Encouraging exploration of cultures, landscapes and environments
Geography is, in the broadest sense, an education for life and for living. Learning through geography helps us all to be more informed and responsible citizens and employees. Understanding the causes of differences and inequalities between social groups, cultures, political systems, economies, landscapes and environments underlie much of the newer developments in human geography. Geography not only lies as a stepping stone to a whole range of opportunities, but the skills our students develop can lead to employment in journalism, media, engineering, IT, travel and tourism, marketing and teaching.
Key Stage 3
Geography is, in the broadest sense, an education for life and for living. Learning through geography - whether gained through formal learning or experientially through travel, fieldwork and expeditions - helps us all to be more socially and environmentally sensitive, informed and responsible citizens and employees.
Geography puts this understanding of social and physical processes within the context of places and regions - recognising the great differences in cultures, political systems, economies, landscapes and environments across the world, and the links between them. Understanding the causes of differences and inequalities between places and social groups underlie much of the newer developments in human geography.
Key Stage 4
Geography is well known as a subject that links to all other subjects in the curriculum, so a GCSE in Geography is a stepping stone to a whole range of opportunities. A good grade will help to move you on to any AS, Applied A Level or BTEC course. The skills you develop can lead you to employment opportunities in journalism, media, engineering, IT, travel and tourism, environmental management, marketing, business management and teaching. Geographers are everywhere!
What different factors contribute to the human development of a country: economic, social, technological, cultural, as well as food and water security? What factors (physical, historic and economic) that have led to spatial variations in the level of development globally and within the UK? What is the impact of uneven development on the quality of life in different parts of the world: access to housing, health, education, employment, technology, food and water security? How and why is India developing?
Weather Hazards and Climate Change
How does the atmosphere operate as a global system transferring heat and energy? How was the global climate different in the past and how does it continue to change? Why does the UK have a distinct climate which has changed over time? Tropical cyclones are extreme weather events, how do they develop under specific conditions and in certain locations. What are the causes of drought, why are some locations more vulnerable than others? What are the impacts of and responses to, drought? Why do they vary depending on a country’s level of development?
Changing Landscapes of the UK
What physical and human processes work together to create the UK’s distinct landscape? How do the processes of erosion and deposition create distinctive landforms around our coastline? How does human activity lead to changes in coastal landscapes? How are the UK’s rivers shaped and formed by human and physical processes? What threats do rivers pose to people?
We will spend a day on Dawlish Warren, a fantastic example of how human and physical processes interact to form a unique coastal environment. We will investigate how the sand spit was formed, what it’s made of, how people make use of it and its future. Students will be shown how to collect primary data using a range of techniques, how to analyse data and structure a detailed report. The investigation also provides students with the opportunity to make use of their IT skills and learn some new ones.
Ecosystems Biodiversity and Management
What is the Biosphere? What are the seven major ecosystems of the world, where are they and why are they important? What distinctive ecosystems exist within the UK? What makes a tropical rainforest and what goods and services to we extract from them? What are deciduous woodlands, why are they important and what goods and services do we extract from them?
How and why is the world urbanising? Why does the degree of urbanisation vary across the UK? Why is Birmingham the second largest city in the UK? How has Birmingham been changed by people, employment and globalisation? Why has Mexico City grown so rapidly? How does it deal with huge numbers of people arriving daily? What are the causes and possible solutions to Mexico City’s problems? What are the costs and benefits of greenfield and brownfield development in the UK?
We will spend a day in Bristol Harbour, an urban environment that has undergone a transformation in the last fifty years. We will investigate how it has changed from a working dock to a centre of leisure, commerce and housing, as well as exactly what it is used for today. Students will be shown how to collect primary data using a range of techniques, how to analyse data and structure a detailed report. The investigation also provides students with the opportunity to make use of their IT skills and learn some new ones.
Where are the world’s most valuable natural resources to be found? What are they used for? Which countries consume most of the earth’s resources? How does the supply of fresh water vary globally? How do developing and developed countries use water differently? How can we manage our fresh water supplies more sustainably to meet future demands?
Key Stage 5
A Level Geography.
Why study A Level Geography?
The study of natural environments is an excellent foundation for employment or study in the area of environmental management or resource exploitation. The human geography provides a superb background to areas related to economics and business, urban planning, development and global finance.
