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					                                  A Level Geography
                                          at
                                 The Cranedale Centre

                                                OCR
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 Cranedale Centre has developed an exciting and highly focussed field studies course for students
working towards the new OCR AS/A2 specification.

For AS students we have a range of opportunities for students to participate in fieldwork activities in
order to enhance their investigative skills, and develop a broader geographical understanding of the AS
units.

For A2 students, we have course options designed to prepare students for the A2 Unit F764 –
Geographical Skills Paper. An excellent 5 day field course can be programmed where content from both
the AS and A2 course is included.

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


Unit 1 – Managing Physical Environments
River Environments
Three approaches are available for the investigation of rivers:-

      Downstream Variations in River Channels. A range of study sites in the upper catchment of
       the River Derwent enable students to undertake this classic investigation of how rivers change
       downstream, and their associated landforms.

      Fluvial Studies – Channel Morphology. A single site on a tributary of the upper Derwent is
       used to investigate channel characteristics, linking them with velocity and discharge. This can
       be combined with “Flooding in Malton”, described below.

      Human Impact on River Channels. An investigation of the human and physical causes of
       flooding and the link between settlement and fluvial systems. This study combines an
       investigation of downstream changes with “Flooding in Pickering” described below.

Two separate studies are available for the investigation 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
       Malton, 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.
Coastal Environments
The close proximity of both Flamborough Head and the Holderness Coast to the Cranedale Centre
provides unparalleled opportunities for fieldwork investigations and case studies of contrasting
coastlines. A field study day can be tailored from the following possibilities:-

       Geomorphology and Geology. Flamborough Head provides an inspirational location to
        witness, at first hand, evidence for the many processes of weathering, erosion and mass
        movement and a spectacular array of associated landforms.

       Coastal Management. The Holderness coastline is used as a case study where students are
        able to investigate the causes and consequences of rapid coastal erosion. Analysis of coastal
        management is included, focusing on the costs and benefits of existing and potential schemes
        along the coast.

       Beach Survey. A practical investigation of the distribution of particle size, and beach form can
        be undertaken on a small bay head beach.

       UK Coastal Tourist Resorts - Growth or Decline? Bridlington, like many other UK coastal
        resorts has enjoyed periods of great prosperity and decline. Recreation and Leisure facilities sit
        alongside industrial development and fragile ecosystems. Where is competition for space in the
        town greatest, and what conflicts arise? Land use mapping enables students to compare
        Bridlington with models of UK seaside resorts.

       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. A rigorous investigative approach is
        applied, following the specified route to enquiry. This makes it ideal for students going on to
        answer fieldwork questions on the Geographical Skills Paper.


Cold Environments
Much of the landscape of North East Yorkshire is the result of past geomorphological processes
operating in cold environments. Students are trained in the skills of identifying vital clues in the
landscape in order to infer past fluvio-glacial and peri-glacial events and to identify the distinctive
landforms. Practical sediment analysis can be carried out on the Holderness coasts to help identify
changing cold environments during the last glaciation.


Unit 2 – Managing Human Environments
Managing Urban Change
Two studies are available in support of this unit:-

       Urban Settlement. The market town of Malton is used to investigate the physical
        characteristics of an urban area. Land use mapping is used to identify the range and
        distribution of different functions. Further field techniques explore the link between this and
        the social, economic, political and environmental aspects of the town.

       Urban Change. What signs of growth and decay can be identified in Malton, and how is the
        town changing? Students investigate the social, economic, political and environmental factors
        that influence land use patterns in the town. Students further research change in the town using
        Goad maps and use GIS and secondary data to identify areas of growth and discard.

Managing Rural Change
This investigation will focus on how population change has affected the character of Seamer on the
rural/urban fringe, and Kilham as a rural settlement. Students will collect primary data on housing,
services and character as well as exploring a range of secondary data to evaluate socio-economic
indicators. The use of GIS is integral in this investigation, whereby students add their own primary data
to a partially complete database, then plot maps and interrogate that database. If requested, students
could also visit Dalby Forest to explore the management of rural areas to ensure sustainability, or a
local farm to investigate changes in farming on the environment.
The Growth of Tourism
Several strands are available for the study of this topic:-

       Impact of Tourism in the North York Moors National Park. Students will be able to
        investigate the opportunities and problems created by tourism within villages in UK National
        Parks. Environmental Impact Assessment is used to quantify the different environmental
        problems caused by major developments. A practical survey is undertaken of the impact of
        leisure activities on soils and vegetation around a footpath on the North York Moors.

       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.

       Sustainability in UK Tourism. This study will focus on the rapid growth of tourism in Dalby
        Forest. The Forest is an excellent example of changing land use in the post-productive
        countryside, with the decline of timber production, and a corresponding increase in outdoor
        activity sports. In addition the Forestry Commission are keen to promote the work they have
        done on sustainability and ecological biodiversity. Students will evaluate the work done by the
        Forestry Commission and the reasons for the success of the project.


Unit 3 – Global Issues
Section A – Environmental Issues
Earth Hazards
The two strands of Flooding and Mass Movement can be investigated to support this unit.

       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
        Malton, 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.

       Mass Movement. Flamborough Head can be used to develop a greater understanding of a
        range of mass movement processes.

Ecosystems and Environments under threat
The sand dunes sequence at Bridlington, or the semi-natural woodland at Raincliffe Woods will provide
the focus for the study, as will an examination of the factors that create these distinctive environments.
Students will also carry out an audit of the habitat and be introduced to sampling techniques in their
survey of vegetation cover and species. Analysis of the soils within the ecosystems can be completed
using a range of practical skills. The impact of human activity will be assessed, as will the effectiveness
of different management techniques. Dalby Forest in the North York Moors can be used as a case study
to investigate the diversification of forestry and the success of its sustainable environmental
management.

Climatic Hazards
This unit is designed to give students a greater understanding of the atmospheric pressure systems
which ultimately give rise to climatic hazards. Students will use a synoptic approach combining primary
data gathered from the centre’s own comprehensive meteorological station together with satellite
images and pressure charts. They will use this information and knowledge of atmospheric systems to
produce their own short term weather forecasts and compare them with observed weather throughout
their stay.
Section B – Economic Issues
Population and Resources
What factors influence the supply and use of resources? Taking the examples of forestry and scenery
students will build case studies based on the area of Dalby Forest and the North York Moors. Changing
demands for timber and the change to more sustainable management strategies have led to significant
changes in the forest.


Unit 4 – Geographical Fieldwork Investigation
Fieldwork always demands a synoptic approach to geography – an essential skill for students tackling
this final unit. Throughout their field course at the centre students will develop their investigative skills
and are introduced to a wide range of sampling techniques and statistical testing. Students will have
worked closely to the 6 stage route to enquiry and will be trained to respond to questions about the
analysis, interpretation, evaluation and conclusions of their own studies. Where students require a
skills boost, we can tailor a Techniques Workshop specifically to the needs of the party.


For further details about what the Cranedale Centre can offer to meet the needs of the 2008 OCR
specification please contact:-

Andrew Barraclough, Deputy Director. andrew.barraclough@cranedale.com