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Calderglen High School



Mr D Munn (Faculty Head) 

Mr MacPherson (Acting Faculty Head- Thursdays & Fridays)

Mrs L Barrow

Mrs F Horan

Mrs L McGarvey


Why study Geography?

Geography opens up for learners the physical environment (rivers, mountains, seas and weather) around them and the ways in which people interact with this environment.

The purpose of Geography is to develop the learner’s understanding of our changing world and its human and physical processes. Opportunities for practical activities, including fieldwork, will be encouraged, so that learners can interact with their environment.

The contexts for study are local, national, international and global. Geography draws upon the social and natural sciences: interdisciplinary learning is therefore fundamental to geographical study and encourages links with other disciplines.

In the 21st century, with growing awareness of the impact of human activity upon the environment and scarce resources, the study of Geography fosters positive lifelong attitudes of environmental stewardship, sustainability and global citizenship. This qualification will furnish learners with the knowledge and skills to enable them to contribute effectively to their local communities and wider society.

The main aims of Geography are to enable learners to:

  • Appreciate the ways in which people and the environment interact in response to physical and human processes at local, national, international, and global scales.
  • Be aware of spatial relationships and develop an understanding of the changing world in a balanced, critical and sympathetic way.
  • Think critically on environmental and social issues
  • Develop an interest in, and concern for, the environment leading to sustainable development.

Geography will help create informed and active citizens by helping learners develop a greater understanding of the human and physical processes which have an impact on their environment. Learners will develop skills which are transferable to other areas of study and which they will use in everyday life. Good literacy skills and the ability to draw diagrams and interpret data and diagrams are important skills in order to do well in Geography.


Map Skills Unit 

In this unit we combine important literacy, numeracy and health and well being skills. These skills are all important to developing ourselves, not only in Geography but in other subjects, in school and outside of school too. We need map work skills to help us find our way around – without them we’d be lost!


Weather Unit 

In this unit we will be investigating aspects of the weather, focusing mainly on Scotland. We will consider exactly what is meant by this word weather and how it affects us in Scotland.


 Earth Forces Unit

In this unit, we aim to learn more about the structure of the Earth. Focusing on the movement of tectonic plates, we will learn about how volcanoes and earthquakes are formed and the impact of these on people and the environment.


Climate Change Unit 

Climate change is a relevant and heavily debated topic affecting lives around the world. In this unit, we aim to understand the causes of climate change, the effects this can have on people and the environment and what can be done to help tackle these impacts.


In S3 pupils will follow a Geography course as part of a broad general education, covering level 4 outcomes and experiences.  During S3 pupils will also overtake some of the National 4 and National 5 outcomes.

Further details of units and course content can be obtained from:



Assessment of Course

The course will be assessed and marked throughout the session by teachers. These assessments are appropriate to the subject and level of study. Assessments may include a combination of practical work, case studies, examinations and projects.


At the end of S3 pupils will progress to a course leading onto a qualification at National 3, National 4 or National 5.

At the end of S4 pupils could choose from the following progression routes:

  • A pupil achieving National 3may progress to National 4
  • A pupil achieving National 4 may progress to National 5
  • A pupil achieving National 5 may progress to Higher


Is issued on a regular basis formally but there is an expectation that pupils are revising notes, completing tasks that are unfinished from class and taking a general interest in the subject through the internet and television.


Pupils require pens and pencils for general course work. Coloured pencils and a calculator as well as a ruler will also come in handy.

National 3/4/5

The National 3/4/5 Geography Course develops a range of geographical skills and techniques. Learners gain a detailed understanding of the ways in which people and the environment interact in response to physical and human processes at local, national, international and global scales. The unit is broken into three units: Physical Environments, Human Environments and Global Issues. In addition, pupils will also undertake an individual assignment which will develop their geographical skills.

Physical Environments
This area of the course is broken into three units: Coasts, Glaciation and Weather.

Human Environments

This area of the course is broken into three units: Population, Urban Environments and Rural Environments.

Global Issues

This area of the course is broken into two sections: Natural Regions and Environmental Hazards.





SQA Past Papers

BBC Bitesize National 5

Ordnance Survey

Geographical Association


Geography: Physical Environments (Higher)

In this unit, students develop mapping skills in geographical contexts. They also develop and apply knowledge and understanding of the complex processes and interactions at work within physical environments on a local, regional and global scale.

Key topics include: atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere.


Geography: Human Environments (Higher)

In this Unit, students develop and apply knowledge and understanding of the processes and interactions at work within urban and rural environments in developed and developing countries

Key topics include: population, rural land degradation and management, urban change

and management.


Geography: Global Issues (Higher) 

In this Unit, students develop and apply knowledge and understanding of complex global geographical issues which demonstrate the interaction of physical and human environments and the strategies adopted in the management of these issues.

Key topics include: development and health and global climate change.



Paper 1

This question paper has 100 marks out of a total of 190 marks. This is scaled by SQA to represent 46% of the overall marks for the course assessment.  Physical and human environments are assessed in this paper.

Paper 2

This question paper has 60 marks out of a total of 190 marks. This is scaled by SQA to represent 27% of the overall marks for the course assessment.  Global issues and application of geographical skills are assessed in this paper.



The assignment has 30 marks which represents 27% of the overall marks for the course assessment.  The assignment enables candidates to demonstrate the application of their skills, knowledge and understanding within the context of a geographical topic or issue.


SQA Past Papers

BBC Bitesize Higher

Ordnance Survey

Geographical Association

Higher Geography Units

Course Content

This is the same as the units in the full Higher course. You do not do the Assignment part of the course.


As well as continuous assessment of the three units studied, there are three open book assessments to judge completion of the course.


Students who achieve a pass could progress to Higher Geography or another social subject in S6.