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.
- Block 3 (Year 9)
- Blocks 4 and 5 (Years 10 and 11)
- Sixth Form
Who made my clothes?
Geography and Philosophy, Religion & Ethics project-based learning
Do you know the effect you have on others, when you buy, wear and discard clothes? Who picked the cotton? Who dyed the fabric? Who sewed it together, and for what wage? In this project, Business and Environmental Ethics meet Geography. Examining core concepts such as globalisation, sustainability and our moral responsibilities to others, students will map the journeys of their clothes, and will use real case studies to debate whether fast fashion is worth the human price. We will also consider the journey fast fashion takes once it is discarded, and hope to do some volunteering in charity shops in Petersfield. The project culminates in students selecting one item of their own clothes, and creating a display board and presentation in response to the question ‘Who made my clothes?’ They might do an ethical audit of the garment, or map its journey to their wardrobe. They might even choose to customise a pre-loved item of clothing. Parents, guests and peers will have the opportunity to see these presentations and feed back to students at an EXPO, which we hope to hold in the Library.
The Bedales Assessed Course (BAC) in Geography provides students with an unparalleled grounding for studying sciences and humanities at A Level. The course has the potential to create some of the most highly skilled and inquisitive 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 summer 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.
A Level Geography
At A Level, Geography had the largest percentage increase of all the major subjects last year, 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.
A Level geography allows you to go into greater depth in some key elements previously studied. It covers both the physical and human environments and the complex interaction of processes that shape our world. It will also, importantly, show the applied side of the subject - how human intervention affects the environment and how people adapt and mitigate the effects of processes on their environment.
There is plenty of room for discussion and extended research, which will help you become an independent thinker and learner. By the time you get to your exams, you will be able to show your understanding of a range of opinions and be able to illustrate your answers with case studies from local, national and international examples.
You will learn in a wide variety of ways, using maps, GIS skills, data analysis, photos, videos, and podcasts, as well as attending lectures and study days. You will be encouraged to frame your own questions using higher level thinking skills and show your grasp of complex issues through report and essay writing. Fieldwork will be an essential part of your A Level course.
Examining board: AQA
Head of Department: Abi Wharton