The King's School Grantham

Isaac Newton's School

    Year 13 Geography Curriculum

    Key topics to be taught this year:

    Autumn Term

    Topic

    Further details about the topic/key questions that will be explored

     

     

    The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity

    5.1a The global hydrological cycle’s operation as a closed system (inputs, outputs, stores and flows) driven by solar energy and gravitational potential energy. 
    5.1b The relative importance and size (percentage contribution) of the water stores (oceans, atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, groundwater and surface water) and annual fluxes between atmosphere, ocean and land.
    5.1c The global water budget limits water available for human use and water stores have different residence times; some stores are non-renewable (fossil water or cryosphere losses).
     
    5.2a The hydrological cycle is a system of linked processes: inputs (precipitation patterns and types: orographic, frontal, convectional), flows (interception, infiltration, direct runoff, saturated overland flow, throughflow, percolation, groundwater flow) and outputs (evaporation, transpiration and channel flow).
    5.2b Physical factors within drainage basins determine the relative importance of inputs, flows and outputs (climate, soils, vegetation, geology, relief).
    5.2c Humans disrupt the drainage basin cycle by accelerating processes (deforestation, changing land use) and creating new water storage reservoirs or by abstracting water (Amazonia).
     
    5.3a Water budgets show the annual balance between inputs (precipitation) and outputs (evapotranspiration) and their impact on soil water availability, and are influenced by climate type (tropical, temperate, polar examples). 
    5.3b River regimes indicate the annual variation in discharge of a river and result from the impact of climate, geology and soils as shown in regimes from contrasting river basins (Yukon, Amazon, Indus). 
    5.3c Storm hydrographs’ shape depends on physical features of drainage basins (size, shape, drainage density, rock type, soil, relief and vegetation) as well as human factors (land use and urbanisation) (P: the role of planners in managing land use). 
     
    Enquiry question 2: What factors influence the hydrological system over short- and long-term timescales?
     
    5.4a The causes of drought, both meteorological (short-term precipitation deficit, longer trends, ENSO cycles) and hydrological. 
    5.4bThe contribution human activity makes to the risk of drought: over-abstraction of surface water resources and groundwater aquifers (Sahelian drought, Australia).
    5.4a The impacts of drought on ecosystem functioning (wetlands, forest stress) and the resilience of these ecosystems.
     
    5.5a Meteorological causes of flooding, including intense storms leading to flash flooding, unusually heavy or prolonged rainfall, extreme monsoonal rainfall and snowmelt. 
    5.5b Human actions that can exacerbate flood risk (changing land use within the river catchment, mismanagement of rivers, using hard engineering systems).
    5.5c Damage from flooding has both environmental impacts (soils and ecosystems) and socio-economic impacts (economic activity, infrastructure and settlement) (UK flood events 2007 or 2012).
     
    5.6a Climate change affects inputs and outputs within the hydrological cycle: trends in precipitation and evaporation.
    5.6b Climate change affects stores and flows, size of snow and glacier mass, reservoirs, lakes, amount of permafrost, soil moisture levels, as well as rates of runoff and stream flow.
    5.6c Climate change resulting from short-term oscillations (ENSO cycles) and global warming increase the uncertainty in the system; this causes concerns over the security of water supplies (F: projections of future drought and flood risk).
     
    Enquiry question 3: How does water insecurity occur, and why is it becoming such a global issue for the 21st century?
     
    5.7a The growing mismatch between water supply and demand has led to a global pattern of water stress (below 1,700 m³ per person) and water scarcity (below 1000 m³ per person). 
    5.7b The causes of water insecurity are physical (climate variability, salt water encroachment at coast) as well as human (over-abstraction from rivers, lakes and groundwater aquifers, water contamination from agriculture, industrial water pollution).
    5.7c The finite water resource faces pressure from rising demand (increasing population, improving living standards, industrialisation and agriculture), which is increasingly serious in some locations and is leading to increasing risk of water insecurity (F: projections of future water scarcity).
     
