A Level

Geography is a study of the environment and man's relationship with it. It is exciting and dynamic and is probably the best cross-curricular subject for any A-Level student to study.

Geography at A-Level

Students choosing Geography should have a genuine interest in, and enthusiasm for, the subject, as well as a willingness to research topics and take an interest in what is going on in the world. Its relevance in the context of global issues is obvious; it is concerned with current issues such as: World Population Growth, Problems of Drought and Famine, Pollution, Sustainable Development, Regional Development, Climate Change and so on. As such, it can be seen as an important part of a person's broad education - an important criterion when choosing four subjects to study at A-Level. Geography fits in well with most combinations of subjects, both Arts-related and Science-related.

Course Outline

For exams from June 2018

Exam Board: OCR

A Level

Paper 1 Physical Systems  1hr 30min exam (66 marks)

Topic 1.1 Landscape Systems including Option A: Coastal landscapes

Topic 1.2 Earth's Life Support Systems

Geographical Skills

Paper 2 Geographical Skills 1hr 30min exam (66 marks)

Topic 2.1 Changing Spaces; Making Places

Topic 2.2 Global Connections

Geographical Skills

Paper 3 Geographical Debates  2hr 30mins exam (108 marks)

Two topics chosen are: Topic 3.1 Climate Change, Topic 3.5 Hazardous Earth

 

For exams before June 2018

Exam Board: AQA

AS Level

Unit 1 Physical and Human Geography 2 hr exam (120 marks)

Core Physical:- Rivers, floods and management

Core Human:- Population Change

Physical Option:- Cold environments

Human Option:- Health Issues

Unit 2 Geographical Skills 1 hr exam (50 marks)

Investigative, map, graphical, ICT and statistical skills

A2 Level

Unit 3 Contemporary Geographical Issues2 1/2 hr exam (90 marks)

This unit involves an issues-based approach to contemporary geographical themes. We intend to study:-

Plate tectonics and associated hazards

Weather and climate and associated hazards

Development and globalisation.

World Cities

Unit 4 Geographical issue evaluation 1 1/2 hr exam (60 marks)

Candidates use their skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation to work through an issue. An information booklet is pre-released, 2 months prior to the exam to facilitate students’ research.

Why choose Geography?

Students choosing Geography should have a genuine interest in, and enthusiasm for, the subject as well as a willingness to research topics and take an interest in what is going on in the world. Its relevance in the context of global issues is obvious; it is concerned with current issues such as world population growth, problems of drought and famine, pollution, sustainable development, regional development, climate change, etc. As such it can be seen as part of a person’s broad education, an important criterion when choosing four AS levels.

Geographers will find the lesson activities varied, with innovative methods juxtaposed alongside important traditional skills. Some notable lessons include an ICT-based simulation entitled FloodSim, where students look at how changes they make to flood protection schemes impact on the UK; drama performances of river processes; Mars bar glaciation, where students can almost taste the processes involved! ; Pop-up glacial valleys and World Cities video montages.

At AS and A2 level, there are also opportunities for students to escape the classroom and increase their understanding of key topics through trips and fieldwork. All AS students attend the excellent and enjoyable residential field trip to Barcelona, where they study rebranding, regeneration and coasts in preparation for their Geographical Skills paper. There is a cost of just over £300, although the school will assist students who may be unable to afford this compulsory trip. Students have also visited London for student conferences featuring eminent speakers and also attended lectures at universities.

Geography is probably the best cross-curricular subject; it fits in well with most combinations of subjects, both arts and sciences. It is a well-respected A level choice, both in terms of university entrance and employment. It helps develop certain skills which may be of use in future employment - the ability to solve problems, to select facts and evaluate them, to understand relationships, to apply hypotheses to new situations and so on.

Geographers from Sutton Grammar have an outstanding record of examination success and are often later recognised by their universities as being exceptionally rounded students of the discipline. Seven of our students have recently gone to Oxbridge. With hard work, our students have a record of success; 2018s A Level group achieved 2A*s and 7As; 2010’s A2 group of 16 students achieved 6A*s and 10As! Geography graduates go into a vast range of different careers, not all of which are specifically related to the subject, such as meteorology, town planning, overseas development work, management, accountancy and banking, transport - the list is almost endless! 

Facilities

Geography moved into three dedicated rooms in the brand new Sixth-Form building in September 2015 and has excellent purpose-built accommodation as a result. Sixth-Form students studying Geography have their own devoted computer suite which also contains a library of books and other resources. Some of the students help in the running of this room, as well as in the regular updating of our Geography in the News notice board. Students are encouraged to bring in articles for this notice board as this helps to develop their interest in, and appreciation of the relevance of, the subject.