The King's School in Macclesfield



      About the Department

      King’s has a long history of teaching Geology and has built up a superb and extensive collection of rock, fossil and mineral specimens. The collection is housed and displayed in a specialist Geology teaching room. Geology is taught as an A Level subject by Dr Fitzgerald.

      Examination Results 

      2016             AS Level        100% A

                             A Level          A*/A 50%       A-C 100%

      Subject Content & Syllabus

      If you don’t grow it, you dig it out of the Earth. When you have finished with it you bury it back in the Earth again.’

      The study of Geology and Earth Sciences is fundamental to life on Earth.  Think about the above statement. All our raw materials come from planet Earth; we use these to manufacture materials and as sources of energy.

      Also known as ‘geoscience’ or ‘Earth science’, Geology is the study of the structure, evolution and dynamics of the Earth and its natural resources. It investigates the processes that have shaped the Earth through its 4500-million-year history and uses the rock record to unravel that history. It is concerned with the real world beyond the laboratory and has direct relevance to the needs of society.

      An A Level in Geology provides a comprehensive coverage of the knowledge and understanding required for the study of the Earth, its structures, evolution and dynamics. The Eduqas course is followed; core aspects of this specification introduce eight geological concepts:

      • Elements, minerals and rocks
      • Surface and internal processes of the rock cycle
      • Time and change
      • Earth structure and global tectonics
      • Rock forming processes
      • Rock deformation
      • Past life and past climates
      • Earth materials and natural resources

      There are five themes which integrate and develop the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired in the core aspects. These are:

      • Geohazards
      • Geological map applications
      • Quaternary geology
      • Geological evolution of Britain
      • Geology of the lithosphere

      Monitoring & Assessment

      Regular monitoring and assessment of students’ progress is achieved through classwork and homework and independent research tasks which contribute to assessments in line with school policy. Students are encouraged to call into the Geology Department for help and advice allowing a tutorial approach to take place in preparation for university study.

      Enrichment Opportunities

      The Geology field course to the Isle of Arran is usually highlight of the course for A Level students. Lecture events in association the Geological Society hosted at Manchester University provide opportunities to broaden and extend knowledge.

      Lower School students come along to Geology Club that runs during a lunch break to get them discover how they can use rocks, fossils and minerals to investigate how planet Earth works.

      Dr Fitzgerald is involved in climbing, caving and school outdoor pursuits trips which provide a fantastic opportunity for pupils to discover Geology in a fun and challenging environment.


      In 2016, three pupils went on to study geology-related subjects at university: Geology, Palaeontology and Geology & Exploration. Other pupils have gone on to study geography-related or science-related subjects. Many former pupils have gone into industries such as mining, oil exploration, chemical engineering as well as teaching and research.

      This specification encourages learners to:

      • Develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of geology and how they relate to each other, including civil engineering, engineering geology, hydrogeology, mining geology and petroleum geology;
      • Develop through critical practice the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods as applied in geology through a practical endorsement;
      • Develop competence and confidence in selecting, using and evaluating a range of quantitative and qualitative skills and approaches (including observing, collecting and analysing geo-located field data, and investigative, mathematical and problem solving skills) and applying them as an integral part of their geological studies; and
      • Understand how society makes decisions about geological issues and how geology contributes to the success of the economy and society.

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