    5.8a The causes of and global pattern of physical water scarcity and economic scarcity, and why the price of water varies globally. 
    5.8b The importance of water supply for economic development (industry, energy supply, agriculture) and human wellbeing (sanitation, health and food preparation); the environmental and economic problems resulting from inadequate water.
    5.8c The potential for conflicts to occur between users within a country, and internationally over local and trans-boundary water sources (Nile, Mekong) (P: role of different players). 
     
    5.9a The pros and cons of the techno-fix of hard engineering schemes to include water transfers, mega dams and desalination plants (water transfers in China).
    5.9b The value of more sustainable schemes of restoration of water supplies and water conservation (smart irrigation, recycling of water) (Singapore) (A: contrasting attitudes to water supply).
    5.9c Integrated drainage basin management for large rivers (Nile, Colorado) and water-sharing treaties and frameworks (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Water Convention, Helsinki and the Water Framework Directive and Hydropower, Berlin) (P: role of players in reducing water conflict risk).
    ICT
    Literacy
    Classification
    Visual imagery
    Summarising
    Information processing
    Map skills
    Numeracy
    Independent work
    Group work
     

     

    Superpowers

    7.1a Superpowers, emerging and regional powers can be defined using contrasting characteristics (economic, political, military, cultural, demographic, and access to natural resources). 
    7.1b Mechanisms of maintaining power sit on a spectrum from ‘hard’ to ‘soft’ power, which vary in their effectiveness.
    7.1c The relative importance of these characteristics and mechanisms for maintaining power has changed over time (Mackinder’s geostrategic location theory).
     
    7.2a The maintenance of power during the imperial era by direct colonial control (British Empire, multi-polar world 1919–1939).
    7.2b Multi-faceted, indirect control (political, economic, military, cultural) including neo-colonial mechanisms, has become more important (Cold War era; emergence of China as a potential rival to the USA’s hegemony). 
    7.2c Different patterns of power bring varying degrees of geopolitical stability and risk.
     
    7.3a A number of emerging countries, including Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) and other G20 members, are considered increasingly important to global economic and political systems, as well as a global environment governance (UN Climate Change Conference).
    7.3b Each has evolving strengths and weaknesses (economic, political, military, cultural, demographic and environmental) that might inhibit or advance their economic and geopolitical role in the future.
    Global environment governance
    7.3c Development theory (world systems theory, dependency theory, modernisation theory) can be used to help explain changing patterns of power.
     
    Enquiry question 2: What are the impacts of superpowers on the global economy, political systems and the global environment?
     
    7.4a Superpowers influence the global economy (promoting free trade and capitalism) through a variety of IGOs (World Bank, IMF, WTO, World Economic Forum (WEF).
    7.4b TNCs (public and state-led) are dominant economic forces in the global economy and economic and cultural globalisation in terms of technology (patents) and trade patterns. (P: role of TNCs in maintaining power and wealth)
    7.4c Global cultural influence (the arts, food the media) and ‘westernisation’ are important aspects of power, linked to economic influence and technology.
     
    7.5a Superpowers and emerging nations play a key role in global action (crisis response, conflict, climate change). (P: role of powerful countries as ‘global police’)
    7.5b Alliances, both military (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), The Australia, New Zealand and United States Security Treaty (ANZUS) and economic (EU, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), ASEAN) and environmental (IPCC) increase interdependence and are important in geostrategy and global influence.
    7.5c The UN (Security Council, International Court of Justice, and peacekeeping missions and climate change conferences) are important to global geopolitical stability. (A: actions and attitudes of global IGOs)
     
    7.6a Superpower resource demands (food, fossil fuels, and minerals) can cause environmental degradation and their carbon emissions contribute disproportionately to global warming. 
    7.6b There are differences in the willingness to act (USA, EU, China and Russia) to reduce carbon emissions and reach global agreements on environmental issues. (A: attitudes and actions of different countries)
    7.6c Future growth in middle-class consumption in emerging superpowers has implications for the availability and cost of key resources (rare earths, oil, staple grains and water), as well as for the physical environment.
     
