Specification and new Exemplars
From the Edexcel online pdf relating to the new Geography A Level 2016
Qualification aims and objectives This specification for the discipline of geography encourages students to gain enjoyment, satisfaction and a sense of achievement as they develop their knowledge and understanding of the subject.
This A Level course will enable students to be inspired by their geographical understanding, to engage critically with real world issues and places, and to apply their geographical knowledge, theory and skills to the world around them. Students will grow as independent thinkers and as informed and engaged citizens, who understand the role and importance of geography as one of the key disciplines relevant to understanding the world’s changing peoples, places and environments.
The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to build on their AS knowledge and skills to:
● develop their knowledge of locations, places, processes and environments, at all geographical scales from local to global across the specification as a whole
● develop an in-depth understanding of the selected core and non-core processes in physical and human geography at a range of temporal and spatial scales, and of the concepts that illuminate their significance in a range of locational contexts
● recognise and be able to analyse the complexity of people–environment interactions at all geographical scales, and appreciate how they underpin understanding of some of the key issues facing the world today
● develop their understanding of, and ability to apply, the concepts of place, space, scale and environment, that underpin both the national curriculum and GCSE, including developing a more nuanced understanding of these concepts
● gain understanding of specialised concepts relevant to the core and non-core content. These must include the concepts of causality, systems, equilibrium, feedback, inequality, representation, identity, globalisation, interdependence, mitigation and adaptation, sustainability, risk, resilience and thresholds
● improve their understanding of the ways in which values, attitudes and circumstances have an impact on the relationships between people, place and environment, and develop the knowledge and ability to engage, as citizens, with the questions and issues arising (‘circumstances’ in this case refers to the context of people’s lives, and the socio-economic and political milieu in which they find themselves)
● become confident and competent in selecting, using and evaluating a range of quantitative and qualitative skills and approaches, (including observing, collecting and analysing geolocated data) and applying them as an integral part of their studies
● understand the fundamental role of fieldwork as a tool to understand and generate new knowledge about the real world, and become skilled at planning, undertaking and evaluating fieldwork in appropriate situations
● apply geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and approaches in a rigorous way to a range of geographical questions and issues, including those identified in fieldwork, recognising both the contributions and limitations of geography
● develop as critical and reflective learners, able to articulate opinions, suggest relevant new ideas and provide evidenced argument in a range of situations
● build on knowledge of contexts, locations, places and environments, by extending the scope and scale of study, the variety of physical, social, economic, cultural and political contexts encountered, the depth of conceptual understanding required, and the range of spatial and temporal scales included
● develop a deep understanding of both physical and human processes, applying this understanding to interrogate people–environment interactions and people–place connections at all scales from local to global
● build on and reinforce conceptual understanding underpinning GCSE, experiencing an extended demand that includes a wider range of more complex and specialised concepts that relate to the core and non-core content
● engage with models, theories and generalisations, and develop a mature understanding of the nature and limitations of objectivity and the significance of human values and attitudes
● develop understanding of the rationale for, and applications of, skills and approaches used, showing a considerable degree of independence in selecting and using a wide range of geographical methods, techniques and skills, involving both qualitative and quantitative methods
● undertake fieldwork that encourages them to apply and evaluate theory in the real world, and that A Level fieldwork in particular demands a high degree of responsibility from students for selecting research questions, applying relevant techniques and skills, and identifying appropriate ways of analysing and communicating findings.
This qualification requires students to evidence a variety of geographical skills, showing a critical awareness of the appropriateness and limitations of different methods, skills and techniques. Full details of the required geographical skills are given in Appendix 1: Geographical skills.
A Level students must complete a minimum of four days of fieldwork. Fieldwork must be carried out in relation to processes in physical and human geography. This is a Department for Education (DfE) requirement. Centres will be required to provide evidence of this fieldwork in the form of a written fieldwork statement. The fieldwork statement represents a true and accurate written declaration made by a centre to Pearson, confirming that a student to which that centre has delivered the A Level Geography assessment has undertaken geographical fieldwork over four days and in both physical and human environments. Pearson will publish the final deadline date for submission of this form on our website. Failure to return the Fieldwork Statement on time will constitute malpractice on the part of the Centre, see page 86. In the non-examination assessment component, students are required to undertake an independent investigation that involves (but need not be restricted to) fieldwork, producing a written report. Students’ investigations will incorporate fieldwork data (collected individually or as part of a group). Full details of the required fieldwork skills are provided in Appendix 2: Fieldwork skills.