Universities view Geography as one of the eight ‘facilitating subjects’. These are subjects that most frequently required for entry to degree courses, these subjects open up a wide range of options for university study. If you’re not entirely sure what you want to study at degree level these subjects
The unit introduces students to the concept of globalisation from a historical perspective, introducing the main players and actions that have driven the development of globalisation since the 19th century and accelerated it in the post-war years. The second and third enquiry questions broadly cover the consequences of globalisation for people around the world, and ask students to consider different attitudes towards globalisation and whether the consequences can be managed.
The four enquiry questions each follow a particular strand of investigation about different elements of how places change: how and why do places vary; why regeneration might be needed; how regeneration is managed; and determining how successful regeneration is. A key part of this topic is for students to gain a clear understanding of how processes of change can include movements of people, capital, information and resources, making some places economically dynamic while other places appear to be marginalised. This creates and exacerbates considerable economic and social inequalities both between and within local areas. Furthermore, students need to understand that urban and rural regeneration programmes involve a range of players which are involved in place making (regeneration) and place marketing (rebranding), that regeneration programmes impact variably on people, and the relative success of such programmes depends on the extent to which the lived experience, perceptions, and attachments to places are changed.
This unit promotes an understanding of global superpowers and the characteristics that create a superpower. Certain countries and organisations extend more influence globally than others, and this pattern of dominance changes over time. Superpowers play a key role in the global economy, global politics and the environment, and contradicting ideas can lead to tensions and geopolitical implications. Key questions covered are: What are superpowers and how have they changed over time? What are the impacts of superpowers on the global economy, political systems and the physical environment? What spheres of influence are contested by superpowers and what are the implications of this?
Migration, Identity and sovereignty
This unit we investigate how tensions can result between the logic of globalisation, with its growing levels of environmental, social and economic interdependence among people, economies and nation states, and the traditional definitions of national sovereignty and territorial integrity. International migration changes not only the ethnic composition of populations but also attitudes to national identity. At the same time, nationalist movements have grown in some places, challenging dominant models of economic change and redefining ideas of national identity. Global governance has developed to manage a number of common global issues (environmental, social, political and economic), and has a mixed record in its success in dealing with them. It has promoted growth and political stability for some people in some places while not benefiting others. Unequal power relations have tended to lead to unequal environmental, social and economic outcomes. Key questions covered are: What are the impacts of globalisation on international migration? How are nation states defined and how have they evolved in a globalising world? What are the impacts of global organisations on managing global issues and conflicts?
Tectonic Processes and Hazards
This unit offers students the opportunity to investigate and interpret the physical nature of tectonic processes and their impacts on an ever-changing planet. Students will learn about the history of theories, and develop an appreciation for the complex geography and geology of our planet. These important themes will be developed further in terms of coastal lithology and other subject areas later in the course, and an awareness of the basics will help students throughout.
Coastal Landscapes and Change
Students will study the development of coastal landscapes and how geomorphological factors influence the way they work. The interaction of winds, waves and currents will be studied and the impact of both terrestrial and offshore sediment sources. The sediment budget will help explain the distinctive landforms we see and the influence geology and lithology play. The study of a number of different coastal landscapes will help students appreciate the sheer variety that exists around the world and the reasons why such a variety develops. Finally students will investigate why these landscapes are increasingly threatened by physical processes and human activities, and the need for holistic and sustainable management of these areas in all the world’s coasts.
The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
The constant human and physical changes to our environment present challenges within the hydrological system. This topic aims to develop students’ awareness of these and help them understand more deeply the processes that work within the hydrological cycle. Key questions covered are: What are the processes operating within the hydrological cycle from global to local scale? What factors influence the hydrological system over short- and long-term timescales? How does water insecurity occur, and why is it becoming such a global issue for the 21st century?
The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security
A balanced carbon cycle is important in maintaining planetary health. The carbon cycle operates at a range of spatial scales and timescales, from seconds to millions of years. Physical processes control the movement of carbon between stores on land, the oceans and the atmosphere. Changes to the most important stores of carbon and carbon fluxes are a result of physical and human processes. Reliance on fossil fuels has caused significant changes to carbon stores and contributed to climate change resulting from anthropogenic carbon emissions. The water and carbon cycles and the role of feedback in and between the two cycles provide a context for developing an understanding of climate change. Anthropogenic climate change poses a serious threat to the health of the planet. There is a range of adaptation and mitigation strategies that could be used, but for them to be successful they require global agreements as well as national actions.