Telephone: 01369 705010

Established in 1641


Departmental Vision Statement

‘Respect the planet and each other.’
‘Our vision is to develop sustainable attitudes by exploration of nature, faith and humanity, thereby providing hope for a shared future on a shared planet.’

BGE Course Information

In S1 and S2 Geography operates on a rota system with History and Geography. In S1 pupils will rotate only once around the three subjects. In S2 the pupils have two rotations, i.e. they will have two spells in each of the three subjects.


Map Skills, Atlas and Map Reading 
Weather & Climate and Climatic Regions    


Earth Forces – Geological Timescale; Structure of the Earth; Plate Tectonics; Volcanoes & Earthquakes.
Rich World/Poor World – Factors that affect levels of Development; comparisons between Developed countries and Developing countries.


Geography allows pupils to study the inter-relationship between the landscape and human activity. How do our mountains help us? Why are some countries better off than others? What will the impact of climate change be for the human population? The S3 Geography course assists pupils in answering these questions and helps them to acquire and develop a range of skills outlined below which will be useful to them for the future.
The course has 3 units:-
Unit 1 – Map-work and Geographical Techniques.  Mapping skills including the use of Ordnance Survey maps: 
  • Grid references (4/6 figure) ; identification and location of physical and human features measure distance using scale; interpret relief and contour patterns; use maps in association with photographs, field sketches, cross sections/transects. 
Unit 2 – Environmental Interactions: Pupils will study weather and climate in the UK and abroad including;
  • Measuring and recording weather and processing weather data; factors influencing UK weather and climate. Climatic zones and changing climatic conditions across the globe; The causes of particular weather patterns; biomes and “Destruction of the Rainforest” – project.
  • How these weather patterns might change or be influenced by global climate change. Case Study – Bangladesh
Unit 3 – Human Environments: 
  • Urban areas: Characteristics of land use zones in cities in the developed world;  Case Study – Glasgow, with particular reference to its transport infrastructure.
  • Trade & Aid: An investigation into who holds the power in global trade negotiations looking at: Where do our goods come from? ; What conditions are placed on goods being sold abroad?; Is trade always fair? Types of aid and their impact.

Senior Phase Information

National 4/5 – details 
Course Outline: The course has four mandatory units: 
1. Physical Environments:
  • Weather/Climate – U.K.: factors affecting climate; the characteristics of the five main air masses affecting UK; the weather associated with depressions and anticyclones. 
  • Landscape types – Study of two landscapes i.e. the formation of the following landscape features i.e. glaciated upland – corrie, pyramidal peak, arête, u-shaped valley: coastal landscapes – cliffs, caves and arches, stacks, headlands and bays, spits; land uses appropriate to the two landscape types

    e.g. farming, forestry, recreation/tourism, industry and for one landscape type the conflicts which arise between land uses and the solutions adopted to deal with these conflicts.

2. Human Environments: 
  • Population – For developed (EMD) and developing (ELD) countries: social and economic indicators; factors influencing global population distribution; factors affecting birth and death rates: 
  • Urban – Characteristics of land use zones in cities in the EMD world; recent developments in the CBD, inner city, rural/urban fringe in EMD  world cities; recent developments which deal with issues in shanty towns in ELD world cities:
  • Rural – Changes in the rural landscape in EMD countries, related to modern developments in farming e.g. diversification, impact of new technology, organic farming; changes in the rural landscape in ELD countries related to modern developments in farming such as: GM, impact of new technology, biofuels.   
3. Global Issues: 
  • Environmental Hazards – the main features and causes of earthquakes, volcanoes and tropical storms plus the impact of each hazard: management — methods of prediction and planning.
  • Health: the distribution of a range of world diseases; the causes, effects and strategies adopted to manage them:  a global disease e.g. AIDS: one disease prevalent in a developed country e.g.  heart disease: one disease prevalent in a developing country e.g. malaria.
4. Added Value Unit: Geography: 
Project (National 4) – Pupils will choose an issue for personal study drawn from physical environments, human environments or global issues contexts. They will research their issue and communicate their findings. 
Project (National 5) – Pupils will draw on and extend the skills they have learned from across other units. This will consist of a project assignment which is worth 25% of the final grade and the other 75% will be assessed in an SQA exam at the end of the year.


Higher Geography is a varied course yet also allows pupils to study topics in greater depth as well as introducing pupils to new aspects of the subject. The main topics covered in the course are outlined below
Pupils study four units 
1. Physical Environments
  • Atmosphere (global heat budget, atmospheric circulation, ocean currents, ITCZ)
  • Hydrosphere (hydrological cycle, drainage basins, flood hydrographs)
  • Lithosphere (glaciated and coastal landscapes, land use conflicts)
  • Biosphere (formation of soils – brown earths, podzols and Tundra gleys)
2. Human Environments
  • Population (data collection, demographic transition model, population pyramids, current issues,  migration)
  • Rural (impact & management of rural land degradation related to a semi-arid or rain forest area.
  • Urban (management of recent urban change in a developed & developing world city – strategies used & their impact)
3. Global Issues – there are five different topics of which two* will be studied… 
  • Development and Health* (development indicators, differences in development between developing countries, Malaria – causes, effects, solutions, primary health care)
  • Global Climate Changes* (causes, effects management strategies)
  • River Basin Management
  • Trade, Aid and Geopolitics
  • Energy
4. Application of Geographic Skills This Section will be made up of limited/extended response questions requiring the learner to apply the geographic skills acquired during the Course. The skills assessed in the question paper will include mapping skills and the use of numerical and graphical information. 
Interpreting, presenting and analysing numerical and graphical information which may be:
  • statistical 
  • graphical 
  • tabular 
Pupils will also be required to complete an assignment as part of the Added Value Unit. The assignment will be research based & will involve the investigation of a geographical topic or issue of your choice.


Course Outline: The course has two mandatory units: 
1. Geographical Skills:
Students will study a range of Geographical Skills both field and classroom based to help them gather skills in
– Map Interpretation
– Gathering & Processing Techniques
– Geographical Data Handling
As part of this unit pupils will complete the Geographical Study – a detailed research project utilising the skills gathered as part of this unit to gather & process data and report the findings. 
Pupils will also study statistics as part of this unit. 
2. Geographical Issues:  
Pupils conduct independent research into a current, complex geographical issue of their choice, developing their skills in geographical methods and techniques and critically evaluating the issue from a geographical perspective using a wide range of sources and viewpoints.
For both units pupils will be expected to conduct independent research/fieldwork as well as engage in thorough background reading on their chosen topics. 

Important Deadlines 

S4Nat 5Jan/Feb Prelim
S5/6 HigherJan/Feb Prelim
S4/5/6Nat5 / HigherMarchCompleted Assignments
S4/5Nat5Sep/OctPhysical Assessment
S5/6HigherNov/DecPhysical Assessment
S4/5Nat 5FebHuman Assessment
S4/5HigherFebHuman Assessment
S4/5Nat 5March Global Issues Assessment
S5/6HigherMarch Global Issues Assessment

Important Links

Geography Nat 5 and Higher Understanding Standards

Mr D Darkins (Principal Teacher)

Mr J Dyer


Departmental Vision Statement ‘Respect the planet and each other.’‘Our vision is to develop sustainable attitudes by exploration of nature, faith and humanity, thereby providing hope

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