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Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls

Carshalton High School for Girls is a highly successful school, judged by Ofsted in November 2017 as ‘Good’ in all categories.

Geography A Level KS5

What will students study in Geography at Key Stage 5?

At A Level Geography, students will have an increased focus on the interaction between people and the environment. They will develop their understanding of physical systems, but also the way that

they interact with human activity, and how they are reliant on other processes with which they are interdependent. This emphasis starts to reduce the artificial division between what could be called ‘human’ and ‘physical’ geography, and provides a closer match to the sort of experience that students might have when they move on to undergraduate study.

In Year 12, students study three concurrent units. This helps to build the synopsis across the specification and builds in the skills required for their NEAs. Water and Carbon Cycles focuses on the major stores of water and carbon at or near the Earth’s surface and the dynamic cyclical relationships associated with them. The content invites students to contemplate the magnitude and significance of the cycles at a variety of scales, their relevance to wider geography and their central importance for human populations.

Year 12 Geography students also study Contemporary Urban Environments, which focuses on urban growth and change which are seemingly ubiquitous processes and present significant environmental and social challenges for human populations. This unit examines these processes and challenges and the issues associated with them, in particular the potential for environmental sustainability and social cohesion. Engaging with these themes in a range of urban settings from contrasting areas of the world affords the opportunity for Geography students to appreciate human diversity and develop awareness and insight into profound questions of opportunity, equity and sustainability.

The third unit for Year 12 is Changing Places, where students will focus on their and other peoples’ engagement with places, their experience of them and the qualities they accredit to them, all of which are of fundamental importance in their lives. Students will be able to acknowledge this importance and engage with how places are known and experienced, how their character is appreciated, the factors and processes which impact upon places and how they change and develop over time. Through developing this knowledge, students will gain understanding of the way in which their own lives and those of others are affected by continuity and change in the nature of places which are of fundamental importance in their lives.

All three Year 12 units give students the opportunity to develop their geographical skills including observation, measurement and geospatial mapping skills, together with data manipulation and statistical skills. They will develop qualitative and quantitative investigative techniques and practice-related observation, measurement and GIS mapping skills. Students will begin their planning for their fieldwork Non-Exam Assessment (NEA) at the end of Year 12, and complete it during the first half of Year 13.

In Year 13, our Geographer’s will complete their NEA and study three further units. Hazards focuses on the lithosphere and the atmosphere, which intermittently but regularly present natural hazards to human populations, often in dramatic and sometimes catastrophic fashion. By exploring the origin and nature of these hazards and the various ways in which people respond to them, students are able to engage with many dimensions of the relationships between people and the environments they occupy. In Global Systems and Global Governance students will focus on globalisation – the economic, political and social changes associated with technological and other driving forces which have been a key feature of global economy and society in recent decades. They will investigate the increased interdependence and transformed relationships between peoples, states and environments that have prompted more or less successful attempts at a global level to manage and govern some aspects of human affairs. Students will engage with important dimensions of these phenomena, with particular emphasis on international trade and access to markets and the governance of the global commons. Year 13 students will also contemplate many complex dimensions of contemporary world affairs and their own place in and perspective on them. The final unit Glacial Systems and Landscapes focuses on glaciated landscapes. These are dynamic environments in which landscapes continue to develop through contemporary processes, but which mainly reflect former climatic conditions associated with the Pleistocene era. Through a systems-based approach, students will investigate the operation and outcomes of fundamental geomorphological processes and their association with distinctive landscapes, while gaining an informed appreciation of the beauty and diversity of glaciated regions and the challenges they present for human habitation. 

What are the major assessments this year?

Pre-unit assessments are set on MSForms to inform teacher planning of each unit’s lessons. They will identify the prior knowledge students should have and provide a basis for bridging work to close any gaps to enable full access to the A Level content. Assessments also build on these skills, from single exam questions, to mini exam paper Mid-Unit Assessments, culminating in full unit examination paper End of Unit Assessments. Cumulative End of Term Assessments also allow students opportunities to develop and revisit key geographical knowledge, understanding, evaluation and skills.

What do assessments test?

Assessment structure is taught and built on across Year 12 and 13. Each unit of work will build on the knowledge and understanding, application and skills assessment objectives assessed. Assessment questions range from short 4 mark paragraphs, through 6 mark analysis of resources and application of knowledge linked to stimulus material, through to longer prose 9 and 20 mark essays.

What are the expectations of my child in Geography?

Students will be expected to attend all lessons, bring a full range of equipment, including text books and study guides, and to complete any missed lessons in their independent study periods. Homework will be submitted on the due date. Students should also be accessing additional materials, being selective in their sourcing, and helping to construct their own knowledge to supplement the contents of lessons. Wider reading is encouraged and access to subscription resources with the Geographical Association and Royal Geographical Society are provided.

What should students do if they feel they are struggling in Geography?

Students should look at the extensive support materials on A Level Geography SharePoint and discuss issues with their Geography teacher.

How can I best support my child in Geography?

The best way to support students is by talking to them about what they are studying in Geography and about how they are getting on.  Students should be encouraged to complete homework in a timely fashion and revise thoroughly for all tests, as these form a major part of the student's current performance. Ongoing revision and application of knowledge through regular practice of exam questions can also be encouraged. Additional support is available on SharePoint, and you should encourage them to look at what is available. Wider reading, watching the news and keeping up with current local and global issues can also be encouraged and generate some interesting conversations and debates!

Whom should I contact for further advice or information?

If you have any queries regarding this subject please feel free to contact the Head of Geography at sstangroom@carshaltongirls,org,uk.

TERM

12

13

AUTUMN 1

 

 

Contemporary Urban Environments

Water & Carbon Cycles

Changing Places

NEA

Hazards

Glacial Systems and Landscapes

Global Systems and Global Governance

AUTUMN 2

 

Contemporary Urban Environments

Water & Carbon Cycles

Changing Places

Hazards

Glacial Systems and Landscapes

Global Systems and Global Governance

SPRING 1

Contemporary Urban Environments

Water & Carbon Cycles

Changing Places

Hazards

Glacial Systems and Landscapes

Global Systems and Global Governance

SPRING 2

 

 

Contemporary Urban Environments

Water & Carbon Cycles

Changing Places

 

Revision and Exams

SUMMER 1

 

 

Contemporary Urban Environments

Water & Carbon Cycles

Changing Places

Revision and Exams

SUMMER 2

 

NEA

Hazards