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Geography

Geography is such a fascinating and vital subject in today's ever-evolving world.
Why choose Geography?

“There has never been a better or more important time to study geography. With growing interest in issues such as climate change, migration, environmental degradation and social cohesion, geography is one of the most relevant courses you could choose to study….. Whatever your passion for the world – fascination with landscapes or concerns about inequality – geography will provide you with knowledge and transferable skills that will reward you personally and advance you professionally.”

Dr Rita Gardner, Director of the Royal Geographical Society

Are you keen to:

  • Enjoy learning about people and their societies, economies, cultures and the environment. You are interested in how we might shape our world for future generations?
  • Develop a wide range of skills?
  • Achieve above average employability in areas as diverse as health, law, politics, business, and engineering?

Then you are probably a geographer! Try these links to find out more:

Adapted from http://www.rgs.org/OurWork/Study+Geography/Study/Why+study+geography.htm

What you will study:

Our A level programme follows the Edexcel specification. We have chosen this because their approach has proven to engage students as the study of Geography is through real world issues like Globalisation, responses to hazards like earthquakes and drought, water insecurity and climate change.

Students have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of the world around them, and become critical, reflective and independent learners. We believe this will help to equip them not just for university and a career, but for life in the 21st century.

At the end of this 2 year course, you will sit 3 papers worth 80% of the qualification, and also complete coursework worth 20%. The topics for each paper as follows:

Paper one (Physical Geography, 30% of qualification)

Tectonic processes and hazards
What are the physical processes which cause hazards and how do these interact with vulnerable populations, resulting in disasters? How can we reduce risk?

Coastal landscapes and change
How winds, waves and oceanic currents interact with geology to produce distinctive landscapes around the world, and how physical processes and people threaten those landscapes. What can we do to manage these areas?

Our A level programme follows the Edexcel specification. We have chosen this because their approach has proven to engage students as the study of Geography is through real world issues like Globalisation, responses to hazards like earthquakes and drought, water insecurity and climate change.

Students have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of the world around them, and become critical, reflective and independent learners. We believe this will help to equip them not just for university and a career, but for life in the 21st century.

At the end of this 2 year course, you will sit 3 papers worth 80% of the qualification, and also complete coursework worth 20%. The topics for each paper as follows:

Paper one (Physical Geography, 30% of qualification)

Tectonic processes and hazards
What are the physical processes which cause hazards and how do these interact with vulnerable populations, resulting in disasters? How can we reduce risk?

Coastal landscapes and change
How winds, waves and oceanic currents interact with geology to produce distinctive landscapes around the world, and how physical processes and people threaten those landscapes. What can we do to manage these areas?

The Water Cycle and Water Security
How physical processes and people influence the supply of water around the world. Why is water security deteriorating for many around the world, and what can we do about it?

The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security
We need a balanced carbon cycle for the health of our planet. Carbon moves between the different stores on land, the oceans and the atmosphere due to physical and human processes. Burning fossil fuels has shifted carbon from geological stores to the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. The last time CO2 levels in the atmosphere were this high, humans did not exist, so we are now in unknown territory. This topic looks at these processes and how we can manage change.

Paper two (Human Geography, 30% of qualification)

Globalisation
Global interrelationships and interdependencies between people and places continue to accelerate. This has a range of consequences including opportunities for people and businesses, uneven wealth distribution, and cultural impacts as flows of people, goods and ideas takes place. This topic studies these consequences and how we can manage them.

Regenerating Places
Places are changed by local, national and global processes including movements of people, capital, information and resources causing decline and marginalisation for some. This topic looks at the characteristics of places, including how they are perceived by locals and outsiders, and how and why they may decline. It looks at ways places can be regenerated, and how we can assess success.

Superpowers
We are accustomed to the world being dominated by the USA and Europe. However, this pattern is changing as emerging superpowers like India and China exert their influence. This has consequences for us all as it affects the global economy, global politics and the environment.

