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YEAR 9 (1)




SECONDARY LEVEL At this point I must confess that none of my children has thus far progressed onto a GCSE in geography. None was sufficiently interested to carry on, we didn’t find the material very inspiring, and the textbooks did not seem of a very high standard. If anyone has successfully taken this subject at GCSE level do please write in and make some suggestions. The home-ed exams wiki has some information on GCSE level geography and would be a good place to start. The textbook Essential Mapwork Skills by Ross is highly recommended for GCSE level.  One area which I know some Catholic parents have found tricky is that of human geography, which can become controversial once you reach GCSE level due in part to the focus on population control. In each of the textbooks I’ve looked at, the first chapter is on population control, with stimulus questions such as ‘Why isn’t contraception universally available?’ and pictures contrasting a pretty Swedish girl (an only child who has so many opportunities because her parents limited themselves to one child) with a poor young Indian man (who had aspirations to be a doctor but had to leave school at 14 to support all his siblings). Not ‘loaded’ questions at all, perish the thought! Some go into detail about the need for easier access to contraceptives in developing countries and touch on the issue of ‘reproductive health’ as it is euphemistically called. Of course it is a good idea to deal with these issues and to offer alternative viewpoints, but you’ll have to your own research for that – you won’t find it in a GCSE geography textbook!

YEAR 9 (2)



Books I used for secondary level.

I don’t feel I can recommend books in geography at the lower secondary level and usually made up my own projects using various books I got from libraries etc. Examples would be a topic such as volcanoes in geography.

Edexcel offered a good international exam without coursework and therefore I used them a lot. Once you have chosen a course to follow there is usually an appropriate textbook offered by the board.


GEOGRAPHY – Projects e.g., Volcanoes