The Geography department comes under the remit of the Curricular Leader, Mr R Beattie.

Geography Teachers:

  • Mr A Stevenson
  • Mr S Das
  • Mrs Shields
Geography Staff


  • S1/2 Geography
  • National 4 & 5 Geography
  • Higher Geography
  • Advanced Higher Geography

What is Geography?

Today, the importance of Geography and the significance of contemporary geographical research is clearly apparent when applied globally and nationally.   The world is continually changing and is repeatedly facing social, political economic and environmental issues. Geography examines how the physical world is shaped and how this affects human activity.   Geography is interested in patterns on the earth’s surface, what processes were involved in creating those patterns and the impacts of changes on people, the economy and the environment.

Skills in Geography

Students will build progressively throughout the course on the key skills of collecting, processing and evaluating information accurately.  Fieldwork opportunities will be offered in S3, S4 and at Higher to help students develop these skills.Students will develop skills in analysing information from a range of sources including maps, diagrams and statistical techniques.They will also develop problem solving skills as they are presented with real-life scenarios and are encouraged to work for sustainable solutions.

S1-S6 Course Outlines

S1 Geography:

S1s study Geography one period a week.

The S1 courses focuses on developing their awareness and appreciation of other cultures, their map and data analysis skills using Ipads and their outdoor fieldwork skills.  The key geographical concepts of space, process, sustainability, place, and risk are embedded in the lessons.

Key enquiry questions include:

  • How do does water move about our planet?
  • Is my worldview of other countries, correct?
  • How can we be sustainable?

The course is separated into 3 Units. Each Unit has an assessment. There is an active Teams group which includes all resources, checklists and relevant articles and videos.

Unit 1- How does water affect the environment?

In this Unit, learners explore the journey of rivers, the effects of flooding and develop their map skills. The Assessment consists of a short test and a homework project on a flood of their choice.

S1 Geography - Unit 1

Unit 2- How do locations develop?

In this Unit, learners explore their misconceptions of other countries, sustainable strategies to reduce the development gap and examples of ways to measure and classify development. They use the Atlas extensively in their learning. The Assessment consists of a short country project.

How do locations develop
S1 Development Unit

Unit 3- How do we affect our environment?

In this Unit, learners explore how to be sustainable in today’s increasingly fragile planet. They also look at National Park, land-use conflicts & management strategies and practice their fieldwork.

S1 Geography - Unit 3

The assessment consists of a short outdoor fieldwork report.

S2 Geography:

S2s study Geography once a week. They make their subject choices during this year. The S2 course focuses on developing their awareness and knowledge of plate tectonics, biomes & climate regions, the climate crisis, and issues of overpopulation & overconsumption. Sustainability continues to be a main theme during the course. The course is separated into 3 Units. Each Unit has an assessment. There is an active Teams group which includes all resources, checklists and relevant articles and videos.

Unit 1- Are Hazards Natural?

In this Unit, S2 Geographers learn about earthquakes and volcanos. They find out what happens underneath the Earth and then look at examples of earthquakes, for example in Haiti and the issue of poverty in the country increasing vulnerability and risk. Their assessment consists of a volcano project, and short test.

S2 - Unit 1

Unit 2- are deserts just barren landscapes?

In this Unit, S2s explore biomes and climatic regions. They learn useful geographical skills for example drawing climate graphs and annotating. They develop their climate science with a particular focus on threats and opportunities in desert locations. The assessment consists of a project on a biome.

Unit 3- are there too many people and are we consuming too much?

This is a new Unit and it is split up into two sections- overpopulation and overconsumption. As the world hit 8 billion people, we explore the dangers of too many people on our planet and the rising rates of urbanisation. We also look at overconsumption with a particular focus on types of pollution and rising inequality.

S3 and S4 Geography

The S3 and S4 course consist of their National 4 and 5 qualifications.

Here are the topics we look at :

Coastal landscapes and map skills – June to November
Urban Changes in Dharavi and Edinburgh- November- Jan
Population & Development- Jan- March
Glaciation- March-April
Rural changes in East Anglia and India- August to October
Weather – October- December
Climate Change – Jan-Feb
Revision for the exam

We have a robust set of assessments during S3 and S4 that allows us to determine which level the pupil is working at.

S5 Geography – Higher

In S5, pupils study Higher Geography.

Physical topics- atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere (coastal and glaciated landscapes)

Human topics- population (Japan and the Gambia) and migration (Indians to Qatar and Venezuelans to Columbia); urban (Edinburgh and Jakarta, Indonesia), rural-land degradation (the region of the Sahel)

Global topics- climate change

Applications of Map Skills Unit.

As you can see, a range of countries are explored.

We have a range of robust assessments that allow us to determine the accurate level the pupil is working at.

S6 Geography- Advanced Higher

Advanced Higher Geography Course Outline 

The course is divided into 3 parts: 

Part 1 – The Geographical study – 60 marks. 3000 words. We submit this to an external examining body to mark.   

The geographical study consists of your own fieldwork. This means going outdoors and gathering information, then putting into graphs, then analysing those graphs.  

You will also analyse different sources- for example primary, secondary sources. 

Examples of topics including traffic/pedestrian counts, soil profile analysis, measuring soil profiles.  

 You will be expected to evaluate your findings and perform statistical analysis in order to draw conclusions from data.

Part 2- the Geographical Issue – 40 marks. It’s a critical essay of 1800 words. It needs to be a controversial issue that includes varying viewpoints. It can be international, local, social, environmental and physical. You will be expected to undertake a wide range of reading. You should summarise and critically evaluate each viewpoint, as well as compare the viewpoints.

Part 3- The Question Paper.

The exam lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes. It is made up of 3 sections.  

Section 1- Interpreting maps – 20 marks 

Section 2– data-gathering and processing techniques – 10 marks.  

Section 3- data handling – 20 marks – for example you look at a table and you interpret patterns.  

Social Media

We have an active twitter- @BoroughmuirGeo. This is regularly updated with examples of pupil excellence and attainment.

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Boroughmuir Climate Change Society

We also have the Boroughmuir HS Climate Change Society that meets every Monday in Mr Das’s Room 2-04.

Careers in Geography

Geography Graduates are some of the most employable people leaving University.

Various career opportunities include:


Climate Change Analyst


Emergency Management Specialist 


Geospatial analyst

GIS specialist 


Location analyst 


Pollution Analyst 

Remote Sensing Analyst 

Soil Conservationist 


Town planner