“Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future” Michael Palin

The Geography department at Sawston Village College is comprised of teachers who are genuinely excited about their subject and encourage pupils to learn in a dynamic and innovative way. We aim to raise awareness of links between people and their environment on a local and international scale. We also aim to equip pupils with the skills to be a responsible global citizen.

We have been awarded the Secondary Geography Quality Mark by the Geographical Association for the high quality of teaching and learning that takes place in the Geography Department.

In Year 7 pupils study:

Pupils get to choose the units that they would like to be taught in the Spring term.

  • Autumn Term 1: Map Skills
  • Autumn Term 2: Fantastic Places
  • Spring Term: Risky World - Crime OR Spoiling our Space
  • Summer Term: Infiltration - Rivers and Flooding. This unit involves a fieldwork element at SVC

In Year 8 pupils study:

Pupils get to choose the units that they would like to be taught in the Autumn term.

  • Autumn Term 1: Risky World - Tectonics OR Settlement
  • Autumn Term 2: Dark Tourism
  • Spring Term: Fantastic Places - Exploring the Middle East, Asia and Russia
  • Summer Term: Microclimates - Weather and Climate. This unit involved a fieldwork element at SVC

In Year 9 pupils study: 

  • Autumn Term: Uncertain Futures
  • Spring Term: Risky World - Geography of Conflict
  • Summer Term: AQA GCSE Coastal Landscapes in the UK

GCSE Geography

In Years 10 and 11 pupils study a mixture of Physical and Human geography following the AQA specification (8035).

Living with the Physical Environment:

  • The Challenge of Natural Hazards
  • The Living World
  • Physical Landscapes in the UK (Coasts and Glaciers)

Challenges in the Human Environment:

  • Urban Issues and Challenges
  • The Challenging Economic World
  • The Challenge of Resource Management

Geographical Applications:

  • Issue Evaluations
  • Fieldwork
  • Geographical Skills


Fieldwork is an essential part of Geography and all year groups experience an element of fieldwork.

  • Year 7 investigate the infiltration rates on different surfaces at Sawston Village College.
  • Year 8 investigate the microclimate of Sawston Village College.
  • Year 9 travel to Hunstanton to develop their geographical fieldwork skills.
  • GCSE pupils investigate an aspect of human and physical geography such as Tourism and Coastal Landscapes in preparation for their Geographical Applications examination.

In addition to the fieldtrips that link directly to the curriculum we offer our GCSE pupils the opportunity to travel to Iceland (2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019), allowing pupils to experience tectonics first hand by visiting features such as the Secret Lagoon and the area surrounding the Eyjafjallajokull volcano which erupted in 2010.  In 2014 we travelled to Morocco where pupils were able to journey through the High Atlas Mountains on the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass and went camel trekking across the Great Dunes of Erg Chebbi in the Sahara Desert. In 2017-18 we introduced new destinations to explore such as the Eden Project and an international trip to Italy.

To support and extend pupil understanding of the subject we also have a Geography Quiz Club. The department enters 2 teams in the Geographical Associations World Wise Quiz competing against other Cambridgeshire schools. Sawston Village College have won the winner’s trophy in 2011, 2012 and 2014 and were runners up in 2013, 2015 and 2017, where our teams placed 2nd and 3rd.

The Geography team has a wealth of experience and is always delighted to discuss the progress of pupils and the possibilities of extending the curriculum through local partnerships.


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