Gumley House School FCJ

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Geography (A Level)

Studying the science of everything

Head of Department: Mrs K Wilson

Are you interested in today’s world?  Do you want to find out more about topical issues currently in the news - topics such as climate change and urban sustainability, international trade, the environmental impact of energy production, and the security of our energy and water supplies?  Then geography is the subject for you!  

This stimulating subject builds on knowledge gained at GCSE level, but will also provide you the opportunity to experience different elements of geography that you have not experienced before.  It combines well with a wide variety of other subjects – both arts and sciences.  The course develops a range of skills providing a good basis for higher education and future employment.

The Royal Geographical Society highlight the many reasons for studying geography at both GCSE and A Level here.
The Guardian ran an article in 2015 on the importance of taking geography A level here.

CURRICULUM INFORMATION (GEOGRAPHY)

 

WHAT WILL I BE STUDYING ON THE COURSE?

Course Description:  Components within the OCR A Level in Geography consist of:

Physical Systems
: you will investigate examples and case studies at a range of scales to understand the dynamic nature of landscapes and the water and carbon cycles.

Human Interactions:
 you will investigate the actions, interactions and spatial patterns of people in places building a picture of how the world around you is shaped by humans, starting from the local and moving out to regional, national and
international scales.

Geographical Debates
: you will be encouraged to reflect on and think critically about some of the most dynamic issues the planet faces including ’Hazardous Earth and Future of Food’.

Investigative Geography
: you will be given the opportunity to undertake an independent investigation which is of particular interest to you, which can be related to any area of the specification.

The A Level Geography specification provides a dynamic, contemporary and exciting opportunity for students to engage with the world around them. The course will inspire a love of Geography for lifelong learning, drawing on issues that are relevant to a student’s own learning of the subject in a variety of contexts. The course has been designed to strengthen geographical and fieldwork skills  gained at GCSE and delve more deeply into content.

WHAT WILL I BE DOING IN LESSONS?

We will ensure that you cover all the theory required in the syllabus so that you can prepare for your unit tests with confidence.  In addition, you will have lots of opportunities to develop your practical skills.  Lessons will involve a range of activities including individual and group work, practical investigations, presentations and videos.

HOW WILL THE COURSE BE ASSESSED?

Assessment
Paper 1:  Physical Systems (External written examination, 22% of A Level (1 hour 30 mins))

Paper 2
:  Human Interactions  
(External written examination, 22% of A Level (1 hour 30 mins))

Paper 3:
  Geographical Debates  
(External written examination, 36% of A Level (2 hours 30 mins))

Paper 4:
  Investigative Geography  
(Non-examination assessment, 20% of A Level)

WHICH OTHER SUBJECTS GO WELL WITH GEOGRAPHY?

Any!  Students study a wide range of course combinations with geography as it is such a diverse subject.  The subjects that are most commonly studied with geography are maths, the sciences (biology, physics and chemistry), psychology, sociology, history, politics and economics.

AND AFTER THE COURSE?

As a Geographer you will develop many skills which are valued by employers, as well as developing a critical way of thinking about the world. Employers are looking for quality people to invest in, and Geography is a subject which explores the importance of the future. Uniquely, Geography bridges the gap between arts and science subjects and combines well with all other subjects.

WHICH EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS WILL I LEARN?

  • Strong literacy skills
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Analytical skills
  • Cultivation of a world view and a certain cultural sensitivity
  • Numeracy skills
  • Fieldwork techniques

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GEOGRAPHY

Q: Do students go on fieldtrips? 
A: Oh yes! We have also in recent years teamed up with local other schools as part of our Hounslow Education Partnership and collectively conducted field studies.


Q: How big are the classes?
A: This varies from year to year depending on the size of the overall cohort, but there are generally between 8-15 students in each year class.

 
Q: Is the course all exam based?
A: No.  The exams (two equally weighted, taken at the end of the course) account for 80% of the overall mark, and the other 20% is gained through the non-examined assessment.  This is an independent investigation for which students get to choose their own topic from the specification content.  You will plan, carry out and write up your investigation in the summer term of the first year.
 
Q: What will I be doing in lessons?
A: There is a combination of group discussions, independent research, comprehension tasks, fieldwork, videos and presentations.

HEAR FROM SOME OF OUR STUDENTS

CAREERS AND LABOUR MARKET INFORMATION

Please see below for careers and labour market information for Geography - use the refresh buttons to find out about different courses and careers, and use the left and right arrows to view more detailed information: