The best geographers at A Level keep reading the news and generally seek to improve their geographical understanding by engaging with geographical discussions regarding key issues.
This guide has been designed for you to be able to dip in and out of, from looking at general geographical issues and developing your ability to think like a geographer, through to starting to explore some of the topics we will be looking at in Year 12 and 13 so you can do some valuable background reading.
The below includes, websites, books, podcasts, documentaries and even films which provide a great way of staying inspired and engaging with geography.
ONLINE NEWS ARTICLES
- THE CONVERSATION.COM http://theconversation.com/uk we can highly recommend you use this! This you will find is really useful to support many of your A Levels. It provides up to date articles from academics and specialists in the field written in a way that is accessible to all, summarising key points in short but insightful articles.
- BBC NEWS https://www.bbc.co.uk/news – an excellent source of up to date articles – explore the key headings such as Science, as well as the UK, World and other stories.
- THE GUARDIAN https://www.theguardian.com/uk – again many useful articles and logically ordered – keep an eye on the Environment, Science, Society, Global Development stories in particular!
Now is the time to broaden your geographical understanding! Stick your headphones in and listen to some of the following…
- Costing the Earth – There are some great podcasts here to pick from on a wide variety of geographical issues https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006r4wn/episodes/player (many topics, including amongst others.. climate change, carbon, urban greening, deforestation, alternative power, plastics etc.)
- Royal Geographical Society – “Ask the Geographer podcasts” – https://www.rgs.org/schools/teaching-resources/ask-the-expert-podcasts/ – a fantastic set of podcasts to keep A Level studies up-to-date with the latest geographical research – pick out some that interest you and give them a go!
ONLINE NEWS ARTICLES
Remember you can make use of the local library’s digital library service for books – you don’t have to access hard copies.
- Prisoners of Geography (Marshall, T) – an insightful book which helps understand how physical geography impacts on political reality and really helps to understand how decisions of world leaders have been shaped by geography – a great introduction to geopolitics.
- Factfulness: Ten reasons we’re wrong about the world – and why things are better than you think (Rosling, H 2019) – this is a must-read book from a geography perspective – this takes a more realistic view of the world, presenting issues in fact-based context. It is a rational look at actually how far the world has measurably improved and what’s left to be done.
- Adventures in the Anthropocene (Vince, G) (2016) – this looks at the effects that humans are having on the surface and structure of the planet with a balanced view on recognising threats and dangers whilst also look for practical answers and solutions.
There are some great geographical documentaries which will help develop your general geographical knowledge and understanding and help you see what an amazing world we live in.
The following are all available on iPlayer.
- David Attenborough Box Sets – there are 9 amazing boxsets available on iplayer from David Attenborough exploring our amazing world https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/search?q=david+attenborough
- The Americas with Simon Reeve https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/m00095p0/the-americas-with-simon-reeve
- Simon Reeve around the world https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/group/p06rrnkm
- Mediterranean with Simon Reeve https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b0bnb6tt/mediterranean-with-simon-reeve
The following are all available on ITV Hub
- Britain Underwater: Fighting the Floods https://www.itv.com/hub/britain-underwater-fighting-the-floods/7a0157
- Joanna Lumley’s Hidden Caribbean: Havana to Haiti https://www.itv.com/hub/joanna-lumleys-hidden-caribbean-havana-to-haiti/2a7578
The following are all available on Channel 4 – On Demand
- When the Immigrants Leave (Dispatches) https://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/on-demand/69555-001
- China’s Lonely Hearts (Unreported World) https://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/on-demand/56011-011
- The world’s dirtiest river (Unreported world) https://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/on-demand/58399-001
- Forests of Fear (Unreported World) – https://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/on-demand/69224-006
- Hurricane Hell (Unreported World) https://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/on-demand/69224-007
- The World’s Dirtiest Air (Unreported World) https://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/on-demand/67193-002
- The week Britain Froze (Dispatches) https://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/on-demand/66548-007
(some are available online free – others may be available on providers such as Amazon Prime / Netflix etc.)
- Touching the Void (15) (great for visualising glacial landscapes) – a powerful true story docudrama (strong language in parts)
- Before the Flood (2016) (PG) – National Geographic presented by Leonardo DiCaprio – exploring climate change and looking at what needs to be done today to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet.
- The Impossible (2012) (12) – Movie based on real life events of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami which killed 200,000 people.
- Slumdog Millionaire (15) – based on life in the slums of Mumbai
- Our Planet (Netflix series) – explores how climate change impacts all living creatures.
- Into the Wild (2007) (15) – based on the story of a university graduate who gives up all of his material possessions and journeys alone into the Alaskan Wilderness