Geography is the study of space and place, recognising the great differences in cultures, economies, landscapes and environments across the world, and exploring the links between them. The subject of Geography occupies a distinctive place in the world of learning for students at all key stages, highlighting the complex relationship between people, places and the environment.

Geography at Hermitage Academy is an immersive experience, exposing students to a wide range of fascinating topics ranging from the fragility of the earth’s landscape to the growing trends of urbanisation around the world. The Geography Department’s goal is to start students on a journey of discovery of the world around us, equipping them with a wide range of transferrable skills, alongside the academic qualifications they will gain.

Studying Geography at Hermitage Academy helps students to be more socially and environmentally sensitive, better informed, and more responsible as citizens and students. From the classroom, students will go on a voyage of discovery through continents, countries and cities, gaining a greater awareness of the captivating world around us.

Curriculum information






  • Introduction to Fantastic Places, Continents, countries of Europe, significant places in the UK and essential skills needed as a Geographer
  • Weather and Climate –understanding the weather around us, why does it rain?  Look at different impacts on out national weather right down to microclimates of the Hermitage Academy through a geographical investigation.
  • Population of the world and why people live in certain places to causes of growth.  While migration has both advantages and disadvantages – why do people move? With international and UK based case examples.
  • Urban Environments – their growth due to migration and the positive and negative impacts this can have, though looking to the future with sustainable (Brazil) cities
  • Ecosystems – what are they and the control of climates?  To focus on Tropical Rainforests (Brazil) due to their fragile nature and there future importance and sustainability
  • International Development – what is the richest country in the world? – how do we measure development? to focus on India as a country of contrast in development (Mumbai).


  • An introduction to geology and tectonics.  A look into how the dynamic earth is changing which results in cataclysmic events directly effecting people in some of the most densely populated places in the world (Japan)
  • Climate Change – the earth’s climate is changing – but why and what effect could this have on the worlds weather – how will the worlds extreme weather events be effect in the future and what can we to the adapt to live with these changes.
  • Rivers - explore the fluvial processes and features formed on our great rivers.  While they may be spectacular they can also be dangerous and need to be managed – even the river Wear in Chester le Street, so how can we protect ourselves and homes through different management strategies?
  • Economic Activity – How do countries become rich and develop though historical activities and geographical advantages.  Study the UK development events and those happening now with the emergence of China – but can this growth be sustainable?
  • Coasts - take a trip to the coast to see the physical processes that shape our distinctive coastline.  While understanding the threat of sea level rise from climate change what can be done to mitigate these effects for a more sustainable future – plan to defend The Holderness coastline but at what cost?
  • Resources - 9 billion by 2050. How will the world’s resources cope?  Will the lights go out – what are the alternative ways to generate electricity in the UK and why are they good for the planet (Climate Change).  Recycling the plastic issue – why something needs to be done.


  • An introduction to Wonderful Biomes around the world with a focus on the4 cold environments to contrast to the Tropical rainforests.  How are these landscapes shaped by natural processes and the role of humans in shaping their future?
  • Extreme Environments - investigate the extreme nature of the World.
  • Dangers of the Geological and tectonic world with a more in depth study of the structure of the earth and the dangers of earthquakes related to the impact of location and wealth on the effects and the capability of responses in Chile and Nepal.  Why do people still live in these dangerous environments and can human ingenuity make them safe places to be?
  • Dangers in the Atmosphere with a more focused look at tropical storms around the world, again with a focus on location and wealth to assess the impacts and responses to these events.  Could they happen in the UK as climate change worsens and what can be done to save lives in the future.
  • LIC/NEE Urban World – To explore the opportunities and Challenges which exist in one of the world’s fastest growing cites - Lagos.  Why do people migrate there? What are the issues of poverty and development and how could the city improve this through the introduction of sustainability?
  • HIC Urban World - explore the opportunities and challenges that Newcastle has faced both in the past and the present through deprivation to regeneration – is it a model for other cites to follow or can we learn from other cities such as Freiburg in becoming more sustainable.

Key Stage 4

  • The Challenge of Natural Hazards – understand how natural hazards pose a major threat to people and property.
  • The Living World – explore the biotic and abiotic features that make up our planet.
  • Physical Landscapes in the UK – review the diverse nature of the UK.
  • The Challenge of Urban environment - understand the challenges and opportunities in cities in an HIC and an LIC and how we can live in a sustainable way.
  • The Changing Economic World – learn about the global variations in economic development and quality of life.
  • Resource Management – understand the fundamental aspects of human life: food, water and energy.
  • Geographical Applications – hone your craft as a geographer with a review of the skills gained in geography and applying your knowledge to real-life events.

Key Stage 5

  • Earth Systems – a focus on how the earth operates as a dynamic system focusing on the Water cycle and Carbon Cycles.  How are they influenced through feedback loops and the role of human activity in creating positive feedback loops?  To think synoptically in how they are interrelated and how a small variation in one can have a significant impact elsewhere.
  • Coastal Systems – developing the idea of inputs and out puts of sediment through processes of erosion, transport, and deposition to shape a coastal landscape over time to produce distinctive features.  To assess the future role of climate change on our coasts and the particular need to defend certain areas more than others.
  • Hazards – to delve into the issue of tectonic hazards and atmospheric hazards and how we can model people’s response to these events by having a detailed understanding of their causes and effects.  By looking at specific case examples we can evaluate and critically analyse responses to offer long-term solutions as more people are affected by these events due to climate change and population growth.
  • Changing Places – Changing Places focuses upon people's engagement with places, their experience of them and the qualities they ascribe to them, all of which are of fundamental importance in their lives.  The students investigate the notion of changing places through two contrasting places, one which is local and a contrasting place which is likely to be distant but is used to emphasise how significant the contrast is in terms of economic development, population density and cultural background.
  • Population - This population unit of study explores the relationships between key aspects of physical geography and population numbers, population health and well-being, levels of economic development and the role and impact of the natural environment. Students engage with population across different scales which to identify relationships between the physical environment and human populations and the relationships between people in their local, national and international communities.
  • Global Systems and Governance – Global Systems and Governance focus upon the key human geography concept of globalisation – How the economic, political and social changes are associated with technological and other driving forces which have been a key feature of the global economy and society in recent decades. Due to increased interdependence and transformed global relationships between peoples, states and environments, students investigate how these relationships have been attempted to be managed on an international scale through global governance.


Geographers have allowed us to better understand the earth and why what many of us take for granted happens allowing us to continue to live our lives.
Year 11 student
I study geography as it will open up many doors for me in the future and help me in other areas such as sciences, languages and politics.
Year 11 student