“It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.”
Geography at A Level is all about the ability to be synoptic and make links between the natural landscape and the impacts that us humans have on it. The A level specification offers a revitalised perspective on geography, with the programme of study looking at contemporary and real-life issues in world.
Automatic entry onto Level 3 courses includes students achieving 4 x Grade 9-4 or equivalent at GCSE alongside a Grade 4 or above in English and/or Mathematics. Students with either English and/or Mathematics at Grade 3 or below will have individual meetings to determine the most suitable pathway within the Sixth Form.
At A level we follow the AQA specification and geography is delivered through three different elements; physical geography, human geography and an independent fieldwork investigation. Through physical geography we cover topics on natural hazards, water and carbon cycles (often considered to be the building blocks for life on earth) and coastal landscapes. This is examined at the end of the two years course and contributes 40% of the total A level marks. A second element making up 40% of the A level is the human paper, where students study the rapidly changing processes that govern and shape the places that we live in. The human topics we study cover changing places, contemporary urban environments and global governance.
The independent fieldwork investigation is completed in Year 13 and requires the students to be taken on two fieldtrips. The first trip helps to equip and prepare the students with the knowledge and skills that will be needed for their individual investigation and the second trip allows students to collect the data needed for their individual study. The final fieldwork project of 3000-4000 words makes up 20% of the final A level mark.
Throughout the geography A level course, you’ll learn about the issues you see on the news every day and there is a strong emphasis on fieldwork and the development of analytical skills. Throughout the course you will be able to practise a wide range of transferable skills, essential not only for A-levels but that are also highly regarded by employers and university admission tutors alike.
Ways to help my child succeed
In Geography nothing is more important than engaging with the subject area through current affairs. A great way to help your child to succeed is to encourage them in watching, reading or listening to a range of news sources each week and engage them in discussion about their views on current events. Homework will be set each week and you can also help your child succeed by helping them manage their time effectively and meet subject deadlines.