Geographical Skills including Fieldwork

Candidates will need to develop a variety of basic, investigative, cartographic, graphical, applied ICT and statistical skills. They will need to develop a critical awareness of the appropriateness and limitations of different skills and resources. The level of accuracy, sophistication and detail are all expected to be greater at AS than at GCSE, and similarly between AS and A2.

Candidates will need a basic mathematics set, including a calculator.

Basic Skills To include:

• annotation of illustrative material, base maps, sketch maps, OS maps, diagrams, graphs, sketches, photographs etc

• use of overlays

• literacy skills.

Investigative Skills

To include:

• identification of aims, geographical questions and issues, and effective approaches to enquiry

• identification, selection and collection of quantitative and qualitative evidence, including the use of appropriate sampling techniques, from primary sources (including fieldwork) and secondary sources.

• processing, presentation, analysis and interpretation of evidence

• drawing conclusions and showing an awareness of the validity of conclusions

• evaluation, including further research opportunities

• risk assessment and identification of strategies for minimising health and safety risks in undertaking fieldwork.

Cartographic Skills

To include at AS use of:

• atlas maps

• base maps

• sketch maps

• Ordnance Survey maps at a variety of scales

• maps with located proportional symbols – squares, circles, semi-circles, bars

• maps showing movement – flow lines, desire lines and trip lines

• choropleth, isoline and dot maps.

In addition, to include at A2:

• weather maps – including synoptic charts

• detailed town centre plans.

Graphical Skills

To include at AS use of:

• line graphs – simple, comparative, compound and divergent

• bar graphs – simple, comparative, compound and divergent

• scatter graphs – and use of best fit line

• pie charts and proportional divided circles

• triangular graphs

• radial diagrams

• logarithmic scales

• dispersion diagrams.

In addition, to include at A2:

• kite diagrams.

ICT Skills

To include:

• use of remotely sensed data – photographs, digital images including those captured by satellite

• use of databases, eg census data, Environment Agency data; meteorological office data

• use of geographical information systems (GIS)

• presentation of text and graphical and cartographic images using ICT.

Statistical Skills

To include at AS:

• measures of central tendency – mean, mode, median

• measures of dispersion – interquartile range and standard deviation

• Spearman’s rank correlation test

• application of significance level in inferential statistical results.

In addition, to include at A2:

• comparative tests – Chi-squared, Mann Whitney U Test.