Belvedere College - Geography



Our aim is to instruct our students so that they have an appreciation for the world around them. Geography surrounds us all and we try to convey an appreciation to our students.


Junior Certificate

Leaving Certificate

Tom Doyle

Brendan O'Shea

Daniel Meagher

Shane Moran

Shane Moran

Tom Doyle

Brendan O'Shea (Dept. Head)

Mr. D. Dougherty

Andy Wood


All staff meet on a regular basis. Each teacher is encouraged to work together rather than in isolation. The Department has an agreed programme for each year. Each teacher follows a set curriculum and format. At Christmas and summer, each student within a certain 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 Department of Education and Science. Students are required to sit a Junior Certificate. Generally all Junior Cert students sit the Higher Level course. 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 Elements, Rudiments and Grammar (1st, 2nd, 3rd year), all our students follow the DES course. The syllabus can be downloaded from:

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 a study the Urbanisation of Dublin.  The course is a ½ year course where students then study History for the other ½ of the year.  Students study the development of Dublin from 900AD until 2020AD (approximately).  Using Dublin as a case study students also look at urban theories.  The aim of the course is to give students a full understanding of their city and a foundation towards Leaving Certificate Geography

In Poetry and Rhetoric (5th and 6th year) we also follow the DES course.  This can be viewed at

View Course Outline for Leaving Cert Geography here...

Under the Leaving Cert programme, students are required to submit a fieldtrip for examination.  This is a great opportunity for students to get a hands-on approach to Geography.  This year Rhetoric students travelled to Arklow, Co. Wicklow.  The trip was a great day out for all and a large amount of information was gathered.

The department has now become one of the largest option subjects for the Leaving Cert.  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 "Moodle" This enables students to follow our course notes, receive news of field trips etc. and participate in discussion forums as well as blogs.
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 students 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

Geography Room

In September 2007, the Department moved from the staffroom to a new Geography room. This room is located on the top floor of the Junior House (1st year building). Mr. Moran and Mr. Doyle and are located in this office. Students are encouraged to come to the office before school starts and during breaks where they can talk to a member of the Department about their Geography work. There is also an extensive range of resources stored here and students may browse through books. Periodicals are kept in the Learning Resource Centre.

Geography Award

Each year Rhetoric students will have the opportunity to sit an exam to win the Geography award. The exam takes place for an hour and 10 minutes after school and it involves students answers four past Leaving Certificate questions on physical Geography, Regional Geography, Human Geography and Geoecology. The award is presented to the candidate at the Rhetoric Graduation Ceremony.
Matt Nolan (OB'16) won the Geography Award 2016

Brendan O’Shea
Head of Geography                                                                             

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