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Environmental Studies A Level at Woodroffe School

Course description

Do you feel that there are big questions that need addressing when it comes to our environment? How can the decline in species be stopped? What are the energy options in the future? What are the best or worst case scenarios facing the environment in the 21st Century? Students with an interest in the world around them including the Earth’s composition and processes, its wildlife, and how they interact with each other will suit this course. It includes some aspects of Geography, Biology and Chemistry in an environmental context by reviewing the scientific principles behind them. It is a broad-based subject with a scientific approach in which students are directly involved.

Course content

Year 12

Unit 1 – The Living Environment. An introduction to biodiversity of life on planet earth. Students investigate the importance of conservation, ecological relationships between organisms and their abiotic and biotic environments are studied in order to understand conservation problems and their management
Unit 2 – The Physical Environment. Humans exploit and manage physical resources to provide higher material standards of living. Students study why physical resources such as atmospheric gases, water and mineral nutrients are essential for life on earth

Year 13

Unit 3 – Energy Resources and Environmental Pollution. Students investigate future energy supply problems and how these may be resolved
Unit 4 – Biological Resources and Sustainability. The course covers the factors controlling human population growth and the demands placed on resources and the life support systems of the planet

Entry requirements

Six GCSEs at Grade C or above including Geography or Environmental Science and Science


Exam Board: AQA. Currently there are no plans to enter students into AS exams. However, there will be internal assessments at the end of Year12 which will confirm the suitability of not of students to continue into a second year of A Level study.

All assessment is carried out at the end of A2.

Paper 1 – The Physical Environment, Energy Resources and Pollution – this is a three hour paper and contains a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions. This comprises 50% of the A Level.
Paper 2 – The Living Environment, Biological Resources and sustainability – this is a three hour paper and contains a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions. This comprises 50% of the A Level.

Underpinning all these topics is the idea of collecting and analysing data
Students will be expected to know and assess a variety of sampling and data analysis techniques. These skills will be assessed within both of the exams at the end of A2.

Further information

Students undertake a visit to Studland Beach to study sand dune succession and observe conservation practices put into action. This allows students to undertake sampling and data collection techniques as well as statistical analysis of data collected. There are also opportunities to undertake data collection on or near to the school site. This may include looking at plants on top pitch or fresh water invertebrates in a local stream.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Woodroffe School directly.

Last updated date: 24 March 2017
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