Belvedere College - Geography



Our aim is to instruct our students so that they develop an appreciation for the world around them. As the future generation, students in Belvedere College are encouraged to become stewards of the Earth where sustainability is a central core of their lives.



Junior Certificate

Leaving Certificate

Tom Doyle

Brendan O'Shea

Daniel Meagher

Shane Moran

Shane Moran (Dept. Head)

Tom Doyle

Brendan O'Shea

Shane Kenny

Shane Kenny


All staff meet on a regular basis where there is a collaborative approach to planning, learning, teaching and assessment. The Department has an agreed programme for each year. Each teacher follows a set plan where Units of Learning are followed from the specifications set by the NCCA. At Christmas and summer, each student within a year group receives a common paper. This allows us to get an overall picture of the year itself.


The Geography Department follows the prescribed curriculum which has been set by the NCCA. Students are required to sit a Junior Certificate/Cycle. Generally all Junior Certificate students sit the Higher Level course. Geography is a common level paper at Junior Cycle. Each student follows our Transition Year programme. In Poetry and Rhetoric (5th and 6th year), Geography is an optional subject and our students sit the Leaving Certificate at both Higher and Ordinary Level. All of our classes are mixed ability.

In Grammar (3rd year), all of our students follow the DES Junior Certificate course. The syllabus can be viewed HERE:

We teach this syllabus in the following order:

1st Year

2nd Year

3rd Year



Primary Economic Activities

Volcanoes and Earthquakes


Secondary Economic Activities

Rivers and Sea


Tertiary Economic Activities

Karst Landscapes





Economic Inequalities

Maps and Areal Photographs



In Syntax (Transition Year) students follow a course prescribed by their teacher. An example of such would be Reconciling with Creation: Transport and Climate Change. The course is a ½ year course. Students study the causes, effects and solutions to transportation. They undertake actions where students are surveyed and a fieldtrip is undertaken. The information from the survey and fieldtrip will be sent to policy makers. The aim of the course is to give students a full understanding of transportation and the tools where they become agents of change rather than passive observers.

In Poetry and Rhetoric (5th and 6th year) we also follow the DES course. The course outline for Leaving Cert Geography can be viewed HERE

Under the Leaving Cert programme, students are required to submit a fieldtrip for examination that is worth 20% of the final exam.  This is a great opportunity for students to get a hands-on approach to Geography.  This year Rhetoric students travelled to Arklow, Co. Wicklow or Portmarnock, Co. Dublin. 

The department is one of the largest and most successful option subjects for the Leaving Cert. Working with the senior school management team, we endeavour to maintain small classes at Leaving Cert level. We believe that this maintains a good working environment within the class group.

IT and Geography

The College continues to invest in the department in terms of access to IT, up-to-date maps and GIS/ICT programmes.

We use a 24/7 managed learning environment called "Edmodo" This enables students to follow our course notes, receive news of events and participate in discussion forums.

There are several books in the college library and periodicals are frequently bought. We find the internet to be a great potential for students and they are encouraged to use it for research. With such a vast range of resources available, we feel that this can make Geography much more ‘alive’ to students

Junior Cycle Geography 

In September 2018, Geography began the new Junior Cycle. This is a new programme for junior students to follow where students are encouraged to develop a number of Key Skills, Statements of Learning and Wellbeing Indicators by the study of Geography. To learn more about the Junior Cycle, click HERE.

The Geography Specification can be viewed HERE:

Students will have three classes per week of Geography. The subject will be a Common Level exam which will be 2 hours long. Along with the written paper at the end of 3rd year, students will complete two Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs). CBA 1 is completed near the end of 2nd year, where students will complete a presentation called ‘Geography in the News’. CBA 2 is completed close to Christmas of 3rd year where students complete a fieldtrip called ‘My Geography’. This will be a study in the local area. The CBA descriptors (results) are recorded on student Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA). Immediately after CBA 2, students write an Assessment Task (AT) where they reflect on their learning on CBA 2. The AT is submitted to the State Examinations Commission for correction. The AT is worth 10% of the final Junior Cycle exam for Geography. The written exam and AT are then recorded on the JCPA together to give the final descriptor for Geography.

Geography Award

Each year, one Rhetoric student is awarded the Rhetoric Geography Award. The award is presented to the student who has consistently scored high marks in Geography throughout their 5th and 6th year.  The award is presented to the candidate at the Rhetoric Graduation Ceremony.


The Excellence in Geography Award presented to Adam Fitzpatrick (OB 2018) by Brendan O’Shea            

Shane Moran
Head of Geography

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