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Course leader: Miss Samantha Parish

Aims of the course:

  • To address the key ideas and debates in the world today, whilst ensuring an understanding of other, more traditional geographical topics.

What are lessons like?

  • There are 5 lessons per week taught by Miss Parish (2 hours per week), Mr Haworth (2 hours per week) and Miss Lewis (1 hour per week). Our lessons use a wide variety of resources and teaching styles. We are confident that students who have studied A-level Geography are well-informed and care about an ever changing world.

What are exams like?

  • All exams are completed at the end of the second year of study. There are 3 examinations in total; Paper 1 focuses on physical geography (30% of the A-level), Paper 2 focuses on human geography (30% of the A-level) and Paper 3 is a synoptic paper which draws together learning from over the 2 year course (20% of the A-level).
  • There is also a coursework element, worth 20% of the overall A-level.

Recommended prior learning /entry requirements:

  • You should be intrigued and excited by the world around you. You should enjoy learning about the world’s fast changing physical and human environments and how these interact with one another. Ideally, you will have studied GCSE Geography and will have gained a grade 5 or above. We may consider students who have not taken Geography before but who have demonstrated strong results in other subject areas.

Recommended additional reading:

  • The Great Thirst – Californians and Water (1992) by Norris Hundley.
  • Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet (2008) by Mark Lynas.
  • The Global casino (4th edition 2008) by Nick Middleton.
  • The New Rulers of the World (2003) by John Pilger.
  • The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (The Man Booker prize winner in 2008).
  • The Debt Boomerang (1991) by Susan George.
  • Fixing Climate (2008) by Wallace Broeker and Robert Kunzig.
  • There is no such thing as a natural disaster (2006) by Chester Hartman and Gregory D Squires (about the New Orleans flood).
  • Richter 10- Taming the Earthquakes (1996) by Arthur Clarke and (late) Mike McQuay.
  • Volcano – Nature’s Inferno (1997) National geographic.
  • Geography: An integrated approach by David Waugh (various editions). Excellent breadth and depth of A-Level content.
  • Climate Wars: The Fight For Survival As The World Overheats by Gwynne Dyer.
  • Here on Earth by Tim Flannery.

Where can this course lead to?

  • Geography is a multi-disciplinary subject and as such, incorporates elements of Science, Maths and English. As a result of it being what has been described as a ‘facilitating subject’, it can open doors to a multitude of careers. Naturally, there are lots of jobs within the environmental sector which are more closely linked with studies in Geography. Additionally, many Geographers go on to work in engineering. Geography is a broad subject and as a result, opens up a wide range of careers to students.

Why study Geography at St Mary’s College Sixth Form?

  • Passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated teachers.
  • Excellent exam results.
  • Excellent feedback from A-level students, many of whom continued studying Geography at university.
  • Enjoyable and varied lessons.
  • Hands-on experience during a fun and education residential fieldwork trip.