Information about Geography & History.

Contact head of subject for further information.

The humanities can be described as the study of how people process and document the human experience, subjects to do with the study of human culture. Such subjects helps us to develop knowledge and understanding of events in different places, in the present and in the past. It can be said such knowledge and understanding will help us make better decisions as we move to the future.


‘Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future.'

- Michael Palin

Geography helps us to develop knowledge and understanding of current events, both in our own local area and globally. We can understand more about how the earth and all its features were formed so that when we see them on television or on holiday we appreciate exactly what we are seeing. All the social, economic and physical forces and proves which shape and change our world become so much easier to understand if we study Geography. In addition, it helps us to appreciate the wide range of cultures and backgrounds of people from all over the world from Southport to Singapore, from Preston to Patagonia.

Geography helps us to develop a range of useful skills such as map reading, data collection, ICT and problem solving, incorporating practical and hands on skills. Years 7 to 9 take Geography and it is an option subject at GCSE.

The skills taught in Geography are readily transferable to the world of work. They can lead to a very wide range of jobs which include

  • Leisure centre and heritage site management
  • Travel writer
  • Cartographer
  • Social worker
  • Marketing
  • Surveyor
  • Environmental engineer
  • Conservation officer
  • CAD technician

Year 7 topics

  • Mapskills
  • Coasts
  • Weather, Climate and Climate Change
  • International Development - India, Kenya
  • Natural Resources

Year 8 topics

  • Rivers and Flooding
  • Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Industries - Focus on Tourism
  • Population
  • Volcanoes, Super-volcanoes, Fold Mountains

Year 9 topics

  • Earthquakes and Tsunamis
  • Glaciation
  • Urbanisation
  • Rocks, Soils and Weathering

We follow an AQA course in Geography for GCSE.

Paper 1 – Physical 37.5%

  • Question One - Restless Earth
  • Question Two - Rocks, Resources and Scenery
  • Question Five - Water on the Land

Paper 2 – Human 37.5%

  • Question One - Population
  • Question Two - Changing Urban Environments
  • Question Six - Tourism

Controlled Assessment 25%

Usually the Tourism topic is chosen. The hypothesis and area studied changes each year.


Foundation Stage and 4 Map.

AQA Specification

Link to the AQA Geography specification.

Cool Geography

Website with many resources for all years.

British Geological Survey

UK's national earthquake monitoring agency.


Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

- George Santayana

Only a good-for-nothing is not interested in his past.’

- Sigmund Freud

Many famous people have explained why they think that History matters; the above are just two of many quotes we could have included here.

Learning about History enables us to see our lives in context, to understand how and why we – as a world, as a nation, as a family, as individuals – have arrived where we are today. History provides us with parallels to our own experiences and to the events of the 21st century.

The study of History also provides us with a range of skills. It teaches us to question and to be able to judge whether or not we should trust what we are being told, for example, by governments and by the media. It shows us how to present balanced arguments and how to write in different formats. It gives us the tools to judge the significance of a person or an event and to understand why people may interpret the same event in many different ways. Most important of all, it teaches us to THINK.

The skills outlined mean that people with good History qualifications are much sought after by employers in all sectors; the skills are transferable to all types of employment. For example, if your boss has asked you to present a report on which out of several advertising strategies the company should use, History gives you the skills to present the case for each and to evaluate which would be the best. History prepares you for any job, which requires you to think for yourself. If you want to work in the law, medicine or journalism, History is an ideal qualification. It is studied from Years 7 to 9 and as an option for GCSE.

Year 7 topics

Autumn Term

  • Who were the Skeletons in the Fields?
  • Why did William win the Battle of Hastings?
  • Which was more significant: the Black Death or the Peasants?

Spring Term

  • How did the Renaissance change the world of art?
  • What did the candle see? (the Reformation)

Summer Term

  • Oliver Cromwell: hero or villain?

Year 8 topics

Autumn Term

  • Why did the barons rebel against King John?
  • What lay behind the horrors of the Slave Trade?

Spring Term

  • Emily Davison: did she mean to die?
  • How far did the move to the Warsaw Ghetto change the lives of Polish Jews?

Summer Term

  • ‘Cecil Rhodes was more significant than General Gordon in building the British Empire.’
  • Do you agree?

Year 9 topics

Autumn Term

  • Who was the Whitechapel murderer?
  • Why was there a revolution in Russia?

Spring Term

  • Was it possible to have fun in the trenches?

Summer Term

  • Liverpool or Cologne: which city suffered more?
  • How significant was Hiroshima in 20th century warfare?
  • How might conflict change in the future?

Year 10 topics

Autumn Term

  • Britain 1890-1918 (30% of exam marks)

Spring and Summer Terms

  • USA 1919-1941 (Along with Cold War 1945-1975 = 45% of exam marks)

Year 11 topics

Autumn Term

  • Germany 1918-1945 (Controlled Assessment, 25% of exam marks)

Spring Term

  • Cold War 1945-1975 (Along with USA 1919-1941 = 45% of exam marks)


Foundation Stage and 4 Map.

Foundation Stage Outline

Document outlining Foundation Stage History Curriculum.

Examination Stage Outline

Document outlining Foundation Stage History Curriculum.

OCR Specification

Link to the OCR History specification.

Active History

History games and simulations.

School History

Online history lessons.

History Revision (USA)

USA Depth Study revision

Spartacus Educational

History website with many articles.


History videos online.

The National Archives

Web resource, historical archives.

Dynamic Learning

Interactive resources, learning tools.

About Us

Birkdale High School, a limited company registered in England and Wales under Company number 07695504.

Registered address: Windy Harbour Road, Southport PR8 3DT

Headteacher: G Bourgade


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