    Enquiry question 3: What spheres of influence are contested by superpowers and what are the implications of this?
     
    7.7a Tensions can arise over the acquisition of physical resources (Arctic oil and gas) where ownership is disputed and disagreement exists over exploitation. (A: attitudes and actions in relation to resources)
    7.7b The global system of intellectual property rights can be undermined by counterfeiting, which strains trade relations and TNC investment.
    7.7c Political spheres of influence can be contested leading to tensions over territory and physical resources (South and East China Seas) and in some cases resulting in open conflict (Western Russia/Eastern Europe) with implications for people and physical environments.
     
    7.8a Developing economic ties between emerging powers and the developing world (China and African nations) increase interdependence, generate environmental impacts and bring opportunities and challenges. (P: role of emerging powers)
    7.8b The rising economic importance of certain Asian countries (China, India) on the global stage increases the geopolitical influence of the region but also creates political and economic tensions within the region. 
    7.8c Cultural, political, economic and environmental tensions in the Middle East represent an ongoing challenge to superpowers and emerging powers due to complex geopolitical relations combined with the supply of vital energy resources. (A: contrasting cultural ideologies)
     
    7.9a Economic problems (debt, unemployment, economic restructuring, social costs) represent an ongoing challenge to the USA and EU.
    7.9b The economic costs of maintaining global military power (naval, nuclear, air power, intelligence services) and space exploration are questioned in some existing powers.
    7.9c The future balance of global power in 2030 and 2050 is uncertain and there are a range of possible outcomes (continued USA dominance, bi-polar and multi-polar structures). (F: uncertainty over future power structures) 
    ICT
    Literacy
    Classification
    Visual imagery
    Summarising
    Information processing
    Map skills
    Numeracy
    Independent work
    Group work
      Carbon cycle
    6.1a The biogeochemical carbon cycle consists of carbon stores of different sizes (terrestrial, oceans and atmosphere), with annual fluxes between stores of varying size (measured in Pg/Gt) rates and on different timescales.
    6.1b Most of the earth’s carbon is geological, resulting from the formation of sedimentary carbonate rocks (limestone) in the oceans and biologically derived carbon in shale, coal and other rocks.
    6.1c Geological processes release carbon into the atmosphere through volcanic out-gassing at ocean ridges/subduction zones and chemical weathering of rocks.
     
    6.2a Phytoplankton sequester atmospheric carbon during photosynthesis in surface ocean waters; carbonate shells/tests move into the deep ocean water through the carbonate pump and action of the thermohaline circulation.
    6.2b Terrestrial primary producers sequester carbon during photosynthesis; some of this carbon is returned to the atmosphere during respiration by consumer organisms.
    6.2c Biological carbon can be stored as dead organic matter in soils, or returned to the atmosphere via biological decomposition over several years.
     
    6.3a The concentration of atmospheric carbon (carbon dioxide and methane) strongly influences the natural greenhouse effect, which in turn determines the distribution of temperature and precipitation.
    6.3b Ocean and terrestrial photosynthesis play an important role in regulation the composition of the atmosphere. Soil health is influenced by stored carbon, which is important for ecosystem productivity.
    6.3c The process of fossil fuel combustion has altered the balance of carbon pathways and stores with implications for climate, ecosystems and the hydrological cycle.
     
    Enquiry question 2: What are the consequences for people and the environment of our increasing demand for energy?
     
    6.4a Consumption (per capita and in terms of units of GDP) and energy mix (domestic and foreign, primary and secondary energy, renewable versus non-renewable). 
    6.4b Access to and consumption of energy resources depends on physical availability, cost, technology, public perception, level of economic development and environmental priorities (national comparisons USA versus France).
    6.4c Energy players (P: role of TNCs, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), consumers, governments) have different roles in securing pathways and energy supplies.
     
