Geography is the subject that underpins our understanding of the world, its peoples, places, landscapes and environments.

If we fail to understand and manage the world and its resources in a sustainable way, then the human race itself will ultimately falter. We are in a new age - the Anthropocene - the first age when the world as a whole is dominated by one species, humankind.

Geography is unlike any other subject in that it bridges the sciences and humanities. Students might one day find themselves managing large datasets and applying statistical techniques to explore the difference between correlation and causation whilst on another occasion be perfecting the nuances of their arguments to persuade the reader of whose responsibility it is to tackle global inequality.

Year 9 (Block 3)

Block 3 introduces students to a variety of geographical topics, challenging students’ preconceptions of the discipline. Students are taught through an enquiry approach with an emphasis on developing skills with an ultimate aim to create independent learners.

BAC (Block 4 & 5)

The BAC provides students with an unparalleled grounding for studying sciences and humanities at A Level. The BAC provides the freedom to create a tailored course which develops some of the best geographers in the country. Unconstrained by exam boards, students study a diverse mix of topics with an equally diverse framework of assessment. Students study a different topic each half term with each topic having an associated key concept and focus for assessment. Fieldwork is an integral element of geographical investigation and students carry out investigations in both Block 4 and 5. During the Easter break, Block 4 students have the opportunity to participate in an “awe and wonder” residential trip to Iceland. Geographers snorkel in a plate boundary, climb a glacier and experience the healing powers of the Blue lagoon.

View more videos from Bedales Geography.

A Level

At A Level, Geography had the largest percentage increase of all the major subjects in 2015, with candidate numbers rising sharply by 13 per cent. Geography is now one of the most popular subjects taken with over 33,000 students taking the subject last year at A level and more than 55,600 studying the AS Level.

Due to changes from the Department for Education, we now offer the new Eduqas A Level.

Component 1: Changing Landscapes and Changing Places (30%)

Component 2: Global Systems and Global Governance (30%)

Component 3: Contemporary Themes in Geography (20%)

Component 4: Independent Investigation (20%)

The A Level is assessed through three separate exam papers at the end of the 6.2 year. Fieldwork is now a compulsory element and students participate in a residential fieldtrip to a Field Studies Centre.

In August 2015, The Guardian described the Geography A Level as “The must have A-Level - in a world that increasingly values people who can work across the physical and social sciences, geography’s all the rage.”

The nature of the discipline combined with the training Geography students receive makes graduate geographers some of the most sought after and employable in the world. Geography graduates are - according to the latest Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) survey data) less likely to be unemployed after their degree course than those studying almost any other subject.

A Level Summary Sheet

Examining Board: OCR - 2017 / WJEC – 2018+

Head of Department: Paul Turner

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