"Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future" - Michael Palin 

Geography underpins a lifelong ‘conversation’ about the earth as the home of humankind (The Geographical Association). Geography fascinates and inspires young people: the beauty of the earth, the power of earth-shaping forces. Geographical enquiry both satisfies every student’s curiosity in the world, and deepens their understanding of contemporary challenges – climate change, population growth, biodiversity under threat, development, urbanisation, food security, energy choices, which cannot be understood without geographical perspective. Geography also serves vital educational goals: thinking and decision making within geography helps students to live their lives as knowledgeable citizens, their responsibilities to other people, to the environment and to the sustainability of the planet. 

As a department, we are always working hard to create and deliver inspiring and engaging lessons of first-class standard, with our curriculum aiming to reflect recent geographical developments in the news and the wider world. We teach our pupils a ‘Geography of Hope’ - David Hicks where they learn about the biggest challenges facing our time and feel equipped with the knowledge and empowerment to face and find solutions to these global problems.  

We offer geography fieldtrips at all key stages, with longer residential trips for the GCSE and A-level courses. These are a very valuable part of the courses, and students gain a lot from being able to connect their classroom learning with the real-life contexts and experiences they have on the fieldtrips. 

Students have 3 lessons over 2 weeks: 





Year 7 

Migration Stories 
Extreme Environments  

Map Skills 

Climate Change 



Fantastic Places 

Year 8 


Water and Water Scarcity  

Plastics Project 

Climate Change 




Year 9 



Restless Earth 


Energy and Climate Change  

Managing Resources and the Anthropocene 


Our key stage 3 curriculum attempts to blend traditional geography topics with more contemporary case studies and themes, as well as creating a strong foundation of geographical skills, knowledge and understating to prepare students for GCSEs and beyond. Key Stage learning episodes are regularly refined and developed to reflect the changing needs of the curriculum and the interests of the teachers and students. 

Outside the classroom 

The department run several compulsory and enrichment trips throughout the year including: 

  • Year 8 trip to Margate (Autumn term) 
  • Year 12 residential to Dorset (Spring term) 
  • Year 10 data collection in central London (Summer term) 
  • Year 10 residential to the South coast (Summer term) 


Hendon Geographers have visited Iceland in 2010, 2012, 2014 and enjoyed an intensive learning experience from the great variety of geographical processes occurring in the country, such as geysers, coastal erosion, volcanic eruptions and geothermal energy. Currently, plans are under way to visit Iceland again in 2016, and we are also looking to expand the department’s international trips by linking with the South Africa school partnership team, working towards further student visits in 2017 and beyond. 

Due to strong links with the Royal Geographical Society, we have enrolled several students on the geography ambassadors summer scheme, and sent students on taster sessions to Cambridge university to experience geography lectures at Downing college. The department has student geography leaders who have support learning and enrichment activities throughout the year. 

Progression pathways and careers 

GCSE Geography continues to be one of the most popular options at Hendon School, with a large number of students continuing to A-level and going on to university to study geography and related subjects. 

Geography is a broad academic subject which is regarded as a “facilitating subject” by Russell Group Universities. Most geography graduates are numerate, literate, good team workers, can think analytically and critically, have cultural agility, are socially and environmentally aware, and have wider experience as a result of fieldwork. Geography is highly regarded by employers, 74% of geography graduates earn a starting salary of more than £20,000 per year, above the overall average of 70% (RGS,2013). Geographers enter a very wide range of career areas, for example: 

  • Travel, leisure & culture 
  • Transport & environment 
  • Business 
  • Physical systems 
  • Development & global issues 
  • Settlement & urban planning 
  • Society & public services  
  • Mapping & surveying 
  • Sustainable development  
  • Environmental consultancy  


Useful links 


Ms Madeleine Bracken-Patterson Head of Geography 

Our Twitter account is @HendonSch_Geog 


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