Welcome to Reigate College’s Geography Department.
My name is Helen Fayers and I’m the Head of the Geography Department at Reigate College. I’m looking forward to welcoming you in person at the beginning of the academic year and starting on our exciting course programme.
In preparation for you starting and to help give you a head-start with the course, I’m going to be setting a series of activities for you to complete over the coming months. These will give you a flavour of what’s involved with studying A Level Geography. It would also be helpful for you to keep up to date with the news, so that you’re aware of what’s happening in the world -especially with respect to natural disasters. I look forward to discussing your discoveries with you in September.
All the tasks should be completed by Choices Day on 25 August.
The activities will be released here in three phases:
Explore your Subject – 4 May
There has never been a better or more important time
to study Geography. With growing interest in issues such as climate change,
migration, environmental degradation and social cohesion, geography is one of
the most relevant courses you could choose to study. It is essential,
therefore, that you keep up to date with current issues.
Inequality in Society
Inequality is a significant concern around the world,
both within countries and between the different nations of the world.
Discover some of these
inequalities by investigating the following two websites and making notes on
You should complete
this section of tasks by 1 June.
Get Going – 1 June
Developing skills in Geography
There are a number of key skills that are essential for
studying geography. These include; the ability to analyse data, assess and
evaluate complex ideas and, crucially, create an argument based on evidence.
You should complete this section of tasks by 1 July.
1. Key skill: Analysis
When analysing, we use the acronym DEAL:
Study and analyse the table below.
Describe what it shows. What is the relationship
between the two sets of data?
Quoting data in your description, explain why
that might be the case?
Not all the data fits the pattern you might
expect. Suggest three possible
Are there any limitations to the data you can
see? Are there any weaknesses that might
make you less confident of your description?
2. Key skill : Assessment
Assessing something means you put it into some sort of order
of importance based on detailed explanations, using case study evidence to
support the order you have created.
Use your own knowledge and the internet to
research and assess: What was the most
important reason for the high death toll after the Haiti earthquake in 2010?
A summary of the causes and impacts can be found below.
Assess these four factors and put them into an order of
importance. Explain your reasoning, using
evidence to support your interpretation:
of the earthquake
of the government
3. Key skill: Evaluation
Evaluating something means looking at the strengths and
weaknesses and coming to a conclusion.
Using the tables above, write an answer to the following question:
Evaluate the view
that soft engineering is a better option for managing the coast than hard
Your answer will need:
An introduction which defines hard and soft
engineering and explains why the coast needs to be managed.
Three paragraphs which explain a range of hard
and soft types of engineering, giving details of their strengths and weaknesses.
A conclusion which comes to a final answer –
which is best hard or soft engineering. Remember a convincing argument should
be present throughout your answer.
4. Extension work
If you have
time, explore some of the following sources to gain useful background
information and insights.
School of Geography and the Environment Podcasts from Oxford University
Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall
Factfulness by Hans Rosling
Origins: How the Earth made us by Lewis Dartnell
The almighty dollar by Dharshini David
10 Billion by Danny Dorling
Watch documentaries and films:
Virunga (Orlando von Einseidel) depicts some of the biggest threats to the future of the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Great Barrier Reef (Richard Fitzpatrick) A three part documentary from the BBC exploring how ocean acidification, local pollution and tourism has put pressure on the reef ecosystem.
The Impossible (J A Bayona) The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Aim High – 1 July
From 1 July
Once you’ve taken part in the College’s first ever Virtual Introductory Day on 30 June, you will be asked to complete a more formal Aim High task (posted here) that it is mandatory for all new students to complete before Choices Day on 25 August.