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Desert Landforms Gcse Geography Coursework

Our new curriculum enables students to explore the world, its issues and their place in it. The new specification explores current issues of local, national and global importance in contexts specific to different parts of the world. A-level introduces new content and approaches to geographical processes, systems, place, scale and space.

This resource shows the similarities and differences between GCSE and A-level Geography, and how our current and new GCSEs compare to the new A-level.

Physical geography

These themes are covered at GCSE, but have limited coverage at A-level:

  • Rocks, resources and scenery.
  • Limited linkage with Unit 1 Landscapes, eg weathering processes in coastal and hot desert environments.

These themes are covered at A-level, but have limited or no coverage at GCSE:

  • The carbon cycle.
  • Hot desert environments and their margins.

Plate tectonics

GCSE specification A (9030) reference: The restless Earth

A-level specification reference: Hazards

Description

At GCSE students learn that plate tectonics is a key landscape-forming process which produces distinctive landforms in active regions, including fold mountains, composite and shield volcanoes. Tectonic activity generates a wide range of natural hazards. Students focus on the causes and impacts of earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, supervolcanoes, and examine different responses in the rich and poor worlds. This provides the basis for more complex work at A-level.

At A-level there is a more holistic approach to the study of hazards, including both tectonic and meteorological hazards, their impacts and human responses. Risk management through mitigation and adaptation is examined in the context of multi hazardous environments. Concepts and themes are revisited at different levels of complexity, with a requirement for increasing breadth of study, a wider range of scales studied and more mature awareness and understanding of the relevant issues.

GCSE example question

Choose either an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. For the hazard chosen, describe the primary and secondary effects of a tectonic hazard. (8 marks)

A-level example question

Discuss the processes of vulcanicity and seismicity at either constructive or destructive plate margins. (9 marks)

Weather and climate

GCSE specification A (9030) reference: The challenge of weather and climate

A-level specification reference: Some aspects of Component 1 Water and carbon cycles and Hazards (Storm hazards) and Component 2 Global governance and Contemporary urban environments

Description

At GCSE students learn about the factors that influence weather and climate in the British Isles. They study the formation and sequence of events associated with different weather systems both in a UK and tropical context. Crucial issues of climate change and extreme weather are examined, including their causes and effects, and possible responses.

At A-level the theme of climate change is studied in the context of the relationship between the water cycle and carbon cycle in the atmosphere. The significance of climate change is emphasised in other parts of Component 1 including Hot desert environments (causes of desertification), Coastal systems (potential impact on coasts), Cold environments (impact of climate change) and Ecosystems under stress (factors influencing ecosystem change). The threats caused by climate change are also linked to the theme of Global governance when examining the threats to Antarctica. Features and impacts of, and responses to, tropical storms are highlighted in Hazards. In Contempoary urban environments the distinctive features of urban climates are examined, including the impact of urban forms and processes on temperature, precipitation, wind and air quality.

GCSE example question

Describe local responses to the threat of global climate change. (6 marks)

A-level example question

Discuss the management of tropical revolving storms. (30 marks)

Ecosystems

GCSE specification A (9030) reference: The living world

A-level specification reference: Some aspects of Component 1 Water and carbon cycles, and Ecosystems under stress

Description

At GCSE, students study threats to biodiversity and the characteristics of three global biomes and one local ecosystem. They examine the features of ecosystems, then consider how plants adapt to climates and soils, before studying the ways in which specific ecosystems are exploited and sustainably managed.

At A-level students focus on changes to the carbon cycle, which include both natural variation, in the form of wildfires and volcanic activity, and human factors, in the form of burning, farming practices, and deforestation. Students also examine interrelationships between, and changes to, water and carbon cycles in the context of a tropical rainforest. The topic of Ecosystems under stress develops many of the themes covered at GCSE to a more complex level, requiring a detailed understanding of the nature of ecosystems, changing biodiversity and human impacts. Two contrasting biomes, as well as a local ecosystem, are used to illustrate ecological responses to climate and soils, and the impact of human activity.

GCSE example question

Explain why deforestation occurs in tropical rainforests. (6 marks)

A-level example question

Evaluate the relationships between human activity, biodiversity and sustainability in the management of ecosystems. (30 marks)

Rivers and flooding

GCSE specification A (9030) reference: Water on the land

A-level specification reference: Some aspects of Component 1 Water and carbon cycles, and Component 2 Resource security

Description

Students at GCSE study a range of river features and the processes leading to their formation. They investigate the causes, effects of and responses to flooding and evaluate river management strategies with reference to the principles of sustainable development. They also study the factors that influence patterns of river discharge and consider issues of water supply, including concepts of water deficit and water surplus. The geomorphology of rivers and their valleys is not studied at A-level but students develop their understanding by examining the hydrological cycle in detail, including stores and transfers, and changes to the water cycle over time. Drainage basins as open systems and factors affecting flood hydrographs are themes that that are developed from GCSE level. This is reinforced in the context of a case study that focuses on a river catchment at a local scale, with links to sustainability and flooding. In Component 2 issues of water security follow on from the GCSE themes of water supply and water transfer. Students learn that the future of water supply is in doubt in many areas, due to unsustainable use and the threat of climate change. Developing management strategies to ensure supply range from large scale dam/reservoir projects to sustainable schemes involving recycling and water conservation.

