Ysgol Stanwell School

Archer Road, Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, CF64 2XL


Head of Department
Mrs H Jarman
Mr M Baldwin
Mr J John
Mrs J Laity
Mrs R Selman
Mr R Sheldon
Mr A Tait

All pupils in Stanwell School study Geography at Key Stage 3 and have the option to continue with their geographical studies in Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. Geography is taught in 5 dedicated classrooms as well as having access to the schools Resource Centre, ICT Suites and the local outdoor environment. Stanwell pupils are given the opportunity to develop their geographical techniques, knowledge and understanding while taking part in local, national and international fieldwork.

The Department’s achievements are successful across all age groups providing a range of teaching and learning strategies that are taught by 6 full time staff that are fully trained in all aspects of geography.

Geographical Association LogoThe Geography Department at Stanwell School is a member of the Geographical Association and has taken part in a number of Worldwide Quiz Events.

Geography and ICT

ICT is of paramount importance to the Geography department. We have regular access to our own set of Geography laptops, where pupils are able to access geographical websites which include GIS, Google maps, interactive games and geographically linked websites such as Volcano World.

Digimap For SchoolsPupils are encouraged to use a range of websites when researching for their courses. Many of the relevant sites are indicated in their personal Unit Booklets e.g. Digimap For Schools.

Interactive Whiteboards can be found in all geography teaching rooms allowing pupils the chance to learn by interaction. The whiteboards also give a visual element to the subject “A picture paints a thousand words”.

Pupils can also access Geographical resources during homework club on a Wednesday and Thursday night where they have the opportunity to use the IT rooms and Geography laptops to complete their individual investigations, research case studies or practice their maps skills via the internet or in the geography area on public.

For up to date information follow the department on Twitter: @GEOG2XL.

Key Stage 3

In Geography we enable pupils to develop their geographical skills, knowledge and understanding through learning about places, environments and issues at a range of scales in selected locations within Wales, the EU and the wider world. Pupils are given the opportunities to study:

  • Local issues in urban and rural environments
  • The processes and landforms of rivers
  • People and the planet, including population patterns change and movement
  • People as consumers – the chocolate industry
  • The rich and poor world – Fair Trade and globalisation
  • The hazardous world – volcanoes and earthquakes
  • Threatened environments – Tropical Rainforests
  • Tomorrows Citizens – climate change
  • Issues in the wider world – living sustainably
  • Geography in the news and topical events
  • Fieldwork to observe and investigate real people and places

Programme of Study

Year 7 Year 8
Wales and Urban Issues Geography of Chocolate
Rivers and Water Aid Plate Tectonics
Tourism and National Parks TRF
Weather and Climate Change Population
Geography in the News – Hurricanes

Key Stage 4


Pupils at Stanwell follow the WJEC specification course. The enquiry approach taken by WJEC GCSE Geography, both within and outside of the classroom, enables learners to develop the ability to think ‘like a geographer’. Pupils are given the opportunities to:

  • think creatively, for example, by posing questions that relate to geographical processes and concepts that include questioning about spatial pattern and geographical change
  • think scientifically by collecting and recording appropriate evidence from a range of sources, including fieldwork, before critically assessing the validity of this evidence and synthesising their findings to reach evidenced conclusions that relate to the initial aim of their enquiry
  • think independently by applying geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and approaches appropriately and creatively to real world contexts. In so doing they should appreciate that geography can be ‘messy’ i.e. that real geography does not always match typical or predicted outcomes.

The course has 2 exams (taken summer of Year 11) and two opportunities to complete fieldwork:

Unit 1 (40%) assesses Physical and Human Landscapes, using structured data response questions and an extended written question on either Coasts or tectonic zones and their management.

Unit 2 (40%) assesses Environmental and Development Issues, again it uses structured data response questions to look at the core themes and has an extended written response on Environmental Challenges.

Unit 3 (20%) is the fieldwork enquiry, this uses the results of two pieces of fieldwork completed by the pupils at the end of Year 10 and their fieldwork notebooks to answer, as a report, questions set by the examination board under examination conditions.

Key Stage 5

The department offers Geography at both AS and A level, following the WJEC specification, which encourages learners to apply geographical knowledge, theory and skills to the world around them. In turn this will enable learners to develop a critical understanding of the world’s people, places and environments in the 21st Century. Learners should be able to develop both knowledge and understanding of contemporary geographical concepts together with transferable skills. The focus of the specification is to develop an enthusiasm for and competence in geography by using contemporary real-world contexts, from a range of specified spatial scales, and through engagement with and practical application of geographical skills and techniques in the field. This specification draws on both physical and human geography, explores people-environment interactions and encourages development of fieldwork at the local level to enable learners to pose enquiry questions.

The AS qualification comprises Units 1 and 2.

Unit 1: Changing Landscapes – Written examination: (24%)

Section A: Changing Landscapes – Choice between two themes, either Coastal or Glaciated Landscapes; two compulsory structured questions with data response.

Section B: Tectonic Hazards – Three compulsory structured questions with data response

AS Unit 2: Changing Places Written examination: (16%)

Section A: Changing Places – Two compulsory structured questions with data response.

Section B: Fieldwork Investigation in Physical and Human Geography. Three compulsory structured questions with data response on fieldwork and the learner’s own fieldwork investigation.

The A Level qualification comprises Units 1 through to 5.

Unit 3: Global Systems and Global Governance – Written examination: (24%)

Section A: Global Systems, Water and Carbon Cycles – Two compulsory structured questions with data response and one extended response question.

Section B: Global Governance, Change and Challenges, Processes and patterns of global migration and global governance of the Earth’s oceans – Two compulsory structured questions with data response and one extended response question.

Section C: 21st Century Challenges – One compulsory extended response question drawing on Units 1, 2 and 3 with resource material.

Unit 4: Contemporary Themes in Geography Written examination: (16%)

Section A: Tectonic Hazards – One compulsory extended response question.

Section B: Contemporary Themes in Geography – Two optional themes from four, with two essay questions, one on each chosen theme:

  • Ecosystems
  • Economic Growth and Challenge: India or China or Development in an African Context
  • Energy Challenges and Dilemmas
  • Weather and Climate

Unit 5: Independent Investigation Non-exam assessment: 3000 – 4000 words (20%).

One written independent investigation, based on the collection of both primary data and secondary information.

Geography Events: 2021 – 2022

  1. Year 12 Human Geography Fieldwork Cardiff March 2nd 2022
  2. July: Year 10 GCSE Unit 3 NEA fieldwork
  3. July: Year 12 A2 Unit 5 Individual fieldwork investigations
  4. Year 10 and 11 Iceland 21st-25th Oct 2022

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