    6.5a There is a mismatch between locations of conventional fossil fuel supply (oil, gas, coal) and regions where demand is highest, resulting from physical geography.
    6.5b Energy pathways (pipelines, transmission lines, shipping routes, road and rail) are a key aspect of security but can be prone to disruption, especially as conventional fossil fuels deplete (Russian gas to Europe). 
    6.5c The development of unconventional fossil fuel energy resources (tar sands, oil shale, shale gas, deep water oil) has social costs and consequences for the resilience of fragile environments. (Canadian tar sands, USA fracking, Brazilian deep-water oil.) (P: role of business in developing reserves, versus environmental groups and affected communities.)
     
    6.6a Renewable and recyclable energy (nuclear power, wind power and solar power) could help decouple fossil fuel from economic growth; these energy sources have costs and benefits economically, socially and environmentally, and in terms of the contribution they can make to energy security. (changing UK energy mix)
    6.6b Biofuels are an alternative energy source that are increasing globally; growth in biofuels however has implications for food supply as well as uncertainty over how ‘carbon neutral’ they are. (Biofuels in Brazil). 
    6.6c Radical technologies, including carbon capture and storage and alternative energy sources (hydrogen fuel cells, electric vehicles) could reduce carbon emissions, but uncertainty exists as to how far this is possible.
     
    Enquiry question 3: How are the carbon and water cycles linked to the global climate system?
     
    6.7a Growing demand for food, fuel and other resources globally has led to contrasting regional trends in land use cover (deforestation, afforestation, conversion of grasslands to farming) affecting terrestrial carbon stores with wider implications for the water cycle and soil health. 
    6.7b Ocean acidification, as a result of its role as a carbon sink, is increasing due to fossil fuel combustion and risks crossing the critical threshold for the health of coral reefs and other marine ecosystems that provide vital ecosystem services.
    6.7c Climate change resulting from the enhanced greenhouse effect may increase the frequency of drought due to shifting climate belts, which may impact on the health of forests as carbon stores. (Amazonian drought events).
     
    6.8a Forest loss has implications for human well-being, but there is evidence that forest stores are being protected and even expanded, especially in countries of higher levels of development (environmental Kuznets’ curve model). (A: attitudes of global consumers to environmental issues.)
    6.8b Increased temperatures affect evaporation rates and the quantity of water vapour in the atmosphere with implications for precipitation patterns, river regimes and water stores (cryosphere and drainage basin stores). (Arctic) (F: uncertainty of global projections.)
    6.8c Threats to ocean health pose threats to human well-being, especially in developing regions that depend on marine resources as a food source and for tourism and coastal protection.
     
    6.9a Future emissions, atmospheric concentration levels and climate warming are uncertain owing to natural factors (the role of carbon sinks), human factors (economic growth, population, energy resources) and feedback mechanisms (carbon release from peatlands and permafrost, and tipping points, including forest dieback and alterations to the thermohaline circulation). (F: uncertainty of global projections.)
    6.9b Adaptation strategies for a changed climate (water conservation and management, resilient agricultural systems, land use planning, flood-risk management, solar radiation management) have different costs and risks.
    6.9c Re-balancing the carbon cycle could be achieved through mitigation (carbon taxation, renewable switching, energy efficiency, afforestation, carbon capture and storage), but this requires global-scale agreement and national actions, both of which have proved to be problematic. (A: attitudes of different countries, TNCs and people.)
    ICT
    Literacy
    Classification
    Visual imagery
    Summarising
    Information processing
    Map skills
    Numeracy
    Independent work
    Group work

    Spring Term

     

     

     

     

    Health Human Rights and Intervention

    8A.1a Human development has traditionally been measured using the growth of GDP as an end in itself but the relationship between human contentment and levels of wealth and income is complex (Happy Planet Index) and many dominant models are contested  (Sharia law, Bolivia under Evo Morales).
    8A.1b Improvements in environmental quality, health, life expectancy and human rights are seen by some (Rosling) as more significant goals for development while economic growth is often the best means of delivering them.
    8A.1c Education is central to economic development (human capital) and to the understanding and assertion of human rights; this view is, however, not universally shared (attitudes to gender equality in education) as both access to education and standards of achievement vary greatly among countries (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
     
    8A2.a. There are considerable variations in health and life expectancy in the developing world that are explained by differential access to basic needs such as food, water supply and sanitation, and which impact particularly on levels of infant and maternal mortality.
    8A2.b Variations in health and life expectancy in the developed world are largely a function of differences in lifestyles, levels of deprivation and the availability, cost and effectiveness of medical care.
    8A.2c There are significant variations in health and life expectancy within countries (UK, Brazil) that are related to ethnic variations (Aboriginal peoples in Australia) and income levels and inequalities, which, in turn, impact on lifestyles.
     