GCSE example question

Explain how hard and soft engineering strategies help to manage the risk of flooding. (8 marks)

A-level example question

Explain how land use changes can affect the water cycle. (9 marks)

Glaciated landscapes

GCSE specification A (9030) reference: Ice on the land

A-level specification reference: Cold environments

Description

At GCSE students examine the distinctive processes operating in upland glacial environments, and the resultant landforms. They also study the types of land use associated with glaciated areas and the management of conflicts, especially those caused by tourist activity. Concerns about rates of glacial retreat are highlighted as are threats to increasingly fragile alpine environments.

The focus at A-level is broader. The scope of study increases to encompass fluvioglacial and periglacial landscapes and processes. Cold environments include polar and tundra as well as alpine regions. Human occupation and development are considered at a range of scales, and emphasis is placed on risks, opportunities and impacts, as well as the potential for sustainable development.

GCSE example question

Discuss environmental and economic issues caused by tourism in areas covered by snow and ice. (8 marks)

A-level example question

‘Human activity is having a greater impact on cold environments than natural processes’. Discuss. (30 marks)

Coastal environments

GCSE specification A (9030) reference: The coastal zone

A-level specification reference: Coastal systems and landscapes

Description

The coastal zone is one of the most densely populated areas globally because of favourable locational factors, yet it is an area of immense environmental value. At GCSE this topic allows students to carry out studies of coastal environments, exploring landforms and processes associated with erosion and deposition. It considers how vulnerable and valuable coastlines are and that they face a physical risk from rapid coastal erosion and coastal flooding. It provides an overview of coastal management, looking at protection and conservation strategies for the present and the future.

Progression to A-level involves considering coasts as natural systems, with inputs, stores and outputs. Coasts are subdivided into high and low energy coastal landscapes, and into coasts of submergence and emergence. Traditional and sustainable approaches to coastal management are compared, and case studies serve to illustrate themes of coastal process, landscape outcomes, human occupation and management.

GCSE example question

Explain why cliffs collapse. (4 marks)

A-level example question

Explain how variations in coastal energy lead to the creation of contrasting coastal landscapes. (9 marks)

Human geography

These themes are covered at GCSE, but have limited coverage at A-level:

  • Changing rural environments. There is little reference to either rural settlement or agricultural patterns.
  • Tourism. This is not mentioned at A-level other than in the context of Antarctica (Global governance).
  • The development gap. Some aspects are included in International trade and access to markets.

These themes are covered at A-level, but have limited or no coverage at GCSE:

  • Global governance. There is some scope to use the example of Antarctica in the study of cold environments.
  • Changing places.
  • Resource security. Some aspects of water supply and energy security are included in Water on the land and Globalisation.

Population issues

GCSE specification A (9030) reference: Population change

A-level specification reference: Aspects of population, health and environment

Description

At GCSE this theme explores issues relating to people and where they live. Students investigate topical challenges, such as the exponential rise in world population and migration flows within Europe. They also reflect on the consequences of population change in both the rich and poor worlds, studying themes such as ageing populations and population policies.

At A-level these concepts and themes are revisited at higher levels of complexity, with a requirement for increasing breadth of study. Emphasis is placed on the environmental constraints on population growth and the pressure of population on resources. Critical perspectives on models of population change and their application to countries at different stages of development are considered. Alternative approaches to management of global population change are evaluated.

GCSE example question

Account for the strategies adopted by one EU country to cope with an ageing population. (8 marks)

A-level example question

According to a United Nations report in June 2013 the current world population of 7.2 billion is projected to:

  • increase by 1 billion over the next 12 years
  • reach 9.6 billion by 2050
  • increase mainly in developing countries.

Assess the social and environmental implications of these predictions. (30 marks)

Urban settlement

GCSE specification A (9030) reference: Changing urban environments

A-level specification reference: Contemporary urban environments

Description

At GCSE, students consider the impacts of rapid urbanisation in different parts of the world. This creates challenges for urban planners in relation to supply of basic services. Topics include housing and traffic issues, the problems of air and water pollution and disposal of waste. The need for sustainable methods of managing urban living in existing areas is considered, as well as designing new urban schools and colleges that operate in sympathy with both people and the environment.

