General CCEA GCSE Geography Information

On Monday 4th April I attended a GCSE Geography support event for the CCEA Geography specification at William Parker School Daventry. This is the first of three posts on my notes from the event.

General Information

  • The speficication has six geogrpahical themes which are set out as content and learning outcomes; there is a list of key geographical terms in each section, these freequently turn up as ‘state the meaning questions’; typically 6 out of 100 marks on the exam will be on knowledge of key terms. In the foundation tier some of the questions will be match the word and the definition.
  • The controlled assessment titles will be set by the exam board and released  in June two years before submission.


  • The complete GCSE is split into three units (Unit 1 – Physical Geography, Unit 2 – Human Geography, and Unit 3 – Controlled Assessment); Unit 1 and Unit 2 are examined.
  • Students must sit all units before the qualification is ‘cashed-in’, students must be entered for the cash-in separately.
  • The qualification is offered at two tiers; Higher (grades A-D), and Foundation (grades C-G).
  • Students can re-sit at a different tier to the initial exam (however only one re-sit is allowed per unit).
  • 40% of the assessment must be taken in the final examination series in which the qualification is certified. The problem comes when a student wants to re-sit after having achieved a grade; they would have to re-sit two units to meet the terminal rule.
  • The final grade will include the assessment results, which satisfy the terminal requirement; even if it is not the candidate’s best grade.
  • The above requirements are important as they are different to the effect of unitisation at A ‘Level.
  • Uniform Mark Scales (UMS) are used to aggregate marks from individual assessment units. Raw to UMS conversion is different each examination based to keep the standard the same.
  • The number of uniform marks for each unit depends on its weighting; Units 1 and 2; 150 uniform marks, Unit 3; 100 uniform marks. The total GCSE is worth 400 uniform marks.
  • In foundation tier the top mark is 104, equivalent to a top Grade C.

Uniform Mark Boundaries

  • The Uniform Mark boundaries will stay the same for each examination session.










  • There is a variety of information on the CCEA website to support the teaching of the specification.
  • The support includes: specimen assessment materials, scheme of work, controlled assessment guidance, past examination papers.
  • It was also mentioned that some of the materials on the website to support the legacy specification may be of use, particularly past examination papers.


New Nuclear Power at Bradwell on Sea?

Just down the road from where I live and work is Bradwell on Sea. There has been information in the local press recently about one of the new Nuclear Reactors being built there. There is already a nuclear power station on the site though it stopped generating in 2002, has been fully defueled and is now in the process of being decomissioned.

Page 2 that links with the above article:

Page 2 of Article

Powering Ahead

Bradwell is right choice says MP

Click on the scans of the articles for larger versions.

There is also an online article here.

The local council still maintains some form of contingency plans.

I will be using this when teaching the ‘Old’ GCSE Managing Resources.

Impact of Climate Change in an LEDC

This year we are teaching the new CCEA GCSE Geography Syllabus and we have started with the unit on Weather and Climate.

We had lots of information in the textbook on impacts to MEDCs but not much on LEDCs.

Attached is a mystery type card sort activity with the key question:

In November 2008, President Mohamed Nasheed announced plans to look into purchasing new land in India, Sri Lanka, and Australia. Why?

Included within the cards are subheadings to be used to aid classification (Economic, Social, Environmental, and Response).

(I can’t take all the credit for this – it was a team effort with my colleague Michelle)