Pearson/Edexcel B GCSE Geography (from 2016)

In the Pearson Edexcel GCSE Geography B syllabus, fieldwork has applications throughout: developing case studies and located examples, as well as integrated skills, and especially in Component 2. In the context of Topic 6, the Geographical Investigations, our field work offers opportunities for formulating the enquiry, collecting and analysing qualitative, quantitative and secondary data, and investigating the interaction between the human and physical environment. Students will be given the opportunity to engage with and evaluate all six stages of the process of enquiry, with a focus on understanding and justifying decisions made. Our fieldwork for rivers, coasts, urban and rural all meet and exceed the minimum requirements listed in the specification.

Pearson B

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)
Distinctive Landscapes: limestone Ystradfellte/ similar The area around Ystradfellte, near Waterfalls Country, is dominated by outcropping limestone and karstic geomorphology, which has created a distinctive landscape of sink holes and caves, dry valleys and dolines. We study the influence of geological processes and structure on the landscape, visiting limestone pavements to look at solution features and how they are aligned. We also visit a cave system (underground trips are only possible with Trewern or Longtown) to observe the influence that structure had on its formation. Field sketching
Orientation and inclination of clints and grykes
Map/aerial photo interpretation
Distinctive Landscapes: honey pot management Waterfalls Country Waterfalls Country, in the centre of the National Park, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, resulting in challenges for the landowners and managers. This study looks at the success of strategies employed to mitigate visitor impact and maintain the landscape value of the area, including footpath management, waymarking and interpretation. Landscape description
Environmental Quality Survey
Footpath condition survey
Perception analysis
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
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
Effects/threats of climate change * Newport/ 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
Coasts: management, sustainability * Porthcawl A range of management techniques have been, and are, in use in Porthcawl. This study evaluates the approaches used, and their effects of coastal processes. There is also scope for investigating coastal development. TBC
Ecosystems: plagioclimax, footpath damage, fires * Moorland The moorland ecosystem is a classic example of a plagioclimax, and represents a fragile environment. In the uplands of the Brecon Beacons, fire and footpath erosion result in degradation of the ecosystem, and requires careful management in order to restore it. Looking at a restoration in the Black Mountains, we can investigate the nature of the habitat, the impact of damage and its mitigation.  Interviews with volunteers that are leading the restoration may be possible. Distribution and abundance of plant species
Random sampling
Interviews with stakeholders
Community sustainability * Talgarth/ Talybont Regeneration through community projects in Talybont and/or Talgarth. Considerable overlap with the rural study.
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
Urban studies – retail change: out-of-town vs high street/CBD * Cardiff/ Hereford/ Merthyr/ Newport A number of towns in the area have out of town shopping developments, and offer the chance to investigate their impact on the traditional high street, as well as strategies to reduce any negative impacts. Shopping Area Survey
Environmental Quality Survey
Land-use mapping
Urban studies – globalisation: cause-effect, post-industrial economy, regeneration * Ebbw Vale/ Blaenafon Investigating the effect of globalisation and deindustrialisation in the coalfield. In Blaenafon tourism has a major role in its regeneration, while Ebbw Vale is undergoing regeneration of much of its infrastructure. Measuring the impact in terms of environmental quality and socio-economic indicators. Land-use mapping
Traffic & pedestrian censuses
Shopping Area Survey
Environmental Quality Survey
Residential Quality Survey
Questionnaires

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