The resources contained in this A-level section are aimed primarily at students of geography; although there is much of relevance for other subjects as well. For instance, the sections on the physical nature of Antarctica and its climate are relevant for studies of geology and environmental science, and sections on south polar ecosystems (both terrestrial and marine) are relevant for studies of ecology and biology.
The first part of this document gives a brief account of how this A-level Section can be used by teachers. The second part provides guidance on how the different sections support topics written into the new UK A-level geography specifications (first AS examination in 2009, first A2 in 2010), and the third part provides teacher support for setting and assessing the 'Student activities' within the A-level section.
The A-level section can be used in a variety of ways. Individual sections are designed to stand alone by covering discrete topics, so that teachers can pick and choose the parts of the resource most relevant to whichever A-level specification is being followed. While sections have been written to minimise the amount of overlap, links across topic areas are identified within the text and there is cross-referencing to show where students can go within the website to get an introduction, or to find out more, about a particular topic.
The 'Warm up' parts of each topic are designed to outline concepts or stimulate thought as an introduction to the more detailed explanations that follow. Some of the 'warm ups' are introductory text; but some contain interactive material that can be used in the classroom for teacher led discussion: particularly the short quizzes and interpretations of images.
The 'Cold facts' sections are more explanatory and would be appropriate to set as reading, either during lesson time or as homework.
The 'Student activities' contain a variety of different types of work for students to do after they have gone through the material in the 'warm-ups' and 'cold facts'. The activities help students to consolidate their understanding of the concepts introduced in each section, primarily by asking them to summarise or evaluate ideas in paragraphs, fact files, or full essays. Some activities ask students to do further research on various topics (including links to websites where they can find out more), and other activities require students to process, present, and interpret data that is contained in the attached Excel spreadsheets. These activities support the teaching of geographical skills. The student activities can be used for exercises in class or as homework assignments.