The Geography Department, which also includes Travel and Tourism, is a strong team who are passionate about their subject and the skills and opportunities that the study of Geography can offer students. We have five full time subject specialists in the Department - Mr Elgar, Mrs Norton, Mrs Bellingham, Miss Ullah, Miss Bentley as well as Mr Butterwick who teaches both Geography and History.

Geography offers students a fantastic range of learning opportunities both within and outside the classroom, with fieldtrips forming an important part of the subject ethos.  We systematically develop oracy and reading skills as well as developing a deep subject knowledge at Key Stage 3 that allows students to access both GCSE and A Level.

Our vision statement is at George Salter, we want students to understand human, physical and environmental factors that take place on a local, national and global scale. We want to develop our pupils understanding of the world around them through awe and wonder. Students will question the diverse world they live in and its social, economic and environmental impacts on place and space. They will develop the skills to interpret, evaluate and analyse data presented through maps, graphs and statistics and have the chance to present their findings to their peers.

Students in Geography will study a breadth of context at KS3 that works cohesively within the context of the curriculum. Geographers at George Salter Academy will be able to effectively make links with their learning across different subjects and realise the importance of Geography in a wider context. Students will have the opportunity to problem-solve a range of issues that affect the natural and human environment which will inspire their curiosity and fascination about the world. Geographers at GSA will leave the school with the skills required to be competitive in either higher education or employment.

Study Support

The department offers a wide range of opportunities in order for all students to engage actively, to have exciting experiences and fulfill their potential within the subject at all key stages. There are after school homework clubs, Saturday booster sessions as well as extra lessons during school holidays.


Mr B Elgar (Head of Department), email: [email protected]

"I always enjoyed Geography but as time went on I began to see how it all fitted together and how human, physical and environmental aspects of the subject were interlinked and affected each other."  Elizabeth White, Year 13

"I always found I enjoyed Geography lessons because they gave me a chance to show my interest in the wider world.  I began to realise I had a real talent for it.  I never thought I would be studying for A Level geography but here I am."  Panashe Mashingaidze, Year 12

Geography is compulsory for all students at Key Stage 3. KS3 students have 2 lessons of Geography a week, which shows its importance in a curriculum in which 17% of lessons are dedicated to Humanities subjects. During Key Stage 3 students develop a range of Geographical skills, as well as studying human and physical geography topics, and the interactions between them. Some students will also have the opportunity to undertake a geographical skills residential.

Year 7

During Year 7, students have the opportunity to develop a range of skills through a varied programme of study, including The British Isles, Population, Weather and Climate, Africa and some of the issues the continent faces, and the growth and changes of Birmingham.  This will involve a fieldwork enquiry

Year 8

Students in Year 8 will be able to develop their skills further through the study of topics including China, its growth and the issues it faces; hazards including earthquakes and volcanoes; globalisation and its impact on people and the world economy, and coasts.  This will include a fieldtrip opportunity to the Dorset Coast.

Year 9

In their Year 9 studies, students will focus on the following topics: Brazil and the issues it faces as it develops; London as an example of an urban area; Antarctica and glaciation all leading to a preparation GCSE unit on the Living World.

GCSE Geography students currently follow the AQA specification. We believe the course provides an excellent study experience of the subject and creates a strong foundation for progression to A Level AQA Geography at Key Stage 5. Topics of study include The Challenge of Natural Hazards, Urban Issues and Challenges, Physical Landscapes in the UK and The Changing Economic World. Students will also undertake a fieldwork study as part of the course which will be assessed through Geographical Applications accounting for 30% of the final GCSE grade.

Year 10

In Year 10 students will study the following topics: The Living World, which will focus largely on ecosystems including Tropical Rainforest and Hot Desert; Urban Issues and Challenges and Changing Economic World.

Year 11

In Year 11 students will study the final unit of work: Challenge of Resource Management, and will also prepare for the Pre Released Case Study assessed in a skills paper.

At KS5, the Geography department offers Geography at A Level and BTEC Travel & Tourism. Please see the Sixth Form section for more information.