tutor2u Geography

Fighting for Our Subject: Improving Uptake for GCSE Geography

Sunday, December 21, 2014

With competition between subjects increasing in school,  it's important to show our students how important, realistic and current a Geography qualification is.

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The Impacts of Dams - Case Study of the River Nile

As many new dams are planned to be built along the River Nile, many people are fighting back against them.

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“Car free” Sundays in London

Sunday, November 30, 2014

After experiencing a "car free" environment in Jakarta, Indonesia, Boris Johnson recognises the benefits of such a strategy happening in London, where CO2 emissions and issues with free-flowing transport are an issue.

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Geography of disease

Monday, November 17, 2014

With Ebola being a major talking point in the news at the moment pupils are fascinated by this issue.  Discussions surrounding  diseases is a great way to focus on the wider geographical impact.

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Now, before and after

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

One important higher level skill in Geography is for pupils to apply their understanding of processes to describe and explain how places change over time. To encourage pupils to apply their understanding try this task. Firstly show pupils a picture of a scene today (like the one shown below) and ask them to describe it.

Then ask pupils to hypothesise what this place might have looked like five years ago and to explain why they think this.

Finally pose ask pupils to predict how this place might be different in one hundred years time. What is possible and what is probable?

This is a really versatile technique that can be applied to a range of topics, using different time scales to suit. It also provides a great way of extending the more able pupils that you teach by adding even more factors for them to consider. For example how might this place be different in one hundred years time if global warming continues?

Behind the scenes of the World Cup

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The World Cup has brought Brazil to everyone's attention and is a great excuse to teach about this diverse country. The BBC has produced some great resources about Brazil's favelas with maps, photos and case studies about some of the residents http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-27635554

Revising key words

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It's that time of year again when we turn our minds to revision. A good way to revise key terms is by using domino cards. Just cut up the cards and get pupils to arrange them in the correct order. The same template can be used for any topic.

UK largest coastal realignment scheme is complete

Monday, November 04, 2013

Today Medmerry in Sussex sees it's coastal realignment scheme complete.

In the past it has been one of the coastal stretches most at risk of flooding in southern England. There has been a shingle beach protecting the area but it required maintenance every winter to prevent coastal flooding during storms. With climate change and sea level rise increasing the risk the shingle beach is not a sustainable coastal protection method.

As a result the Environment Agency has bought up land the size of 300 football pitches, which it will allow to flood, and built defences further inland.

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Economic Geography: Why are there Cities?

Monday, August 05, 2013

The size and location of cities follows a clear pattern -- you just need to look at them from far enough away. Wen-Tai Hsu of the National University of Singapore shows this with the help of economics. This research received the Austin Robinson Memorial Prize at the Royal Economic Society annual conference in April 2013

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Study Note - Global Inequalities and Natural Hazards – Soufrière Hills Volcano

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Natural hazards affect vulnerable populations, and one example of how the effects of a natural disaster were exacerbated by a lack of development is the Soufrière Hills volcano on the island of Montserrat (not to be confused with La Soufrière on the island of Saint Vincent, or La Grande Soufrière on the island of Basse-Terre).

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Study Note - Global Inequalities and Natural Hazards – Vulnerability

The impact of natural hazards on a population is exacerbated by their vulnerability. At its most basic, ‘vulnerability’ means being prone or susceptible to damage or injury.

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Study Note - Global Inequalities and Natural Hazards – Slow or Rapid Onset?

Global inequalities are exacerbated by human and physical factors, and the impact of earthquakes, epidemics and famine have a lethal reputation in the less economically developed world.

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Study Note - The Development Gap – Using Crude Birth Rates and Death Rates

The AQA GCSE geography specification states that birth rates and death rates can be used as measures of development. So how are these calculated, and what actual use can they be in determining how well developed a country is?

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Study Note - The Development Gap – GNP per Capita

Gross National Product (GNP) per capita is often used as an indicator of development. GNP can be defined as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a nation together with any money that has been earned by investment abroad, minus the income earned by non-nationals within the nation.

This is then divided by the number of people living in that country, to provide a figure of GNP per capita. GNP and GDP are usually expressed in US dollars.

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Study Note - The Development Gap – Human Development Index (HDI)

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite indicator of economic development that includes non-economic statistics in an attempt to provide a development measure that is not purely monetary.

The HDI was established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1990, and splits countries into four development categories: Very High Human Development, High Human Development, Medium Human Development and Low Human Development

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Study Note - The Development Gap – Indicators of Development

There are many different measures used to assess the Development Gap, and each one offers an alternate way of dividing up the world with regards to how developed it is. Here, we shall look at some of the more common indicators of development used in Geography.