Migration, Identity and Sovereignty
Globalisation leads to movements of goods, capital and people. This can cause tensions between the growing interdependence of people and places and traditional views of the powers of national government. Migration can change not just the ethnic composition of populations, but attitudes to national identity. This can give rise to populist nationalist parties like the National Front in France and UKIP in the UK.

Paper 3 (Synoptic paper, 20% of qualification)

This exam is based on a resource booklet drawing on two or more of the compulsory content areas from papers 1 and 2. Effective responses require knowledge and understanding from all of these areas.

Coursework (non-examined assessment, 20% of qualification)

Students define their own question for investigation drawing on a topic area from papers 2 and 3. They may collect data in the field, in groups, and will write their analysis, conclusions, and presentation and evaluation of data independently.

How physical processes and people influence the supply of water around the world. Why is water security deteriorating for many around the world, and what can we do about it?

The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security
We need a balanced carbon cycle for the health of our planet. Carbon moves between the different stores on land, the oceans and the atmosphere due to physical and human processes. Burning fossil fuels has shifted carbon from geological stores to the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. The last time CO2 levels in the atmosphere were this high, humans did not exist, so we are now in unknown territory. This topic looks at these processes and how we can manage change.

Paper two (Human Geography, 30% of qualification)

Globalisation
Global interrelationships and interdependencies between people and places continue to accelerate. This has a range of consequences including opportunities for people and businesses, uneven wealth distribution, and cultural impacts as flows of people, goods and ideas takes place. This topic studies these consequences and how we can manage them.

Regenerating Places
Places are changed by local, national and global processes including movements of people, capital, information and resources causing decline and marginalisation for some. This topic looks at the characteristics of places, including how they are perceived by locals and outsiders, and how and why they may decline. It looks at ways places can be regenerated, and how we can assess success.

Superpowers
We are accustomed to the world being dominated by the USA and Europe. However, this pattern is changing as emerging superpowers like India and China exert their influence. This has consequences for us all as it affects the global economy, global politics and the environment.

Migration, Identity and Sovereignty
Globalisation leads to movements of goods, capital and people. This can cause tensions between the growing interdependence of people and places and traditional views of the powers of national government. Migration can change not just the ethnic composition of populations, but attitudes to national identity. This can give rise to populist nationalist parties like the National Front in France and UKIP in the UK.

Paper 3 (Synoptic paper, 20% of qualification)

This exam is based on a resource booklet drawing on two or more of the compulsory content areas from papers 1 and 2. Effective responses require knowledge and understanding from all of these areas.

Coursework (non-examined assessment, 20% of qualification)

Students define their own question for investigation drawing on a topic area from papers 2 and 3. They may collect data in the field, in groups, and will write their analysis, conclusions, and presentation and evaluation of data independently.

Independent Guided Geographical Research
With teacher guidance, you will build on your knowledge from Unit 1 to investigate Tectonic activity and hazards including physical processes, impacts on people and how impacts can be reduced

 

To study Geography at A-level a pass at GCSE is desirable but by no means essential. The main requirement is an interest and enthusiasm to learn about the world around you.

Teaching methods

Building on what you already know about the world around you we use structured teaching packs, visual aids, source material, ICT and fieldwork to investigate the topics on a variety of scales.

Units are examined by written papers, but require knowledge and application of information and skills learnt during practical investigations.

Assessment at AS involves structured questions. At A2 analytical and evaluative skills are developed and exam questions are essay based.

To study Geography at A-level a pass at GCSE is desirable but by no means essential. The main requirement is an interest and enthusiasm to learn about the world around you and a pass in GCSE English. I look forward to seeing you in September.

Answers

World at risk: Hurricane Katrina in economic terms; though the Asian tsunami caused more fatalities.

Going global: Satellite technology reduces the cost of the calls and the wages of trained, skilled, English speaking workers are substantially lower in India.

Re-branding places: Part of Manchester’s re-imaging to ensure a vibrant, growing economy. This regeneration is typical of many ‘de-industrialised’ British cities, along with many rural areas.

Super power geographies: The rise of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) changes the economic playing field as the ‘older’ superpowers (USA and EU) no longer dominate.

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