We have a very dynamic and innovative Geography Department at The Vale Academy. A part of the Humanities Faculty, geographers pride themselves in developing students’ skills, achievements and desires for knowledge and understanding of the world in which we live. Geography is an imperative subject for developing knowledge of topical and pressing issues that affect our day to day lives. Such issues include, climate change, flooding, urbanisation and tourism. By encouraging independent and group learning students quickly develop analytical and critical thinking skills useful across the curriculum, whilst making studying Geography an enjoyable, stimulating and relevant subject.

Meet the staff:

Mrs. L Millar - Humanities Curriculum Leader
Mr. A Collins - Vice Principal
Mr. G West - Assistant Principal
Mr. J Hastings - Geography Teacher
Mr. K Cooper - Geography Teacher
Mr. C Hoare - Geography Teacher

Facilities / Resources

Geography is one of three subjects taught within the Humanities Faculty. The faculty has five large classrooms, with interactive smart boards and dynamic up-to date displays to encourage students’ progress. The Geography Department also has a large range of fieldwork equipment to enable the students to enjoy outdoor learning and investigation.

Key Stage 3

In Year 7: you will study Geography twice a week (2 hour) and cover the following topics:

  1. What is Geography?
  2. The Geography of the local area. 
  3. Urban areas and settlements.
  4. Earthquakes and plate tectonics 
  5. Volcanoes and natural hazards.

Students will investigate what the Earth’s major religions believe about how the Earth was created alongside what they believe about caring for the Earth. The topic will also introduce students to a range of current world affairs such as climate change and deforestation.

In Year 8: students will continue studying geography twice a week (2 hours) developing knowledge acquired in Year 7 and covering the following topics:

  1. Geological time and glaciation
  2. Tourism
  3. Development
  4. Population
  5. Weather and climate
  6. Weather hazards

Students will investigate the beliefs, traditions and practices of Islam as one of the world’s major religions whilst considering the differences and similarities of the culture of Islamic countries compared to the UK.

Key Stage 4

From 2015, Year 9 through to Year 11, students will begin the GCSE syllabus following the AQA (1-9) Geography specification. Which can be found here-


Year 9 cover the following topics:

  • River processes and management

  • Coastal processes and management

  • Weather and Climate

Later, in the AQA course students will have the opportunity to attend compulsory and non-compulsory fieldwork in the local area and further afield. This will be to study a range of physical and human topics which include, coastal management, urban regeneration, tourism and river course.

In Year 11, students study the legacy WJEC Specification B and have geography for 2 hours per week. 

Year 10 cover the following topics:

  1. Challenges of the living environment – looking at:
    • Urbanisation

    • Planning

    • Rural Change

  2. Physical processes and relationships between people and the environment – looking at:

    • Weather & Climate

    • River processes and management

    • Coastal processes and management

  3. Controlled assessment

    • Sheffield to look at the quality of life in different areas.


Year 11 cover the following topics:

  1. Controlled Assessment. Students take part in a residential educational visit to collect data for an enquiry that will form the basis of controlled assessment, worth 25% of the final GCSE grade.
    • Hornsea: looking at the effectiveness of sea defences.

  2. Physical processes and relationships between people and the environment – looking at:

    • River processes and management

    • Coastal processes and management

  3. Uneven Development and sustainable environments – looking at:

    • Employment structure

    • Economic activity and the environment

    • Development and water

    • Interdependence

Key Stage 5 

KS5 Geography is currently taught as part of our Joint Sixth Form, for more details please visit


KS4 fieldwork will follow the AQA GCSE requirement. Compromising of two contrasting pieces of fieldwork in both Physical and Human Geography.

In September 2017 year 9/10 students will be visiting the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.

Enrichment / Extra-Curricular

A range of intervention and after school revision sessions are made available.

Links and Further Information There are many clips of geographical processes explained on YouTube.