    8A.3a The relationship between economic and social development is complex and dependent on decisions made by governments on the importance of social progress; this ranges from welfare states with high levels of social spending to totalitarian regimes run by elites with low levels of spending on health and education.
    8A.3b The dominant IGOs (World Bank, IMF, WTO) have traditionally promoted neo-liberal views of development based on the adoption of free trade, privatisation and deregulation of financial markets but also, recent programmes have been aimed at improving environmental quality, health, education and human rights.
    8A.3c Progress against the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been mixed in terms of individual countries, global regions and targets; the UN post-2015 development agenda expands on the MDGs, setting new goals to include sustainable development.
     
    Enquiry question 2: Why do human rights vary from place to place?
     
    8A.4a The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a statement of intent and a framework for foreign policy statements to explain economic or military intervention but not all states have signed the Declaration.
    8A.4b The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) was drafted by the nations of the Council of Europe to help prevent conflict and integrated into the UK by the Human Rights Act of 1998; the ECHR remains controversial as some see it as an erosion of national sovereignty.
    8A.4c The Geneva Convention forms a basis in international law for prosecuting individuals and organisations who commit war crimes and is endorsed by 196 countries; however few cases come to trial and over 150 countries continue to engage in torture.
     
    8A.5a Some states frequently invoke human rights in international forums and debates whilst others prioritise economic development over human rights and defend this approach.
    8A.5b Some superpowers and emerging powers have transitioned to more democratic governments but the degree of democratic freedom varies the protection of human rights and degree of freedom of speech varies.
    8A.5c Levels of political corruption vary and can be measured (Index of Corruption); high levels of corruption are a threat to human rights as the rule of law can be subverted.
     
    8A.6a In some states (post-colonial states) there are significant groups, defined by gender and/or ethnicity that have had fewer rights than the dominant group.
    8A.6b Differences in rights are frequently reflected in differences in levels of health and education (indigenous populations in both North and South America).
    8A.6c A demand for equality from both women and ethnic groups has been an important part of the history of many states in recent years (Afghanistan, Australia, Bolivia) with progress taking place at different rates.
     
    Enquiry question 3: How are human rights used as arguments for political and military intervention?
     
    8A.7a There is a wide range of geopolitical interventions to address development and human rights issues: development aid, trade embargoes, military aid, indirect and direct military action.
    8A.7b Interventions are promoted by IGOs, national governments and NGOs (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch) but there is seldom consensus about the validity of these interventions.
    8A.7c Some Western governments frequently condemn human rights violations and use them as conditions for offering aid, negotiating trade agreements, and as a reason for military intervention, which challenge ideas of national sovereignty.
     
    8A.8a Development aid takes many forms from charitable gifts to address the impacts of hazards (Haiti) administered both by NGOs (Oxfam, Christian Aid) and national governments, to IGOs offering loans.
    8A.8b. The impact of development aid is contested; successes include progress in dealing with life threatening conditions (malaria) and improvements in some aspects of human rights (gender equality) but critics suggest that it encourages dependency, and promotes corruption and the role of the elite at the expense of human rights and minority groups.
    8A.8c. Some economic development, both by superpowers and
    TNCs, has very serious impacts on the environment in which minority groups live and disregards their human rights to their land and culture (oil in the Niger Delta or Peruvian Amazon and land grabs in East Africa). 
     
