Name of Department: Geography
Head of Department: Mrs C Irwin

Staff List
Mr H J McKinney
Mrs K Sheppard
Mr G Fry
Mr R McMaster

Mrs E Reynolds


Geography is one of the largest departments in the School. All students in Year 8-10 study Geography, following a 3-year course that takes them through the basics of this varied subject. 

Following this introduction nearly half of our students continue the subject to GCSE, and a significant proportion of students study Geography at AS and A Level.

We study CCEA Geography at GCSE and A Level as this local exam board makes best use of our students' knowledge and helps to develop their knowledge and understanding of local as well as global issues. 

Aims of the Department

The study of Geography aims to develop an awareness of societies and environments around the world and to recognise the challenges that we face. It should build a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile knowledge of the World around us and to help students to learn to make informed decisions about their role in it. It also aims to teach students to be critical thinkers with enquiring minds and to become effective and independent learners.

The Geography department also aims to develop in each boy:

●      an interest in people, places and processes

●      a sense of enquiry

●      the ability to work effectively with others

●      a desire and ability to work to the maximum of his potential 

The Geography department makes use of ICT to enhance learning across the age range. There is a great emphasis on the use of thinking skills, and decision-making plays a part in learning in the Geography classrooms.

Geography can also provide excellent training for a variety of careers, for example

Urban Planning, Environmental Management, Teaching, Surveying, Architecture, Research, Journalism, Cartography, GIS applications, IT, Business, Weather forecasting, Hydrography. The study of Geography also promotes the development of many transferrable skills across the global job market.

Key Stage 3

In Years 8-10 we follow the revised Geography core syllabus as laid out by the Department of Education for Northern Ireland. This includes a study of the following:

Map skills, Tectonic Activity, Weather and Climate, Ecosystems, Rivers and Flooding, Development, Population and Migration, Settlement, Globalisation and Economic Activities

Key Stage 4

All GCSE students study the CCEA Geography GCSE . In Year 11 the Human Geography element is taught and externally examined with topics on Population, Development, Urban Areas and Managing the Environment. In Year 12 the Physical Geography element is taught and externally examined with topics on Rivers, Coasts, Weather and Tectonic Activity. There is also a fieldwork element which is taught across the 2 years and examined in Year 12. 



In Year 13 pupils can opt to study Geography at advanced level.

All A-Level students study the CCEA Geography course. The Physical and Human elements of the course are taught throughout the year by different teachers. The Physical section also encompasses the Fieldwork and Skills component. All 3 units are externally examined at the end of Year 13. Topics include Population, Settlement, Development, Ecosystems, Weather and Rivers.

If students choose to continue to study Geography at A2 level, they then specialise in 4 areas. For Physical Geography they study Tectonics and Coasts. For Human Geography the study Tourism and Sustainable Settlements. Similar to AS there is a skills component which is in the form of a Decision Making Exercise. Again this is prepared for through the Physical Geography course.