OCR A GCSE Geography (from 2016)

Fieldwork is designed to be embedded throughout the OCR GCSE Geography A syllabus, and there are a range of suitable studies below that will facilitate that requirement, whether as part of the enquiry or as optional fieldwork outside of the required 2 days. The Component 03 (skills paper) will draw on fieldwork experiences from Components 01 & 02, and requires student to understand the process of enquiry. Through our field studies, we intend to offer students the opportunity to engage with the six stages detailed in the specification, from question setting to conclusion and evaluation, thinking critically throughout to justify and evaluate the approach used.

OCR A

Theme

Possible Locations

Study Details

Skills/Data Collected

Downstream changes (processes & landforms) Caerfanell/ Tarell/ Honddu/ Olchon/ Monnow Traditional river study, typically using three sites to investigate development of river channel characteristics and interaction of processes. Data collected can be used to calculate cross-sectional area, discharge and/or hydraulic radius. Channel geometry
Sediment size & shape
Velocity
Gradient
Extreme weather, flood management Hereford (Wye)/ Brecon (Usk) Investigating the response to large-scale storm events, looking at flood management in either the Usk or Wye catchment. On the Usk, time is spent exploring the characteristics of the upper catchment, before visiting the flood defences in Brecon. For the Wye, because of scale, less time is spent on the river, instead focussing on the defence scheme and risk analysis in the town. River work: Channel competence
Channel roughness
Infiltration (optional)
Flood defences: Impact assessment
Cost-benefit analysis
Flood risk & severity (optional)
Glacial landscapes: geomorphology, uses, climate change Corries and/or hills in Brecon Beacons A range of visits are possible, depending on time available and the required focus/approach. With a full day it is possible to climb to Cwm Llwch, arguably the finest corrie in the Brecon Beacons, to interpret the landforms and sediments there. Half day visits can be combined to make a full day, and include Craig Cerrig-gleisiad (a corrie that illustrates changes in landscape since the glacial maximum), Allt yr Esgair or Tor y Foel (viewpoints from which to discuss deposition, ice-wastage and the broader glaciated landscape). Human uses of the modern landscape can be discussed at any of the venues. Field sketching
Map/aerial photo interpretation
Geomorphological mapping
Till fabric analysis (optional)
Coasts (& distinctive landscapes): geomorphology, processes, management, sustainabilty Glamorgan Heritage Coast Investigating processes, landforms and management on a high energy coastline, around the southernmost point in Wales. Mainly headland & bay, there are cliffs, caves, wave-cut platforms and notches, storm beaches, and opportunities to discuss the influence of geology, types of wave, refraction and long shore drift. Management approaches and their impacts are evaluated. If required this can be combined with a visit to Aberthaw/Breaksea Point to look at hard engineering and sediment accumulation on groynes. Field sketching
Map/plan/aerial photo interpretation
Cost-benefit analysis
Impact assessment
Perception analysis
Beach profiling (including sediment size)
Ecosystems: sand dunes (threats?) Crymlyn Burrows Succession on sand dunes, looking at the components of the ecosystem: physical, biotic, climatic and edaphic. Linked to processes and formation, soil development, food webs, and nutrient cycling. Threats to the longevity of the dunes are discussed, and possible evidence sought. Distribution and abundance of plant species
Transects
Gradient profile
Abiotic variables including wind speed, and soil moisture
Ecosystems: temperate woodland, management Woodland(s) Several temperate deciduous woodlands exist in the Brecon Beacons, allowing us to investigate their differences and similarities in terms of physical, biotic, climatic and edaphic factors. It is also possible to look at the effect of management strategies, such as exclusion, grazing or coppicing. Distribution and abundance of plant species
Random sampling
Abiotic variables including light intensity, and soil moisture
Rural studies: continuum, migration, deprivation, sustainability Villages Throughout the National Park there are settlements that can be used to demonstrate the rural-urban continuum, the effects of migration (in- and out-), and inequality. Several are also subject to schemes that either aim to improve sustainability, regenerate or rebrand them, allowing us to assess their successfulness. Examples would include Talgarth (including a visit to the mill, part of the Village SOS scheme), Llangynidr, Talybont-on-Usk, Llanvihangel Crucorney or Llanthony. Land-use mapping
Landscape Character Assessment
Amenity Survey
Environmental Quality Survey
Residential Quality Survey
Questionnaires
Interviews/talks with stakeholders
Food: changing agriculture, intensive/ conventional/ organic Local farm(s) Sustainable food futures, looking at local farming systems including low input/organic farming and change over time. Involves one or more farm visits, with opportunities to interview the farmer(s). Mapping
Map/aerial photo interpretation
Interviews
Impact assessment
Urban studies – transects: inequality, quality of life, land-use Cardiff/ Hereford/ Brecon/ Abergavenny Urban quality of life/environment investigations can be undertaken in many of the region’s towns and cities, with an approach appropriate to scale (i.e. full transects in small towns, district/ward comparisons in the larger settlements). Measurements of environmental and residential quality can be paired with retail development, movement patterns, land values, sphere of influence and/or cultural variables. Land-use mapping
Traffic & pedestrian censuses
Shopping Area Survey
Environmental Quality Survey
Residential Quality Survey
Questionnaires
Urban studies – regeneration/ development * Cardiff/ Hereford/ Abergavenny Cardiff Bay is a flagship regeneration project that turned former docklands into a “world class development”. Subsequently, the town centre has also been regenerated. Hereford has recently undergone redevelopment of its former cattle market, now a mix of retail and other leisure. All three developments offer an opportunity to assess the need for and success of the scheme, as well as the broader impacts. Abergavenny is currently awaiting the redevelopment of its cattle market site and may offer a useful comparison. Land-use mapping
Traffic & pedestrian censuses
Shopping Area Survey
Environmental Quality Survey
Residential Quality Survey
Questionnaires
Evidence for past climate change * TBC The landscape of the Brecon Beacons is a palimpsest of geological history, and can therefore be read as a record of historical climate change. We are able to visit geological and landscape sites that demonstrate climates both warmer and colder than today, and discuss what other evidence may be available in these environments. TBC
Coasts: management, sustainability * Porthcawl During the storm surges of the winter of 2013/2014, parts of Newport were evacuated due to the risk of storm surges. This study looks at the areas effected, media coverage, the potential for future issues and their management. TBC
Distinctive Landscapes: sandstone & tourist management * Brecon Beacons National Park The distinctive landscape of the Brecon Beacons owes much to the characteristics of the Old Red Sandstone bedrock, and processes operating over millions of years. The landscape has an impact on local economic activity, especially tourism, which needs careful management in order to achieve sustainability. This study looks at a key attraction of the Park, and how visitor impacts are managed. Footpath survey
Environmental Quality Survey
Landscape Character Assessment
Energy: fossil vs renewables, (exploration?) * Ffos-y-fran/ wind/ microhydro/ tidal/ solar farm An investigation of the energy mix in the region (fossil fuels, micro hydro, wind, tidal, solar), with visits to a range of energy producers (at least 2), to understand some of the issues concerned with exploiting the resources, and the conflicts that result. There may be scope for looking into fracking and other alternatives in South Wales. Landscape Character Assessment
Environmental Quality Survey
Interviews with stakeholders
Reservoirs: impacts * Elan Valley/ Llandegfedd Looking at reservoir creation and water transfers in Wales in terms of: reasons for the location of the scheme, impacts and conflicts. TBC

* please note, these studies (in full or in part) are in development, and details will be finalised as and when necessary.