A Level Geography Field Studies
The Medina Valley Centre offers field study courses that meet the requirements for all the main syllabuses. Programmes include the excellent case studies found on the Isle of Wight, for which primary data is collected and analysed by students, with support from experienced field study tutors and crucial secondary data sources.
The Isle of Wight's varied geology results in a diverse and spectacular landscape which is protected by a raft of European and National conservation designations makes an ideal place for A Level fieldwork.
The Isle of Wight is a microcosm of south-east England and has many contemporary issues relevant to the A Level Geography student, including:
- Managing a coastline of over 60 miles, including spectacular Heritage Coast and developed coast
- Assessing renewable energy generation potential on the 'Eco-Isle'
- The development of tourism and its impact on the AONB, Heritage Coast and National Trust land
- Climate change giving urgency to an effective Landslide Management Strategy on the Undercliff
- Regeneration of some of the most deprived urban & rural communities in the UK
- Flooding and management of river catchments
All field study sites are within a 40 minute drive from the Centre, or within walking distance. Our field study tutors are active in their own research and have a good local knowledge of the Isle of Wight. Along with the online resources for visiting students, long term data sets have been established over the years and an extensive library has been developed.
Some of the options for A Level Geography fieldwork are listed below:
Coastal Processes and Coastal Management
The coastal zone of the Isle of Wight includes stretches of managed and unmanaged coast, soft and hard cliffs, estuaries and coastal landslips. Hard and soft engineering schemes protect the predominantly coastal settlements offering quality coastal management case studies.
Landslide Activity and Coastal Road Case Study
Major conflicts have arisen since landslide activity has caused the closure of a major coast road. Students consider the conflicts and the options for re-routing the road.
The Centre is situated on Newport's urban-rural fringe along side the Medina estuary. Newport is a compact urban settlement with development pressures on the urban-rural fringe, including the construction of a wind turbine test centre, 300 new homes being constructed on a green field site, and a proposed Bio-fuel plant in the Medina Valley.
The Centre is located on the Medina Estuary allowing easy access for students to study the ecosystem and the conflicts that arise from competing demands on this navigable estuary protected by local and national conservation designations
The pressures for development arising from the Isle of Wight's tourist industry, with an emphasis on Green and Sustainable Tourism, provide further geographical decision-making exercises and case studies.
Woodland, Rivers, Sand dunes, Saltmarsh
The Island has easy access to woodland, rivers, sand dunes and salt marshes allowing a hands-on approach to bio-geographical investigation.
Wind Farm Case Study
Fieldwork and the specification of the exam boards
There is a statutory and curriculum requirement that all pupils of A Level Geography undertake fieldwork, including research outside the classroom
Fieldwork and the Edexcel GCE AS specification.
The Isle of Wight is an ideal place to carry out fieldwork programmes for the AS Unit 2 topics Crowded Coasts, Re-branding Places and Unequal spaces. Students are introduced to a diverse range of fieldwork techniques during a course, and are encouraged to follow links to websites and secondary data sources to carry out further research
Fieldwork can include data collection for displaying, manipulating and analysing on base maps loaded onto a GIS programme.
Fieldwork and the OCR GCE specification
All the AS programmes include an investigation of Coastal Management on sections of the Island's stunning coastline, in the context of the Shoreline Management Plan 2 which came into force in January 2011.
The management of a small-scale drainage basin, and the study of an urban or rural scheme to manage change in a settlement, can be included in a fieldwork programme.
The A2 programmes include an investigation of an ecosystem and the need for management of the habitat. The field centre has special access to fieldwork sites including saltmarshes, managed woodland and estuaries, each protected by conservation designations.
The Island's active landslip zone, known as the Undercliff, provides a fascinating fieldwork location for the Earth Hazards option. The collapse of the main coast road and structural damage to buildings has determined the need for a Landslide Management Strategy for this coastal zone.
For all programmes there is a focus on Geographical Skills and the investigative approach, including statistical analysis, presentation techniques, and the use of electronic maps in a GIS.
Fieldwork and the AQA GCE AS specification
The course will prepare students for the Unit 2 Geographical Skills paper, including all aspects of the fieldwork investigation, cartographical and graphical techniques, statistics, and ICT including GIS.