Far-reaching: a holistic approach – combining the humanities with the sciences.
Geography has been recognised by the Institute of Career Guidance and the Russell Group of Universities as a ‘Facilitating Subject’ which will equip students with the appropriate skills and knowledge for a university course of their choice. Geography is a holistic subject, which makes it most exciting to study. Intrinsically varied and challenging, drawing knowledge, ideas and skills from many other disciplines, Geography provides a superb foundation for almost every career. The Geography A-Level course brings together girls studying a range of other subjects from the arts, sciences and humanities so that discussions are enhanced by a wealth of different perspectives and ideas. It also allows students to use and develop a range of skills, which will stretch and enhance intellectual and practical ability. The subject aims to instil an appreciation of the moral and ethical values which pertain to the modern world, from global sustainable development and trade, to local planning and politics.
The Department currently follows the Edexcel specification. The A-level has four distinct units.
Unit 1: Tectonic Processes and Hazards, Coastal Landscapes and Change, The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity, The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security
Unit 2: Globalisation, Shaping Places Regeneration, Superpowers, Global Development and Connections Health, Human Rights and Intervention
Unit 3: Synoptic: The synoptic investigation will be based on a geographical issue within a place based context that links to the three synoptic themes(Players, Attitudes and actions, Futures and uncertainties) and is rooted in two or more of the compulsory content areas.
Unit 4: Independent Investigation is a non-examined piece of work where the students will define a question or issue relating to the compulsory or optional content. The content may relate to any aspect of geography contained within the specification and will incorporate fieldwork, independent analysis and evaluation of data.
The girls are given the opportunity to apply to join the joint ‘Habs Geographical Society’ with the Boys’ School. Pupils submit applications and are interviewed for a variety of roles including Magazine Editor and Deputy Editor, Head Journalist, Geography Club Co-ordinator, Events Manager and Head of Publicity. Regular joint meetings, lectures and events are held with the Boys’ School. Throughout the course, students also have the opportunity to attend lectures run by the Geographical Association and the Royal Geographical Society in London.
Futures beyond school
Geographers are highly employable. The skills learnt during the A-level course are highly sought after by professional firms. An A level or degree qualification in Geography opens up opportunities in a wide variety of career fields, and the skills brought by geographers to academic and extra-curricular university life are highly prized. Many of our students go on to study Geography at Oxbridge and we have a large database of old girl contacts at each of the top universities, including many different colleges at both Oxford and Cambridge.