The Geography Department is composed of 5 members of staff and is housed in ‘A’ Block along with the History and Art Departments. Facilities consist of four main classrooms all complete with smartboards and associated equipment.

The aims of the Geography Department are as follows:

  • the Department seeks to enable students to gain access to and knowledge of Geography, through the development of an understanding of key skills and concepts which underpin the subject by taking on responsibility for their own learning;
  • in addition, the Department strives to allow all students to achieve their highest potential in Geography whether at Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, AS or A2 level;
  • it is recognised by the Department that much successful learning and understanding arises through the provision of fieldwork, an area of academic study which is strongly emphasised;
  • within its teaching, the Department seeks to create international understanding between students of differing nationalities so that they may learn to appreciate and value the cultures of other people;
  • in all its work the Department endeavours to develop pupils' understanding of the local environment (Dubai and the United Arab Emirates).

Lower School

The Key Stage Three curriculum introduces students to Geography at secondary level by providing foundations in Year 7, consolidating in Year 8 and developing in Year 9 in preparation for GCSE. A range of areas are studied in the curriculum with a focus on both themes and locations including the local area. Fieldwork is an important area which takes place in and around the rapidly changing city of Dubai.


Students should consolidate and extend their knowledge of the world’s major countries and their physical and human features. They should understand how geographical processes interact to create distinctive human and physical landscapes that change over time. In doing so, they should become aware of increasingly complex geographical systems in the world around them. They should develop greater competence in using geographical knowledge, approaches and concepts [such as models and theories] and geographical skills in analysing and interpreting different data sources. In this way students will continue to enrich their locational knowledge and spatial and environmental understanding.

Students should be taught to:

Locational knowledge

  • extend their locational knowledge and deepen their spatial awareness of the world’s countries using maps of the world to focus on Africa, Russia, Asia (including China and India), and the Middle East, focusing on their environmental regions, including polar and hot deserts, key physical and human characteristics, countries and major cities

Place Knowledge

  • understand geographical similarities, differences and links between places through the study of human and physical geography of a region within Africa, and of a region within Asia

Human and physical geography

  • understand, through the use of detailed place-based exemplars at a variety of scales, the key processes in:

ophysical geography relating to: geological timescales and plate tectonics; rocks, weathering and soils; weather and climate, including the change in climate from the Ice Age to the present; and glaciation, hydrology and coasts

ohuman geography relating to: population and urbanisation; international development; economic activity in the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary sectors; and the use of natural resources

  • understand how human and physical processes interact to influence, and change landscapes, environments and the climate; and how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems

Geographical skills and fieldwork

  • build on their knowledge of globes, maps and atlases and apply and develop this knowledge routinely in the classroom and in the field
  • interpret Ordnance Survey maps in the classroom and the field, including using grid references and scale, topographical and other thematic mapping, and aerial and satellite photographs
  • use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to view, analyse and interpret places and data
  • use fieldwork in contrasting locations to collect, analyse and draw conclusions from geographical data, using multiple sources of increasingly complex information.

Middle School

Key Stage 4 GCSE AQA Geography (8035)

The Department achieves outstanding results at GCSE with 43% of Students achieving an A* and 88.1% achieving A*-A in 2016.

Fieldwork is conducted locally and in the Hajar mountains to the east of Dubai.

Aims and learning outcomes

Courses based on this specification will encourage students to:

  • develop and extend their knowledge of locations, places, environments and processes, and of different scales including global; and of social, political and cultural contexts (know geographical material)
  • gain understanding of the interactions between people and environments, change in places and processes over space and time, and the inter-relationship between geographical phenomena at different scales and in different contexts (think like a geographer)
  • develop and extend their competence in a range of skills including those used in fieldwork, in using maps and GIS and in researching secondary evidence, including digital sources; and develop their competence in applying sound enquiry and investigative approaches to questions and hypotheses (study like a geographer)

  • apply geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and approaches appropriately and creatively to real world contexts, including fieldwork, and to contemporary situations and issues; and develop well-evidenced arguments drawing on their geographical knowledge and understanding (applying geography).

Sixth Form

A Level Geography (7037)

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessment at the end of the course.

With an A*-A pass rate of 43.8% and an A-B pass rate of 81.3% it is clear that students are very successful at A Level Geography. In 2016 five of our students went on to study geography or geography related subjects at university.

Fieldwork takes place at a variety of locations around the UAE.

Course content:

Physical geography

  • Water and carbon cycles
  • Hot desert systems and landscapes
  • Coastal systems and landscapes
  • Glacial systems and landscapes
  • Hazards
  • Ecosystems under stress

Human geography

  • Global systems and global governance
  • Changing places
  • Contemporary urban environments
  • Population and the environment
  • Resource security

Geography fieldwork investigation

  • Fieldwork requirements
  • Investigation requirements

Geographical skills

  • Geographical skills checklist

What makes a good teacher at Dubai College?

Someone who listens and cares.

What are you trying to encourage and instil in your students?

The ability to think independently and have a broad knowledge about the world so they can appreciate how amazing it is.

In your opinion, what makes Dubai College special? What makes Dubai College special?

The strong staff student learning relationships that transcend the teacher Student divide.

Who or what inspires you?

People who persevere.

Tell us something not a lot of people know about you.

I enjoy scything in my spare time!

Mr J Salisbury, Head of Geography

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Meet the staff

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Kate Hill

Kate Hill

Titles: Head of Middle School, Teacher of Geography
Jeremy McIlveen

Jeremy McIlveen

Titles: Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator, Teacher of Geography
Rebecca Quigley

Rebecca Quigley

Titles: Teacher of Geography
Jeremy Salisbury

Jeremy Salisbury

Titles: Head of Geography