“Geography is a subject that holds the key to our future” – Michael Palin

Climate change, migration, environmental degradation, inequality, energy security and an increasing hazard management are just some of the challenges facing the next generation, which geographers must help address. At Eltham College, we follow the Edexcel IGCSE Geography course and we start the teaching the course in the Lent term to all students of Year 9. Clearly, those that do opt for the subject will continue the course into Year 10 and 11.

There are two exam papers assessed at the end of the course in June of Year 11. The Human Geography has a slightly larger paper weighting and covers rural environments, urban environments and development with human welfare. The Physical Geography paper covers both rivers and coastal environments. Both papers will be assessed through multiple-choice, short answer, data response and open ended questions which help develop many skills.

As part of the requirements for the successful completion of the course students are expected to conduct fieldwork in areas of both Physical and Human Geography. In previous years we have conducted this fieldwork at Chesil Beach and in the CBD of Dorchester, Dorset. This year we plan to move the fieldwork to the CBD of Hastings and the East Sussex coastline. Fieldwork is integral to the enquiry process which underpins the qualification – and there is no doubt that good and regular fieldwork motivates learners and enhances their understanding of geography. Fieldwork and enquiry skills will be developed including the designing a fieldwork investigation, undertaking the investigation, data collection, sampling and recording techniques. This will enable students to build on their presentation, analysis, conclusions and skills of evaluation when reporting their outcomes.


The Geography Department aims to stimulate within students an interest in their surroundings and to develop further their awe and wonder of the natural and human environment.

Geography trips covered aim to explore the variety of landscapes on the Earth’s surface and discuss with the students the opportunities and constraints for human beings. We want to make students aware of the quality of the environment in which they live and the positive and negative consequences of a wide variety of human actions upon it.

We endeavour to develop in each student an awareness of how their actions can impact upon both the environment and other human beings around them. We aim to develop their understanding of their responsibilities for the management of the planet, without seeking to make any student feel ‘guilty’ for global inequalities.


Year 7 to 9

Geography is a compulsory subject in Years 7, 8 and 9 where we teach both skills and specific content broadly in line with the National Curriculum. We also teach additional key skills and content which may be relevant preparation for GCSE and A level exams in later years. Year 7 sees a study of where we live followed by weather and climate. Conflict in geography is then followed by a snapshot of glaciation. Year 8 sees a study of population, rocks and resources, followed by the new geography and crime. Year 9 looks at hazardous environments, globalisation, migration and fragile environments.

Year 10 to 11

A significant proportion of the year group opt to study GCSE Geography, where the 60-70 students are taught in either three or four sets. We follow the Edexcel International GCSE Geography (9-1) specification.

The options studied include river environments, coastal environments, rural environments, urban environments alongside development and human welfare. The final assessment consists of two papers, both of which have a fieldwork element based on familiar and unfamiliar material. Over the last few years the department have run residential fieldtrips to Dorset at the end of Year 10 in order to prepare the students for the fieldwork component of the exam.

Trips, Activities and Clubs

Fieldwork forms an integral part of the Geography taught at Eltham College:

  • Providing opportunities to learn through direct experiences
  • Increasing interest through interaction with the environment
  • Encouraging students to be responsible for their own learning

Destinations include:

  • Lower School – students conduct fieldwork in the school grounds as well as visiting London Docklands, Stratford and the Dorset Jurassic Coast.
  • GCSE – the department has led a number of overseas trips. Students have visited Southern Spain and Sicily to study tourism and environmental issues.
  • The department aims to offer an awe and wonder opportunity each year to a variety of combined year groups. In recent years trips to Iceland, Sicily, Iceland/New York combined have all been successfully undertaken.
  • The Geography Society meets each week and is chaired by prominent enthusiastic Sixth Form geographers. This is an opportunity to debate, present and discover a range of geographical issues and topics.
  • The Meteorological Society meets once a week to collect data and look at weather patterns.
  • Mr P Angel MA BSc NPQSL (Head of Geography and Geology)
  • Ms M Calwell BSc
  • Mr J Chesterton BSc (Deputy Head of Middle School)
  • Ms L Clough BSc (Head of Livingstone House)
  • Miss K Richard BSc (Deputy Head Middle School)
  • Mr J Willatt BSc (Assistant Head and Head of Co-Curricular)


School News

The latest leg of the Hans Woyda Mathematics Competition concluded on Wednesday with an impressive showcase of mathematical skills at St Dunstan’s College.
Last evening marked a significant milestone for the Eltham College Hans Woyda Team as they took the stage for their eagerly anticipated second league match of the academic year.
For our first ‘Meet The Teacher’ interview this academic year, we are diving into the world of mathematics to introduce André Astbury-Palmer, our new Maths Teacher at Eltham College.
Our Head of Junior School at Eltham College, Vikki Meier, shares her insights on the important decision of choosing the right school for your child.
On Sunday, our Chess team travelled to Eton to participate in the National Schools Rapid Play competition.