‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes’ ~ Marcel Proust

Geography is the study of our world and all that resides in it, often seen as the ‘bridge’ between the sciences and humanities it is this label that gives geography its strengths.

Such a multidisciplinary subject allows students to apply a wide range of thinking to an equally broad range of topics. Whilst the distinctions of ‘physical’ and ‘human’ geography, or nature and society, still exist it is becoming ever clearer in our modern world that we need to understand how these two interrelated spheres can be approached and understood in a holistic manner. As a subject that seeks to understand how we manage, and live within, our world students are introduced to a wide range of skills, for example creating hypotheses and testing the reliability of data sets through to collating and presenting plans on how to deal with urban poverty. Such an expansive skill set not only makes geography increasingly relevant, but also increasingly employable, opening doors to a wide range of industries.

Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 | core subject

In Year 7 pupils are given an introduction to the wider themes of geography and the foundational skills they will use for the remainder of their geographical education. The year begins with an introduction to maps and mapping, starting with the traditional OS maps and grid references before progressing toward more modern Geographic Information Systems. This foundational knowledge is then used in broader place studies which examine both physical and human geography of our own country before moving on to a study of the continent of Africa.

In years 8 and 9 wider conceptual studies are completed amongst place studies in order to develop the conceptual and empirical understanding required for success in geography. Pupils will be introduced to concepts such as climate change and weather systems and international development, before completing wider place studies on regions such as China and Russia. In year 9 the pupils are introduced to elements of the GCSE specification and are expected to display elements of the skills required, such as extended writing.

Year 10 and 11 | IGCSE | option subject

For IGCSE although Geography is an option subject, all pupils are strongly encouraged to continue their study of one humanities subject, either Geography or History.

The Geography IGCSE course develops pupils’ understanding within three key themes: natural environments, human environments and globalisation. Pupils develop a knowledge and understanding of key geographical concepts and an appreciation of the relevance of these concepts to our changing world. Pupils also gain an understanding of their responsibilities as global citizens and the ways in which they can contribute to a future that is both sustainable and inclusive. All pupils will apply their learning to the real world through fieldwork and other out-of-classroom learning opportunities that will include day and residential trips to field study centres in the UK as required by the course.

– There are no specific academic requirements.

– Edexcel IGCSE 4GE1 Geography

Sixth Form, A-Level | option subject

The School follows the AQA specification at A-Level, which is comprised of physical and human geography components, spanning the study of topics such as water / carbon cycles and global systems and governance. In addition to these components, students must complete an individual investigation project. In preparation for this ‘non-exam assessment’, students are required to complete four days of field work. This field trip takes place in the Lower Sixth and, depending on numbers, can be a residential trip or a series of day trips.

– Grade 7 at (I)GCSE Geography.

– AQA A-Level 7037 Geography

John Lyon Success

– 25% of A-Level students achieved A*-B grades.
– 50% of IGCSE pupils gained a 9 or 8 grade.
– Amar Malhotra (OL2018) left John Lyon to read Geography at the University of Exeter.

Outside the Classroom

John Lyon’s extensive list of extra-curricular activities includes many options for pupils who enjoy Geography, including Geography Podcast, Geography Review, GIS Disaster Mapping and Wildlife Club.

Beyond School

The ‘life skills’ developed studying Geography are applicable to nearly all other academic subjects, whether a pupil decides to move more towards the arts or sciences. The subject’s required multi-discipline approach is enhanced by a range of out-of-classroom learning opportunities, making Geography an attractive subject which is highly rated by universities and future employers.

Geography is a rigorous and well-respected subject at university level, flexible enough to be tailored to specific interests, yet broad enough to foster a wide range of skills needed for being successful as an undergraduate.

Employers value the comprehensive computer, research and analytical skills that Geography degree students bring to work as employees. The breadth of Geography lends itself to an equally wide range of careers, including public service such as the armed forces or healthcare, through to private sector areas such as law and corporate social responsibility.