    8A.9a Global strategic interests might drive military interventions but are often justified by the protagonists in terms of human rights.
    8A.9b Military aid, both in terms of training personnel and weapons sales, is sometimes used to support countries that themselves have questionable human rights records.
    8A.9c Direct military intervention is  increasingly part of a ’war on terror’, which is partially justified as promoting human rights of minority communities but is compromised by the use of torture by combatant states that have signed the Declaration of Human Rights.
     
    Enquiry question 4: What are the outcomes of geopolitical interventions in terms of human development and human rights?
     
    8A.10a Measurements of success comprise a wide range of variables, including improvements in health, life expectancy, educational levels, gender equality, freedom of speech and successful management of refugees as well as increases in GDP per capita.
    8A.10b For some governments and IGOs, the introduction of democratic institutions is deemed important and freedom of expression is seen as central to the development of democratic and capitalist societies.
    8A.10c For other countries, success is measured in terms of economic growth with less attention to holistic development (human wellbeing) or human rights and the development of democratic institutions.
     
    8A.11a The relationship of aid, development, health and human rights is unclear, with relative success stories in some states contrasted with relative failure in other states.
    8A.11b. In some states that receive substantial development aid, economic inequalities have increased while in other states economic inequalities have decreased; this in turn impacts on health and life expectancy.
    8A.11c The extent to which superpowers use development aid as an extension of their foreign policies and judge success in terms of access to resources, political support in IGOs and military alliances and formation of military alliances.
    8A.12a The recent history of military interventions, both direct and indirect, suggest that there are significant costs, including loss of sovereignty and human rights and contrasts between short-term gains with long-term costs.
    8A.12b Other non-military interventions may have a stronger record of improving both human rights and development (Cote d’Ivoire 2011).
    8A.12c Lack of action also has global consequences which may impact negatively on progress in environmental, political and social development (human wellbeing and human rights).

     

    ICT
    Literacy
    Classification
    Visual imagery
    Summarising
    Information processing
    Map skills
    Numeracy
    Independent work
    Group work

    Summer Term

     

     

     

     

    Revision

    Revision of both physical and human topics using past papers/question/the revision work booklet and revision booklet

    ICT
    Literacy
    Classification
    Visual imagery
    Summarising
    Information processing
    Map skills
    Numeracy
    Independent work
    Group work

     

    Revision

    Revision of both physical and human topics using past papers/question/the revision work booklet and revision booklet

    ICT
    Literacy
    Classification
    Visual imagery
    Summarising
    Information processing
    Map skills
    Numeracy
    Independent work
    Group work

    Assessments:

    Autumn Term

    Topic

    Type of Assessment

    CAT 1

    Water cycle
    Superpowers
     

    Exam question

    Spring Term

     

     

    CAT 2

    Carbon cycle
    Health and human rights

    Exam question

    Summer Term

     

     

    CAT 3

    All topics

    Exam question

    Main Resources:

    Resource

    Details

    Term

    Text books

    All pupils are issued with the course textbook for EDEXCEL A Level Geography

    All

    Recommended reading

    Wider reading connected to globalisation, coasts, regeneration and tectonics.

     

    All

    Recommended websites

    Student action on world poverty: www.peopleandplanet.org.uk

    United Nations: www.un.org

    The Environment Agency: www.environment-agency.gov.uk

    The Met Office: www.metoffice.com

    Search Engine: www.refdesk.com

    (Encyclopedia of the Atmospheric Environment (2006) Weather)

    Encyclopedia of the Atmospheric Environment: www.ace.mmu.ac.uk/eae/english.html

    Oxfam: www.oxfam.org.uk

    CIA: www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook

    Internet Geography: www.geography.learnontheinternet.co.uk

    Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: www.defra.gov.uk

    Food and Agricultural Organisation: www.fao.org/

    S-Cool Revision Site: www.s-cool.co.uk/

    GeoResources: www.georesources.co.uk

    Revision Notes: www.revision-notes.co.uk

    All

    Equipment

    Stationary, textbook and atlas

    All

    Enrichment opportunities:

    Activity or Trip

    Day and Term

    Revision sessions from March 2018

    From March 2018