professions, city planning, renewable energy, economics, flood protection and prevention, travel and tourism.  At GCSE pupils follow the AQA specification, a course that is relevant and engaging.  The AQA course allows pupils to study topics that have proven to be interesting and topical to them such as world natural hazards and more local issues such as re-development and changes within Liverpool and the local area.

The AQA course that we have chosen, helps put students on the path to becoming geography specialists by giving them skills and knowledge relevant to the modern age.  The qualification covers a mixture of both physical and human geography as well as current issues and enquiry.  Topics covered are:

  • The challenge of natural hazards
  • Ecosystems, Tropical rainforests and cold environments
  • UK landscapes: rivers and coasts
  • Urban issues and challenges
  • The changing economic world
  • The challenge of resources: energy
  • Geographical application: fieldwork and issues evaluation

The optional topics chosen at GCSE for our pupils are coasts and energy for the following reasons;

  1. The school is located in a coastal location (Sefton) so the topic is directly relevant to our students.
  2. Assess for all pupils to local fieldwork.
  3. Our local area and the north-west has been the subject of two fracking applications, there are local energy issues.
  4. There are ample opportunities very close to our school to develop fieldwork skills.

Finally choosing AQA means that pupils have the opportunity to complete and issues evaluation exam.  This exam focuses on pupil’s ability to make decisions and develop coherent arguments to support their points (something pupils at Holy Family are good at).  This specification also has fieldwork as an integral part of the course.  Students will complete a minimum of two days of fieldwork in contrasting local locations.  This opportunity gives students a chance to develop their local geography, and their ability to collect, analyse and manipulate numerical data.


The table below shows how the course is assessed:       

   Which part of the GCSE?      What does this involve?      When?      What percentage of the course?  
Paper 1 All questions in this exam will relate to physical geography. You will be asked a mixture of data   response questions and using case studies


Year 11

Paper 2 All questions in this exam will relate to human geography. You will be asked a   mixture of data response questions and using case studies.


Year 11




Two pieces of fieldwork completed in Y10 and Y11.   You will be questioned on your fieldwork. You will also be given a current issue to investigate and learn about e.g. building 400 new homes on the island of   Anglesey. You will be asked to evaluate the pros and cons of any development or issue.


Year 10



Geography club each Monday Years 7-9

Local fieldwork in and around the school Years 7/8

Zoo school as part of Year 8 World Ecosystems topic.

Fieldwork for Year 9- Salford Quays/Media centre

Fieldwork for Year 10 to Liverpool

Fieldwork for Year 11 to Ainsdale, Crosby

Useful Links

The following websites are useful to all pupils studying geography. You can either have a general look through them or use them when you have been set a specific piece of work by your teacher.

www.geography.org.uk/ This is the UK's geographical association website. It contains lots of good articles,   information and advice on choosing geography as a GCSE and A level subject and it tells you how geography can help you in future careers.
www.rgs.org/ This is the home of the royal geographical society. Again they have information on geography as an option choice. They have maps and up to date geography in the news information.
www.geographyalltheway.com This is a useful website as it has some general geography information and then it is broken down into a section for each year group with different topics for each group.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ This website has fact files on every country in the world. It includes maps, flag and facts about the social, economic and environmental factors of each country.
www.geography.learnontheinternet.co.uk/ This website is broken down into KS3 and GCSE sections and it has interactive sections and a   gallery of images.
www.gatm.org.uk This website has short movie clips on various geography topics. These could be helpful for your homework or for revision.
www.bbc.co.uk/weather/ Useful for information when studying weather and climate.
www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/ This is useful for both pupils at KS3 and GCSE when they are studying for assessments and exams.  Just go the homepage and search for the relevant topics.
https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/learn-about/met-office-for-schools/resources-for-11-14 Another useful website for weather and climate information. This includes lots of case studies that we cover in class.


Lots of good information on trade and aid and real-life stories.
http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/mapzone/ This site has lots of work on improving your map skills and interactive games
www.zoopla.co.uk/ This site can be used to find data on particular areas and places.
http://geography-site.co.uk/pages/links.html This site has lots of links to different topics.
http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/world.htm This is a good site for general facts and atlas work.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/ A good selection of short videos on a variety of topics.



Search School Website only

What's Coming Up
All non-essential school activities have been cancelled until further notice




For more information please see

Holy Family School Calendar



Our Address

Mr M Symes,

Holy Family Catholic High School

 Virgins Lane.


L23 4UL

Contact Us

sample0151 924 6451

   School Contact Mrs S Harris (Head’s PA):
         Tel: 0151 932 6106
         Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact Us

How to Find Us

Find Us on Google Maps

Link to Google