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Whether you’re watching the news or flicking through social media, people and the environment are always the hot topics of the day.


Through Geography we learn about the world around us. We study the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environment. Geography helps us to understand the processes of the physical features of our planet and be aware of how human interaction shapes and manages these environments.


Sustainability is the buzz word of the 21st century. The study of geography helps students have a clearer understanding of this term and relate it to contemporary issues such as global warming, desertification, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, groundwater pollution and flooding


Learning through geography whether it’s formally in the classroom or experientially through fieldwork, enables our students to gain a more hands on approach to the environment as they prepare to be responsible citizens who manage our world in the future. Our geographers at the Rainey are well equipped in terms of their skills, knowledge and understanding making them highly employable and in demand in the workplace.



Students follow a course in both physical and human geography as listed below:

AS 1: Physical Geography with fieldwork skills

  • Fluvial Environments
  • Ecosystems
  • Atmosphere


AS 2: Human Geography withskills and techniques

  • Population
  • Settlement
  • Development


A2 1: Human Interactions and Global Issues

  • Impact of Population Change;
  • Issues in Ethnic Diversity;
  • The Nuclear Debate;


A2 2: Physical Geography and Decision-Making

  • Fluvial and Coastal Environments;
  • Nature and Sustainability of Tropical Ecosystems;
  • The Dynamic Earth.


Fieldwork at AS level includes study of the sand dunes at Portstewart Strand and at A2level local attitudes to nuclear power are investigated.

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In Year 11 and 12 the following topics are covered:


Unit 1: Understanding Our Natural World

Theme A: The Dynamic Landscape

Theme B: Our Changing Weather and Climate

Theme C: The Restless Earth


Unit 2: Living in Our World

Theme A: People and Where They Live

Theme B: Contrasts in World Development

Theme C: Managing Our Resources


Pupils also carry out fieldwork to collect primary data from the River Roe and complete an investigation for their controlled assessment accounting for 25% of their grade.




In Key Stage 3 Rainey geographers learn about a variety of topics including Map Skills, Ecosystems, Natural Hazards, Globalisation, Population and Migration, Transport, Renewable Energy, Geology and Development. All of these are taught with contemporary links to the world around us.


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There are also many extra-curricular options for geographers throughout the year including Eco-Club, Geographical Association events, European Quiz competitions, the Environmental Youth Speak contest and events hosted by QUB