Our life is shaped by our local and global environment. Geography studies the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. It is related to economic progress. Geographical factors influence agriculture, industry, trade and commerce. Thus, geography influences the economic, social and cultural life of a nation.
Pupils will have a broader understanding for physical and human processes that impact the resources and landscapes of our planet. They will examine principles, models and theories relating to geographical phenomena. Each year group has fieldwork experience in a range of places. Pupils debate options, draw on their imaginations, make conclusions and generalise. We hope to develop a love for Norfolk and the UK, as well as global case studies. Pupils develop a more cosmopolitan and internationalist outlook. Pupils will develop scientific attitudes and the ability to draw valid conclusions from independent thinking.
Geography is a combination of art and science. Its scope and study are broad and comprehensive.


Year 9 Geography:
Michaelmas Term – Development Studies

A comparison of quality of life and ways to measure development between LICs and HICs. An examination of cores and peripheries within one country. A study of slum housing in LICs, linking to appropriate technology or other forms of aid, bottom-up and top-down development. The issues of free trade and fair trade. Gender matters in development and links to SDGs set by the UN in 2015.

Lent Term – The Geography of hazards, disasters, crime and drugs

Disaster preparedness for landslides or avalanches. What is a nation state? Issues with political boundaries. A study of one man-made environmental disaster: The Aral Sea disaster or an oil spill of recent times or the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Why is wildlife so threatened? How can national parks, NGOs and governments manage wildlife? The geography of crime in cities and rural locations of the UK. The geography of the global drug trade. The impacts of heroin or cocaine drug trade.

Summer Term – Settlement studies

Site, situation, function and patterns of settlements. Settlement hierarchy. Urban land use models. Megacities and world cities. Cambridge case study and field trip. Regeneration of inner cities in the UK. Sustainable cities of the future.

GCSE Geography:

We follow the AQA GCSE Geography syllabus. There is no coursework, but instead an exam based on 2 days of fieldwork data collection and analysis in classes afterwards.

Year 10 topics: Tectonic and weather hazards. Climate change. Tropical rainforests and hot deserts or polar environments. Coastal and river landscapes in the UK.

Year 11 topics: Urban issues and challenges. The changing economic world. Food or water or energy resource management.

A level Geography:

We follow the Cambridge International A level. There is no coursework.

Year 12 topics: Population, Migration, Settlement, Hydrology and fluvial geomorphology, Atmosphere and weather, Plate tectonics, Rocks and weathering, Slope processes.

Year 13 topics: Environmental Management, Economic Transition, Hazardous environments, Coastal environments

IB Diploma Geography:

New syllabus (September 2017)

Year 12: Paper 2 Core (SL+HL): Changing population, Global climate – vulnerability and resilience, Global resource consumption and security. Paper 1 Option 1 (SL+HL): Freshwater – Drainage basins. Paper 1 Option 2 (SL+HL): Oceans and coastal margins or Extreme environments. Internal Assessment (SL+HL): River Glaven or Norwich quality of life study.

Year 13: Paper 1 Option 2 (SL+HL): Oceans and coastal margins or Extreme environments. Paper 3 (HL only): Power, places and networks. Human development and diversity. Global risks and resilience. Paper 1 Option 3 (HL only): The Geography of food and health.

Field trips:

Year 9 field trip to Cambridge:

Why is the Cambridge science park so successful? What is the “Cambridge Phenomenon”? Is Cambridge “over-heating”? How is Cambridge managing its traffic problems? Does Cambridge fit any particular urban land-use model? Why is there gentrification in the Cambridge railway area?

GCSE fieldwork:

All students have to attend a physical and a human day of fieldwork. There is no coursework in the reformed AQA GCSE we have chosen. The fieldwork section of the Paper 3 exam is partly based on the data collected on these two fieldwork days. The human fieldwork day is in villages and towns of north Norfolk. The physical fieldwork day is examining the River Glaven.

IB Diploma – Internal Assessment fieldwork:

Students have a choice of a physical or human investigation. Either the restoration and physical changes along the River Glaven, or the quality of life changes along a transect across Norwich.

Geography is an excellent subject choice for Extended Essays. Past titles have included urban heat island analysis of Hong Kong and Lausanne, residential quality of life in Moscow and nomadic pastoral impacts in Oman.

A level fieldwork:

In Year 12 students can attend a 2 day field trip to London. This will investigate demographic and socio-economic patterns in the capital and the impacts of various regeneration projects. The focus is on the docklands region and recent changes to Kings Cross.

A level and IB Geography fieldwork:

Lower 6 – Optional trip to Scotland or Morocco during the Easter holiday.
Lower 6 – A half day trip to examine river restoration and changes along the River Glaven, as well as coastal management at Cley.
Upper 6 – A half day trip along the north Norfolk coastline to investigate management and physical processes.

Co-curricular activities:

Each year we have two teams entered in the Worldwise Quiz competition run by the Norwich branch of the Geographical Association for Schools from Suffolk and Norfolk. Students are selected from Years 9 to 11 to take part. There are several elective slots for training and selection of teams. We have won this competition in the past 3 years.

Iceland Geography trip: We run a trip abroad every 3 years during the October half term, open to years 9 to 13. The tour includes: Secret Lagoon, Gullfoss, Geyser Geothermal Area, Thingvellir National Park, Kerið Crater, Lava Centre, Sólheimajökull Glacier, Reynishverfi Beach, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant, Hveragerdi and Reykjavik.

Geography staff

Simon Brown
Simon graduated from Durham University in 1994 and in 1995 did his Geography PGCE at Cambridge University. He has taught Geography at Colchester Royal Grammar School (1995-97), Kenton College in Nairobi (1997-99) and Eltham College in London (1999-2005). He was Head of Humanities at Suzhou Singapore International School in China (2005-2009), Head of Geography at International School Brunei (2009-2014) and since 2014 has been Head of Geography at Gresham’s. Simon is an examiner for IB Geography and has been an A level examiner. Simon’s other interests at Gresham’s include Ultimate Frisbee and Garden Club.

Sophie King
Sophie graduated from Loughborough University in 2008 with a BSc in Geography having specialising in Human Geography. After a year working at Headington School for Girls in Oxfordshire as a graduate assistant Sophie knew teaching was for her and returned to university to complete a PGCE in secondary Geography at the University of Nottingham; during which time she had an article published in the GA publication ‘Teaching Geography’. Sophie joined the department in 2010 as a teacher of geography having completed her NQT year at a school in North Nottinghamshire.

Sophie Mullan
Sophie grew up in Thyolo Malawi on a tea estate, moving to England permanently at the age of 18. She then studied Environmental Geography and International Development at the UEA. Sophie has climbed to Everest Base Camp and spent three months in Zambia researching the role of tourism within the South Luangwa region. Following this, Sophie completed her PGCE at the University of Cambridge, moving on to study the barriers to Secondary Education in Southern Malawi for her M.Ed.

Dominic Atkinson
Dominic joined Gresham’s in 2009 as Head of Geography. Since then he has run the DoE Award, is Housemaster of Farfield and Master in Charge of Cricket. Dominic’s interests in Geography include developmental and urban geography. Dominic is a Chartered Geographer and has written for various companies on a range of topics.