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The Geography Department develops students’ passion for the world

Geography plays a vital role in understanding and managing some of the most pressing challenges facing us today. Over the coming years our world will change faster than ever before, affecting individuals, communities, nations, and the planet as a whole. Geography in the 21st Century is central to understanding the causes of these changes and their consequences in different places, including the problems they pose for sustainable futures of societies, resources and landscapes.

Students benefit from developing a distinct set of skills that will equip them well for future study and work.

Fieldwork Opportunities

The subject is popular at both GCSE and A Level within the School. There are regular visits to Iceland undertaken by the department for GCSE age students and Human and Physical Fieldwork visits to Studland Bay on the South Coast and Portsmouth. The department’s A Level fieldwork locations include study on the South Coast and in Henley-on-Thames, Gower, and South Wales. 


The Geography Department at The Oratory is an exciting place to learn about the world. The department is popular with many of our GCSE students choosing this option and then going on to A Level and beyond. Several students choose to read Geography each year at Russell Group and other universities. There is an annual entry to the Young Geographer of The Year competition run by the Royal Geographical Society, with whom we have strong links. Visits to the RGS and to 6th Form lectures with the Geographical Association are frequent. Fieldwork remains a core emphasis of the department and most year groups are involved in such research. Recent visits have considered Natural Hazards in workshops at the Natural History Museum as well as exploring Future Energy Challenges in the Science Museum. GCSE students undertake field work on the South Coast at Studland Bay and in Portsmouth at Gunwharf Quays. These experiences develop skills so that as 6th Form Geography students are well prepared to undertake more detailed studies locally and on the South Coast. The A Level residential fieldwork takes place in our final year in Gower, South Wales, and facilitates a range of Human and Physical investigations. Overseas trips to Iceland take place frequently. All students' learning is supported by a dedicated department Teams platform, providing students with course-specific links, and extension and support materials.

Mr Poynter - Head of Geography

Meet the Head of Geography

I have enjoyed exploring the world as a geographer for most of my life and the next adventure is never far off. From the River Pang to the Everest Trail and on to the freezing coast of Iceland, the subject has taken me alongside our students to great new experiences. Sharing this wonder and increasing awareness of the subject has grown into a fundamental part of my life. My passion for this grew from early opportunities at school to international fieldwork at Exeter University. Now through Fellowship with the RGS I continue to enjoy continued learning of Geographical research and expeditions. Come and study Geography with our department and see what you find and where it takes you.

Phil Poynter, Head of Geography


Geography is the Science of our world. It is the study of the earth as home to humankind. It provides us with the tools to understand the world in which we live and the patterns, relationships and processes that occur. There has never been a more important time to study this subject. Immense challenges face us all in the 21st Century and this subject will prepare students to participate in tomorrow’s world. 

During the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Year we follow a bespoke set of enquiry orientated topics from the Geog.123 resources.

At GCSE we follow the AQA GCSE exploring Physical and Human Geography. Developing our Geographical skills as well as undertaking fieldwork and carrying out a Decision Making Exercise.

The A Level follows on also from AQA and involves a systems approach to study of the subject. Students undertake independent fieldwork in Gower, South Wales and produce a 4,000 word report. Exams follow at the end of the two year course.


The department supports students' learning with a wide variety of experiences. Several fieldwork trips linked to the curriculum take our students to new and interesting places from the South Coast to South Wales. Iceland and other international destinations have been regularly visited as part of wider non-curriculum visits. Online lectures with the Oxford based Geographical Association encourage students to develop a wider perspective on parts of the subject beyond the syllabus. We have school membership with the Royal Geographical Society and National Trust. We have good links with other schools’ Geography departments and participate in joint local training initiatives. Students have a superb set of resources digitally available from the RGS as well as unique digital mapping access with the Ordnance Survey and ARCGIS, a Geographical Information System that our students develop skill in using.

Beyond the Course

Our Students often choose to study Geography and related subjects (International Relations, Spatial Science and GIS, Sustainability, Hazards and Risk Management and many others) at degree level. You can find out more about the wealth of opportunities beyond school via the Royal Geographical Society link: Choose Geography at University - RGS

Latest News

GCSE Geographers' Fieldtrip to Portsmouth

GCSE Geographers' Fieldtrip to Portsmouth


Geography's Biogeography Fieldwork at Studland Bay

Geography's Biogeography Fieldwork at Studland Bay


The Oratory's Iceland Tour 2022

The Oratory's Iceland Tour 2022


U6th Form Geography and Biology Fieldwork in The Gower, Wales

U6th Form Geography and Biology Fieldwork in The Gower, Wales




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The Oratory School

Tel: +44 (0)1491 683500