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A Level Pupils get to grips with Geography and a flavour of undergraduate study

A Level Pupils get to grips with Geography and a flavour of undergraduate study

A Level Pupils get to grips with Geography and a flavour of undergraduate study

On Wednesday 8 November 2017 16 A Level Geography pupils, accompanied by Miss Taylor and Mr Nunnerley, attended a series of lectures in London at the ‘Geography in Action’ conference. Some of the lectures were loosely based on the new A Level specification and recapped some of the key content that has been taught in lessons, while also introducing the pupils to some new case studies.

A particularly pertinent talk was given by Professor Geraldene Wharton (Queen Mary University, London) about the water and carbon cycles, investigating their causes and impacts at a variety of scales, as well as exploring the links between them.

Dr Alan Smith (Plymouth University) spoke about the delimitation of ‘place’ and how we each attach our own meaning to places. Pupils were encouraged to think about the meanings they attach to various places and how these might change over time.

Just before lunch, Naomi Moore gave the pupils 10 commandments that they should follow in order to achieve A Level exam success which they all found very useful. After a spot of lunch in the nearby cafes, the pupils heard from two lecturers from the University of Oxford, Professors Danny Dorling and David Thomas. Both gave lectures on subjects beyond the remit of the A Level syllabus showing pupils the true extent of Geography and also giving them a flavour of undergraduate study. Danny’s talk introduced pupils to seven new maps which challenge the way we view the world, while David spoke about the enigma of lakes in drylands and their impacts on atmospheric and oceanic systems.

The day ended with a truly inspirational talk from travel writer and film-maker Ash Bhardwaj who has walked the length of the Nile and through the Himalayas. He gave the pupils some top tips for travelling which include to follow your hobbies, follow your heroes and to look for the unexpected. Despite the very different subject content of all of the talks there was one common theme: Geography is a subject that is growing in popularity across the country as people realise its true importance at deciphering the world around us and recognise its ability to make connections between a wide range of different topics. Barack Obama, while speaking at the 2012 National Geographic Bee, summed it up rather nicely: “The study of Geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.”

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