In progressing to A-level students look more closely at different forms of urbanisation and consider how urban growth can be managed to ensure social cohesion and environmental sustainability. More emphasis is placed on links between urban growth and the physical environment, including urban climates, urban drainage, and pollution.

GCSE example question

Use one or more examples to explain how CBDs can be revitalised. (4 marks)

A-level example question

Can cities ever be sustainable? Discuss. (30 marks)

Globalisation

GCSE specification A (9030) reference: Globalisation

A-level specification reference: Some aspects of Global systems and Global governance, and Resource security

Description

At GCSE students learn that globalisation and the links it creates is happening at an ever increasing pace. They examine how it may spread wealth and power in beneficial ways, but also that there is widespread concern about the way in which globalisation impacts on economies, societies and environments, including the impacts of TNCs. Action to develop a more sustainable approach to these challenges is leading to difficult decisions at a variety of scales from the individual to global markets. Students study the rising industrial growth in some parts of the world, including China, and de-industrialisation elsewhere. They look at ways of achieving sustainable development through the use of renewable energy and ways of reducing the costs of globalisation.

Elements of this theme are pursued at A-level under the heading International trade and access to markets, although the focus is narrower. Students look at the factors and dimensions of globalisation and consider both the benefits and costs of globalisation, including the effects on the international labour market. The nature and role of TNCs is evaluated, and the features of world trade are examined. Strategies for resolving globalisation problems are considered. Strategies to increase energy supply in a globalising world are covered in the Resource security topic.

GCSE example question

Explain how developments in ICT have encouraged globalisation. (4 marks)

A-level example question

Discuss how the practice of outsourcing labour from richer to poorer countries might present both problems and opportunities for the countries that receive the new jobs. (9 marks)

Fieldwork

GCSE specification A (9030) reference: Local fieldwork investigation

A-level specification reference: Non exam assessment

Description

At GCSE the controlled assessment task is selected from a choice of 11, based on themes in Units One and Two. This can be teacher-led and all students may use the same title or hypothesis. The route to investigation at A-level is similar to GCSE fieldwork where students select one focused argument, assertion, hypothesis, issue or problem that has both a theoretical and a locational context. The new assessment criteria are also similar to GCSE, including aims, data collection and methodology, data presentation, interpretation, conclusion and evaluation.

However at A-level the student is required to undertake an independent investigation based on fieldwork leading to a report of approximately 3,000 - 4,000 words. Unusual and innovative ways of collecting data and information are encouraged at A-level, as long as students can justify their choice or methods are prepared to be critical and reflect on their success or otherwise.

GCSE Specification B compared to new A-level

Unit 1: Managing places in the 21st century

Current GCSE specification (9035)

New A-level specification (7037)

The coastal environment

Component 1 Coastal systems and landscapes, especially geomorphological processes, wave energy, landforms of coastal erosion and deposition, coastal flooding, management of coastal erosion and case study of human impacts.

The urban environment

Component 2 Contemporary urban environments, including global patterns of urbanisation, social and economic issues concerned with urbanisation, urban regeneration in various contexts, and sustainable cities.

1 hour 30 minute examination

37.5% of the full GCSE

Unit 2: Hostile world and Investigating the shrinking world

Current GCSE specification (9035)

New A-level specification (7037)

Section A: Living with natural hazards and

The challenge of extreme environments

Component 1 Hazards, including volcanic, seismic, storm hazards.

Component 1 Some aspects of Hot desert environments and their margins, and some aspects of Cold environments. Limited linkage with Ecosystems under stress.

Section B: Investigating the globalisation of industry and

Investigating global tourism

Component 2 Some aspects of Global systems, including factors affecting globalisation, the role of TNCs, world trade, and interdependence.

1 hour 30 minute examination

37.5% of the full GCSE

 

Unit 3: Local investigation including fieldwork and Geographical issue investigation

Current GCSE specification (9035)

New A-level specification (7037)

Task One: Local investigation including fieldwork (15% of the full GCSE). One of:

  • The coastal environment
  • The urban environment
  • Investigating the globalisation of industry
  • Investigating global tourism.

Component 3 The route to investigation at A-level is similar to GCSE fieldwork where students select one focused argument, assertion, hypothesis, issue or problem that has both a theoretical and a locational context. The new assessment criteria have similar emphasis to GCSE, including aims, data collection and methodology, data presentation, interpretation, conclusion and evaluation.

Task Two: Geographical issue investigation (10% of the full GCSE)

One of:

  • Energy in the 21st century
  • Water – a precious resource.

Component 2 Resource security, including aspects of Water security and Energy security.

25% of the full GCSE

 

New GCSE compared to new A-level

Unit 1: Living with the physical environment

New GCSE specification (8035)

New A-level specification (7037)

Section A: The challenge of natural hazards

Component 1 Hazards, including volcanic, seismic and storm hazards. Spatial distribution, impacts of, and responses to, hazards.

