A Level Geography at The Cranedale Centre Edexcel Our ob by dfhrf555fcg


									                              A Level Geography
                             The Cranedale Centre

Our objective is to make our A Level field courses a richly rewarding experience for students,
stimulating their geographical awareness, developing enquiring minds, and inspiring
students to widen their geographical experience both during and after the course.

The 2008 Edexcel specification offers many exciting new opportunities and challenges for
geography students. To meet the challenge the Cranedale Centre has developed many new field
studies units for students working towards the new course.

For AS students we have many opportunities for students to participate in a varied range of
practical fieldwork activities. These are designed to help them meet the needs of the
Geographical Investigations unit.

For A2 students, we offer a range of topics to broaden their geographical awareness, stimulate
their curiosity and help them prepare for the Geographical Research exam.

Use of modern technologies such as data loggers, Geographical Information Systems and remote
sensing will be embedded in the course.

Unit 2 – Geographical Investigations

Topic 1: Extreme Weather
Two strands are available to support this topic.

Meteorological Recordings. A greater understanding of the weather and climate of the
British Isles can be developed by keeping detailed weather recordings at the Centre’s
meteorological station, and linking this to synoptic maps, satellite images and past weather
data. Students are encouraged to make predictions of the imminent weather based on their
observations and interpretations, and test them against their own observations.
This leads to improved recognition and understanding of prevailing pressure systems.

Causes, Effects and Management of Flooding. Recent and topical flooding on the River Derwent
in the market towns of Malton and Pickering make them ideal locations to investigate the impacts
of flooding.

       Flooding in Malton. After the floods of 1999 and 2000, Malton finally received a
        modern hard engineering solution to its floods. Students investigate the causes,
        effects and management of flooding in the town.

       Flooding in Pickering. Six floods in a decade and still Pickering has no defences. A
        contrast to M alton, the study highlights the problems faced by residents and the
        difficulty they have faced in getting defences. The Environment Agency have recently
        announced their proposals for a soft engineering approach.
Topic 2: Crowded Coasts
The magnificent Yorkshire coastline provides a wealth of opportunities to study the sometimes
conflicting demands placed on the coastal zone. Initially students are given a context for their
studies by investigating physical and human characteristics of this diverse coastline. Within this
topic students can undertake several different investigations over 1 to 2 days. These will be
based around the disappearing Holderness Coast, the rocky Flamborough Head and the
regenerating tourist resort of Bridlington.

Geomorphology and Geology. Initially students should have an understanding of the natural
factors controlling the development of different coastlines. Flamborough Head provides the
perfect opportunity to witness at first hand the processes and magnificent landforms associated
with actively eroding rocky coasts. An investigation of a small bay head beach can be carried out
here, giving the opportunity to practice investigative skills.

Sand Dune Succession. This topic will demonstrate the formation of dunes as coastal landforms,
but will also go on to investigate the distribution of colonising plant species along a transect
influenced by substrate stability and dune profile. Emphasis is placed on the value of fragile
ecosystems and their destruction. A rigorous investigative approach is applied, following the
specified route to enquiry.

Coastal Management. On the Holderness coast many issues arise from the consequences of
rapid erosion, and here students will evaluate the effectiveness and suitability of a range of
different coastal protection strategies. Students will focus on the costs and benefits of existing
and potential schemes along the coast.

UK Coastal Resorts - Growth or Decline? Bridlington, like many other UK coastal resorts has
enjoyed periods of great prosperity and decline. More recently the town has begun to regenerate
and invest in flagship projects. Where is competition for space in the town greatest, what are the
effects of this competition, and how is this managed? Land use mapping enables students to
compare Bridlington with models of UK seaside resorts.

Topic 3: Unequal Spaces
The image of a rural idyll can mask the issues of social exclusion, deprivation and isolation so
often found in rural areas. To assess the significance of these issues students will investigate a
number of rural settlements and map characteristics such as land use, environmental quality,
accessibility and areas of multiple deprivation. This will involve practical fieldwork and
interrogation of secondary resources such as census data. Schemes are already in place to reduce
these inequalities and students will attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of these schemes.

Topic 4: Rebranding Places
Two studies are available to support this topic.

Urban Rebranding. Urban rebranding will focus on Scarborough – recent national winner of the
Enterprising Britain Award. Strategies are currently in place to move the town away from its focus
on tourism, and place more emphasis on its heritage and cultural aspects. Students first survey
the town as it is at the moment, to see both old and new. The focus then is upon flagship
projects in the town, and an attempt to evaluate their relative degrees of success.

Rural Rebranding. This study will focus on the areas of Dalby Forest and Pickering. Dalby Forest
is an excellent example of rebranding in the post-productive countryside, changing from timber
production to a centre for outdoor activity sports and the promotion of sustainability and
ecological biodiversity. Students evaluate the work done by the Forestry Commission and the
reasons for the success of the project. Pickering on the other hand is struggling to rebrand from
its traditional position as a North Yorkshire market town. Students assess the current situation in
Pickering by using the “Place Check” technique, and consider the success of current attempts to
Unit 3 – Contested Planet
Topic 2: Water Conflicts
To support this topic students study the effects of a small town, a sewage works and farmland on
the water quality of a small stream. Community composition and both physical and chemical
factors are investigated at key sites above and below the town. This allows an evaluation of the
sources of pollution and leads to discussion of the roles of the different players in seeking

Topic 3: Biodiversity Under Threat
The sustainable management of woodlands is the key theme in this investigation.
Initially students investigate the varied assets of the woodland to gain an understanding of the
complexities of managing the biodiversity of the ecosystem. A habitat audit, calculations of tree
yield, evaluation of the impacts of recreation and comparison of woodland types all provide
insights into the issues to be resolved. Students go on to simulate the production of a
management plan for the woodland and prepare a funding bid to bring their plan to reality.

Unit 4 – Geographical Research
Option 2: Cold Environments – Landscapes and Change
Much of the landscape of North East Yorkshire is the result of past geomorphological processes
operating in cold environments. The North Sea ice sheets and persistent periglacial conditions
have left their mark on the landforms and subsequent land use of the area. Students are trained
in the skill of identifying vital clues in the landscape in order to infer past events, and identify dry
valleys, solifluction terraces and nivation hollows.

Option 3: Life on the margins – Food Supply Problems
North East Yorkshire has a variety of different farming landscapes where students can investigate
the environmental impact of modern food production. The first approach is through visits to local
farms which can include a LEAF innovative centre, aqua-culture, a marginal hill farm in the North
York Moors National Park, an example of intensive arable farming on the Wolds and farms
involved in agri-environment schemes. Secondly students can study the impact of farming
practices through the sampling of invertebrate populations in a variety of habitats.

Option 6: Consuming the Rural Landscape – Leisure and Tourism
Students conduct practical surveys of the extent to which tourism and visitor pressure may be
damaging the unique qualities of the North York Moors National Park. Two avenues of study are
explored. The first is to study the effects of tourism on the physical, economic and social aspects
of settlement in the North York Moors. To achieve this, a survey of the services, character and
environmental quality of two contrasting villages will be made – one a honeypot village, the other
a relatively unspoilt traditional village. Secondly the impact on the landscape will be assessed,
through Environmental Impact Assessment and a survey of vegetation and soil damage as a result
of footpath erosion.

For further details about what the Cranedale Centre can offer to meet the needs of the 2008
Edexcel specification please contact:- Andrew Barraclough Deputy Director

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