Geography A level

Geography lessons focus on understanding the world and help stimulate an interest about places. The acquisition of knowledge and the practising of skills help students understand and address issues. Geography aims to improve the students’ understanding of the ways in which values, attitudes and circumstances have an impact on the relationship between people, place and environment. Learners are given the opportunity to develop skills such as literacy, numeracy, digital thinking, problem solving, planning and organising, creativity and innovation.

There is the opportunity to carry out physical and human fieldwork and to use these experiences to understand and generate new knowledge about the real world. Students will become skilled at planning, undertaking and evaluating fieldwork. ICT is used to enhance the learning experience and to investigate and analyse changing environments and challenges. A modern and engaging approach is used to cover the topics of changing glacial landscapes, tectonic hazards as well as the 21st century challenges of climate change, energy security, global migration and the global governance of the oceans.

Entry requirements

It would be desirable to have studied Geography at GCSE but it is not essential. You will need to have a good level of numeracy and literacy. A curiosity and interest in global issues is essential.

Course content

The specification we follow is the WJEC Syllabus.

AS Content
Unit 1
Section A : Changing landscapes- Glacial landscapes
Section B : Tectonic Hazards
Unit 2
Section A : Changing Places
Section B : Fieldwork Investigation in Physical and Human Geography

A2 Content
Unit 3
Section A : Global Systems – Water and Carbon Cycles
Section B : Global Governance : Change and Challenges – Processes and patterns of global migration and global governance of the earth’s oceans
Section C : 21st Century Challenges
Unit 4
Section A: Tectonic Hazards
Section B: Contemporary Themes in Geography. Options include :
• Ecosystems
• Economic Growth and Challenge: India or China or Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
• Energy Challenges and Dilemmas
• Weather and Climate
Unit 5
Independent Investigation ( 3,000-4,000 words )

Assessment

AS Geography Examinations

Unit 1 Paper : Changing landscapes. Section A : Glaciated Landscapes ; two compulsory structured questions with data response. Section B : Tectonic Hazards ; three compulsory questions with data response . Written examination ( 2 hours ) 24 % of qualification.

Unit 2 Paper : Changing Places. Section A : Changing places ; two compulsory structured questions with data response. Section B : Fieldwork Investigation in Physical and Human Geography : three compulsory structured questions with data response on fieldwork and the learner’s own fieldwork investigation. Written examination ( 1 hour and 30 minutes ) 16% of qualification.

A2 Geography Examinations

Unit 3 Paper : Section A : Global Systems. Water and Carbon Cycles: two compulsory structured questions with data response and one extended response question. Section B : Global Governance : two compulsory questions with data response and one expended response question. Section C : 21st Century Challenges: one compulsory extended response question drawing on Units 1,2,3 with resource material. Written examination ( 2 hours ) 24% of qualification

Unit 4 Paper : Contemporary Themes in Geography: Section A : Tectonic Hazards; one compulsory extended response question. Section B : Contemporary themes in G eography; two essay questions. Written examination ( 2 hours ) 16% of qualification.

Unit 5 : Non-examination assessment. Individual investigation ( 3,000-4,000 words) 20% of qualification.

Where does it lead?

The skills covered in lessons are important in preparing students for a wide range of university course and careers. Universities offer BA and BSc courses in Geography and related subjects such as Applied Geography, Marine Geography, Environmental Geography, Earth Science. Geography can be combined successfully with City Planning, Law, Economics, Politics, History, Business Management, Architecture, Environmental Science. Geography students from St. Michael’s School have gone on to study Humanities and Science including medicine, dentistry and veterinary science.

Geographers work in a wide variety of professions across the Legal, Education, Environmental, Business, ICT, Government, Retailing, Development sectors. Geographical skills are transferable and are highly valued by employers because of the thinking skills, research, investigation analysis involved.

Reading List
Geography review – A level magazine, published by Philip Allen
Websites to explore:
www.guardian.co.uk/environment
www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk
www.worldmapper.co.uk
www.geography.org.uk/resources
www.bbc.co.uk/schools/geography
www.coolgeography.co.uk
www.acegeography.co.uk
Books:
Edexel- A level Physical Geography Book 1

Atlas:
Collins Student World Atlas

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