Section B: Physical landscapes of the UK

Component 1 Some aspects of water and carbon cycles-runoff variation and flood hydrographs.

Component 1 Coastal systems and landscapes, including landforms of coastal erosion and deposition, traditional and sustainable approaches to flood risk and coastal erosion, hard and soft engineering.

Component 1 Cold environments, including geomorphological processes (weathering, erosion, transport and deposition), erosional and depositional forms.

Section C: The living world

Component 1 Some aspects of water and carbon cycles-runoff variation and flood hydrographs.

Component 1 Coastal systems and landscapes, including landforms of coastal erosion and deposition, traditional and sustainable approaches to flood risk and coastal erosion, hard and soft engineering.

Component 1 Cold environments, including geomorphological processes (weathering, erosion, transport and deposition), erosional and depositional forms.

35% of the full GCSE

 

Unit 2: Challenges in the physical environment

New GCSE specification (8035)

New A-level specification (7037)

Section A: Urban issues and challenges

Component 2 Contemporary urban environments, including global patterns of urbanisation, emergence of megacities, issues associated with economic inequality and cultural diversity. Management of these issues.

Section B: The changing economic world

Component 2 Some aspects of global systems –International trade and Access to markets, including factors affecting globalisation, the role of TNCs, world trade, and interdependence.

Section C: The challenge of resource management

Component 2 Resource security, including aspects of Water security and Energy security. Global patterns of availability and demand, strategies to increase supply, sustainability issues, water conflicts, strategies to manage consumption.

35% of the full GCSE

 

Unit 3: Geographical applications

New GCSE specification (8035)

New A-level specification (7037)

Section A: Issue evaluation

Section B: Fieldwork

30% of the full GCSE

Component 3 The route to investigation at A-level is similar to GCSE fieldwork where students select one focused argument, assertion, hypothesis, issue or problem that has both a theoretical and a locational context. The new assessment criteria have similar emphasis to GCSE, including aims, data collection and methodology, data presentation, interpretation, conclusion and evaluation.

Exam revision guides and resources

Revision guide

Extreme Environment Revision Cards

Case Studies

Year 10 Deserts revision pack part 1

Year 10 Deserts revision pack part 2

Year 10 Mountains revision pack part 1

GCSE PODcasts

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for useful video clips and other links

Mock exams

Mock exam 2013

Mock exam 2013 model answers

 

Geography revision clips and internet sites

A good way to revise is to watch some short clips to deepen your understanding of the topics covered. Many of these clips explore ideas we have covered but you need to adapt them so that they link with the Andes and the Sahara. The 2 Uganda clips provide some kind of background.

Search the clips to see what you can find, are there any useful clips that you think we should add?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/

Type the clip number into the search facility.

Extreme Environments – Mountains – The Andes

3208 – Images of mountains

8423 – Mountain ranges around the world

5724 – Understanding earthquakes and plate tectonics

324 – How does temperature change in mountains

3249 – Glaciers shrink as global temperatures rise

3079 – Glaciers formation and flow

Extreme Environments-Deserts -The Sahara

3095 – Desert erosion

3204 – Thermal imagery in the deserts – diurnal range

345 – Desert landscapes

Similarities and differences – Uganda

3226 – Conflict in Uganda

8552 – Hunger to learn in Uganda

Energy in UK – Fracking (think about advantages and disadvantages)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-26070476

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26557165

Energy in UK – Windfarms (thinks about advantages and disadvantages)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-19749882

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-16917571

7051 – Concerns over windfarm in Dorset

Earthquakes New Zealand

3059 – New Zealand Tectonic theory

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12533549

 

BBC Bitesize useful sites

Mountains

About glaciers and processes http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/glacial_landscapes/glaciation_rev1.shtml

About erosional landforms in mountains http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/glacial_landscapes/glacial_erosion_landforms_rev1.shtml

About depositional landforms in mountains

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/glacial_landscapes/glacial_deposition_landforms_rev2.shtml

Problems humans face in Mountains Avalanche http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/glacial_landscapes/avalanches_rev1.shtml (Not about the Andes but ideas are the same)

Climate change and its effects on Mountains http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/climate_change/describing_climatic_trends_rev1.shtml

Rural to urban migration reminder of push and pull factors from rural Andes St Teresa to Cusco http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/migration/migration_trends_rev2.shtml

 

Year 9 Geography controlled assessment

You need to download these two documents :

What is e waste?

E waste articles for highlighting

Look at these websites to help you with your research.

http://www.cellular-news.com/coltan/

http://www.globalmarch.org/events/facts-wdacl.php3 – Scroll down to find information about DRC

http://laborrights.org/stop-child-labor/news/11648

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coltan

http://www.globalissues.org/article/442/guns-money-and-cell-phones