Subject Lead for Geography: Ms Gail Clarkson
Geography by Ms Gail Clarkson
I hugely enjoy teaching A level Geography in Wye as we have so much opportunity to learn in depth and detail about how and why the planet works in the way it does. This means we can appreciate the wonder of the planet but also understand how precious and fragile it is and why we need to protect it. From this realisation we can address the issues and the politics of how we make changes in order to preserve our earth. The bonus to choosing Geography is that we develop skills in literacy, numeracy, data collection and presentation as well as analysis and evaluation; universities and employers highly these skills.
Why Study Geography?
Geography is a fascinating subject in its own right or as part of a combined Humanities selection. As our awareness of the world around us grows and our environment changes, Geography can supply the information, enthusiasm and challenge to students looking to discover a real subject tackling real issues. The issues range from newsworthy topics such as controlling Europe’s migration dilemma to an understanding of how to manage natural hazards. Geography develops the skills of analysis of data, investigation, comprehensive writing, and decision making, alongside interpersonal skills such as collecting data in teams or debating issues.
The new A level is a linear course spanning 2 years that looks at a range of contemporary topics and issues that are assessed in 2 exam papers, Physical Geography and Human Geography, at the end of the course.
The areas of study for Physical geography include the water and carbon cycles as natural systems, associated issues and threats such as flooding and deforestation, and the impact on the processes of climate change; Coastal systems, processes, landforms, and the issue of coastal zone management; and the nature, impact, and management of various natural hazards (volcanic, seismic, atmospheric cyclones).
The areas of study for Human Geography are global systems and governance (globalization); Changing Places with a focus on distinguishing between clearly contrasting local and distant places (endogenous and exogenous factors); contemporary urban environments and the issues surrounding sustainable urban living.
In addition, students are required to undertake a geographical investigation that requires fieldwork and the collection of data to answer a key question or hypothesis defined by the candidate in relation to the course specification. This will normally be undertaken at a Field Studies Council centre, where they have years of expertise and the necessary resources to maximise our student’s learning. often a residential experience.
Beyond A level
Geography is a useful A level when applying for a wide range of university courses as it acts as a natural bridge between humanities and sciences. At university students of Geography may continue with a closely related degree (Geography, Environmental Geography, Geology, Urban Management and Planning, Meteorology etc.) or other associated degrees (leisure and tourism, business etc.). A Geography degree can lead to a variety of occupations in industry, business, and law firms and in applied disciplines such as Urban Planning, Meteorology, and Environmental Protection.