Our village nestles in a stunning U shaped valley and we are surrounded by the relics of the Ice Age and volcanic activity.  Arguably we may have the best classroom view and it is rare to boast that the answers to many of our learning questions can be found by looking out of the window! 

Geography follows the experiences and outcomes of the BGE for People, Place and Society at Levels 2,3 and 4.  The course is designed to create a clear learning pathway to National awards in the future and to develop skills which will enable pupils to become confident individuals and responsible global citizens.  Here is the unit structure across the 3 school years:




Fantastic Places and World explorers

Earthquakes and Volcanoes

Map and fieldwork skills

Our weather and climate

Scottish Society

Rivers and flooding

Hostile climate: deserts

Hostile climate: Arctic Tundra


The Ice Age

World Development

Extreme weather

Towns and Cities

Environmental Threats

World population

Human Rights

Countries in focus: Canada, China and Kenya

Food production and globalisation


Coastal Environments

World cities

Map and fieldwork skills

Who is John Muir?


Here at Kinlochleven we try to make our learning hinge around the cross cutting themes of literacy and numeracy.  We also try to make our learning experiences as fun and active as possible.  Notable highlights of the course would be designing 3D maps, testing volcano defences, building a shanty town, participating in a map treasure hunt across the village to performing in a Masai Mara jumping dance.  Our village is a very quiet and safe location to perform active fieldwork when the weather is fair and our curriculum ties in with awards such as Duke of Edinburgh, John Muir and Scottish Studies. 

Geography National 4, 5 and Higher                                                        

Contact Teacher: Mr Smith 

Course information: the aim of the course is to encourage all pupils to become Global Citizens through investigating physical and human environments and exploring current problems around the world. Hopefully we can help improve Planet Earth for the future.  You only need to think about recent news stories about extreme weather, world health, political turmoil in the West and the rise of the Chinese economic superpower to realise that learning Geography can help us investigate the answers to these world issues.  Geography can also provide us with a scientific knowledge of natural landscapes and how people interact and change them. 

National 4, National 5 and Higher courses are organised into three units:

National 4 and 5


Physical Environments:

  • The ice age and glacial environments
  • Waves and coastal landscapes
  • Land use opportunities and problems 

Physical Environments:

  • Glaciation and Coastal environments
  • River flooding and drainage basins
  • Atmosphere and world energy circulation
  • Biogeography and soil profiles

Human Environments:

  • World Population issues
  • Cities in developed and developing countries (Glasgow and Rio de Janeiro)
  • Food production in developed and developing countries (Canada and SE Asia)
  • Poverty in the developing world

Human Environments:

  • World population issues and solutions
  • Urban change in the developed and developing world (Edinburgh and Mumbai).
  • Rural land degradation in the Sahel zone of Africa.
  • Rural land management in Lochaber and Dorset.

Global issues:

  • Development and Health
  • Environmental Hazards

Global Issues:

  • Development, Health and Primary Care 
  • Global Climate Change

Skills:  In all units, students will have the opportunity to develop their mapping skills and use online geographical data.  ICT will be further developed through research projects and fieldwork assignments.   Numeracy and Literacy skills will be developed through data processing/analysis and from producing extended answers and reports.  All students will gain the opportunity to work collectively on learning tasks and be expected to study individually also.  Fieldwork plays an important role in the course and previous excursions have involved field studies of the River Coe, Ganavan Sands Beach and the urban zones of Oban.  


The National 4 course will be internally assessed using unit assessments which demonstrate knowledge and understanding as well as skills. 

The Value Added unit will also be internally assessed using SQA exam board guidelines and will be an on-going project which demonstrates the application of knowledge and skills. 

The National 5 and Higher course will have a fieldwork report and an examination which is externally assessed by the SQA and graded from level A to D.

Progression Pathway

Pupils who achieve National 4 may progress to National 5. 

Pupils who achieve National 5 may progress to Higher Geography.

Career Pathway: Geography provides a broad based education with excellent transferable skills. It can pave the way for students wishing to embark on careers in industries like: tourism, forestry, land management, outdoor adventure, agriculture, government, transport, retail, armed forces, aviation, development, town planning, estate agency, surveying, social work, business, meteorology.