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Study Note - The Rural-Urban Fringe

Monday, September 26, 2011

The rural-urban fringe is, quite simply, the transition zone where urban and rural areas meet, mix and sometimes clash.

It is a manmade version of the ‘edge effect’, which in the natural world is the juxtaposition of two contrasting environments or ecosystems. As there are quite a few factors that characterise the fringe well, it can be considered a landscape type in its own right, with wide open spaces interspersed by urban uses.

Here, we shall take a look at some of the more common characteristics of the rural-urban fringe which signify a movement out of the urban environment.

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Study Note - The Green Revolution

Between the 1940s and 1970s there was a series of technological breakthroughs and transfers that were the result of years of research and development. Most of the initiatives that were introduced began in the late 1960s in poorer, densely-populated parts of the world.

The Green Revolution spread modern agricultural technologies around the world, changed the amount of food that could be produced, improved food security and, in some cases, turned previously-food-scarce countries into exporters of staple crops.

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Study Note - Energy Crops

If a plant is grown with the sole purpose of being used as a biofuel, or to be combusted to provide energy or heat, it is known as an energy crop. These plants are generally woody or grassy, and are low cost and low maintenance. Different types of energy crops are used in different situations: solid biomass, gas biomass, liquid biomass and green waste (by-products).

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Study Note - Characteristics and Causes of Commuter Towns

If the populace of a mostly-residential town tends to commute out of the town to earn money, then the town is known as a commuter town.

Sometimes suburbs can be confused with commuter towns, as the two are very similar. The main difference is that suburbs tend to be built adjacent to centres of economic or industrial activity, whereas commuting is the main economic function of a commuter town.

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Study Note - Cash Crops

‘Cash Crop’ is the term given to the cultivation of crops for profit, and not for the subsistence of the grower’s family. Traditionally cash crops have only been a smaller, but necessary, part of a yield, in order to raise funds to invest in next year’s crop, and to meet the other life needs of the farmer.

In developed countries almost all crops are grown for profit, in contrast to developing countries where subsistence is still a necessity. Cash crops grown in developing countries do have an export value, however, and therefore attract attention and demand from more economically developed countries.

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Study Note - Urban Agriculture in Sustainable Cities

Sustainable cities, or eco-cities, are designed or managed to reduce their carbon footprint. The use of urban agriculture has recently become an increasingly important way of achieving this goal, as growing food in a city reduces the distance the food has to travel to reach the consumer. It can also be a good use of abandoned land in the heart of cities, or a useful way to increase awareness of environmental issues.

Here, we look at some examples of cities and towns that have embraced urban agriculture in an attempt to achieve sustainability.

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Study Note - Transport in Sustainable Cities

Sustainable cities, or eco-cities, are designed or managed to reduce their carbon footprint. Policies surrounding public transport and the regulation of private transport are designed specifically for this purpose, and initiatives can range from implementing a Congestion Charge, such as in London, to a full-blown integrated transport policy that makes public transport and bicycles ubiquitous, and all but eliminates the personal car from the city centre.

Here are some examples of different schemes being implemented across the world in attempts to reduce the carbon footprint of a city.

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Study Note - Renewable Energy in Sustainable Cities

Sustainable cities, or eco-cities, are designed or managed to reduce their carbon footprint. The use of renewable energy technologies are one of the most viable ways of contributing to that goal. Here, we will look at some examples of cities that are implementing large-scale changes to their energy supplies in an attempt to reach sustainability.

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Study Note - Green Roofs for Sustainable Cities

Many cities around the world suffer from the urban heat island effect, which is an area significantly hotter than its surroundings. One of the reasons for this is that there are lots of buildings with dark-coloured surfaces, which have a low albedo and therefore do not reflect heat well. This is particularly the case in cities that have used lots of concrete and asphalt in construction. During the summer the increased heat leads to overheating, which in turn makes more people turn on their air-conditioning, leading to more energy use and greater air pollution.

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Study Note - Creating an Eco-city from Scratch

There are several policy routes that have been explored that help existing cities move towards sustainability. These include regulating the use of private vehicles, promoting green technologies such as solar and wind power, incentivising businesses to plant green roofs, and growing food within city boundaries. There are now several projects across the world which aim to build eco-cities from scratch integrating all these policies, while regulating recycling and private travel in an attempt to create a carbon-neutral, waste-free environment.

Here, we will look at three separate examples with different overall goals with regards to sustainability.

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Study Note - Characteristics of a Sustainable City

Sustainable cities, sometimes known as ecological or ‘eco’ cities, are settlements designed to have as little impact on the environment as possible. These can be pre-existing cities that feature management directed towards reducing the inputs of energy, water and food and reducing the outputs of heat, water and air pollution, or they can be cities designed from scratch with these concerns in mind.

Here is a summary of the various techniques through which the aims of an eco-city can be achieved:

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