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A Level subject content overviews

To support teachers with the introduction of the 2016 A Level courses, the Society is providing a new range of online resources and support.

The following overview document provides an introduction for teachers to some of the key content, concepts and geographical theories within the new A Levels and will be particularly useful for colleagues who have not previously taught elements of the new content.

These have been written by leading academic geographers, a number of whom were members of the ALCAB subject advisory panel for geography. 

There is particularly focus on the areas of core content.

Understanding the carbon and water cycles in our atmosphere, as well as their sources and sinks, is fundamental to many aspects of physical geography. In developing an understanding of the water and carbon cycle, geographers must understand: the processes that drive weather and climate, the differences between weather and climate, and the different physical scales of the processes from local to global. Some of the specialised concepts in weather and climate should be understood before they can be related to the water and carbon cycle or climate change - particularly the different scales involved and the difference between weather and climate. The study of weather and climate utilises a variety of geographical skills such as analysing weather data in the form of graphs, charts and statistics – in doing so, also learning how to draw conclusions by evidence. This also provides the necessary content to further explore the impact of human activities on physical processes relevant to weather and climate.

Weather transports water and carbon at various distance scales but on short timescales. However, climate dictates much of the long term picture of both cycles, and climate is usually measured on a rolling 30 year average (current climate maps show the 1981-2010 mean). Both the magnitude and location of water and carbon stores and fluxes are linked to climate change and its drivers – sometimes anthropogenic, such as land use change.

Download the full A Level Subject Content Overview document from the downloads box.

Written by Dr Liz McGrath (Meteorologist, Weatherzone) and Dr Sylvia Knight (Head of Education, Royal Meteorological Society)


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A Level Subject Content Overview: Weather and Climate


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