Year 12 – Introduction to globalisation 11/09/2014

Year 12 – Following our first lesson your task this evening is to research definitions of globalisation. Here are some sources worth investigating:

Read a few definitions and examples to get an understanding of how interpretations of the concept vary. Remember to double check your sources. No printing straight off Wikipedia!

Here are your geography links for the week ending….. 7th September

  • Bárðarbunga (Try pronouncing that!) has been rumbling and erupting for the three weeks in eastern Iceland. Fissures (cracks) have opened along the ground as opposed to an eruption from a classic shaped stratovolcano. It could continue to erupt like this for a while. The Icelandic Met Office is a great place to get up to date information, there are also a lot of volcanologist (geologists with a specialism in volcanoes) on twitter who are worth following for lots of interesting info:

Dr John Stevenson, Edinburgh University – @volcan01010 Dr Dave McGarvie, Open University- @subglacial Dr Erik Klemeti, Denison University – @eruptionsblog


Unit 3 Superpowers

We will be studying the Superpowers topic of Unit 3 for the next few weeks.

Along with the notes you are finishing on the categories that determine whether a state – or states -qualify as a superpower, please ensure you complete the research on the country statistics (economic, military, population).

As with many of the topics we will study this year it really pays to stay clued up on current geopolitical events. Specific to this topic:

The unrest that is ongoing in Ukraine – Is this similar to the tensions and conflicts of the 20th Century ?– Wall Street Journal.

The rise of IS (Islamic State) In Syria and Northern Iraq – Increasing the tension in a region already being torn apart by religious and cultural divides. How will the ‘traditional’ powers of USA, UK and NATO in general deal with the threat? Radio 4’s PM program on Thursday 4th September is worth listening to. Around 10 minutes in there is a good interview with the Chair of the Defense Select Committee, Rory Stewart. This Guardian article discusses the importance of NATO in the face of Russian aggression and the rise of IS, whilst The Economist highlights the importance of geography by discussing role of Western fighters in the conflict.

The legacy of past previous western intervention –  Don’t forget Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. They may not be in the news as much, but their importance in unsettling  global power structures remains.

Welcome back!

Year 13’s – please make sure you are receiving the emails from the blog (check your spam folder if not)

Year 12’s – Please ensure you follow the instruction for registering  your email address on the blog homepage. If you can’t register to receive the blog emails, please contact Mr Monteith.

Remember that this blog is to help YOU by providing articles and news items to keep you up to date on current affairs. This is vital for both year 12 and year 13. Please try and read at least one article from the weekly geography news updates that go out on a Sunday.

Mr Monteith

Here are your geography links for the week ending….. 20th July

Each week during term I will try to post links to relevant, interesting articles related to geography, as well as some cool clips. As everything is linked to geography it should be an easy task……

  • London has gone 3D in google maps. Have an explore here
  • Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's the Spanish plume. Find out the how this weather phenomena works in this excellent BBC weather clip.


Have a good holiday!



5 apps every geographer should have

As we head into the summer holidays, I shiver at the thought that UVHS sixth formers could go without their weekly dose of geography. After all, 5 lessons of geog a week helps you work, rest and play…. Sorry, I’ll stop now.

These apps should help keep you on the geography ball over the summer. Let me know if you have any that you think should be added to the list.

Igeology – Find out what rocks are under your feet courtesy of the British Geological Survey. Android and ITunes

Google maps – a geographer should always know where they are and what is around them…. Good local, place specific detail. Android and ITunes

BBC weather – Hopefully it won’t rain all summer. Great weather detail and easy to use. Android and ITunes

Disaster alert – Tsunami? Tropical cyclone? Earthquake or volcano? Be alerted when and where these occur in real time. It’s scary how much is happening. Android and ITunes

NASA images of change – Compare historic and present day photos of glaciers, cities and landscapes to see physical changes over time. The glacial recession photos are a striking example of climate change in action. ITunes only.

Here are your geography links for the week ending…..13th July 2014

Each week during term I will try to post links to relevant, interesting articles related to geography, as well as some cool clips. As everything is linked to geography it should be an easy task……

  • The census is like a geographer's bible of the UK that is refreshed and updated every ten years. Here are a few cool choropleth link displaying a wealth of census 2011 data.





Here are your geography links for….. week ending 4/7/2014

Geography snippets from around the world this week.

  • We’re looking at cold environments at the moment, this BBC article gives you an idea of how ownership of one cold environment, Antarctica, is more complicated than it first seems. It may be cold, dry and inhospitable, but it turns out everybody wants a chunk of the white continent.


Cold climate variation around the world

In Mr Monteith’s lesson on Wednesday we briefly reviewed the key factors that influence climate before examining the climate characteristics of  three cold environment locations: The European Alps, northern Siberia, and Antarctica.

I mentioned Google Earth which I would strongly recommend all of you install on a computer. Alternatively the school computers should all have Google Earth installed.

A few layers which are worth investigating and saving in Google Earth:

The National Snow and Ice Data Center has a range of different layers showing ice extent in the polar regions and pictures of cold environments around the world.

BRITICE – This is a very exciting project led by a team from Sheffield University. They are attempting to bring together glacial landforms and features created by the ice sheet that covered the British Isles in the last glaciation and present the data in downloadable KML files for use in Google Earth. You can also view the landforms in PDF format. We will be using this site in future lessons.

NOAA ocean currents map – This is the direct link to the KML file that we opened in class that projects global ocean currents in Google earth. It is a useful reminder for the ocean/atmosphere circulation work we looked at in the previous week.

Earth Wind map – Although this is not a Google earth file it is a very interesting website that displays current weather, ocean circulation. By clicking on ‘Earth’ in the bottom left of the page you bring up a control panal. You can change the altitude that is projected by clicking on the numbers next to the height line. Altitude is projected in hPa – Hectopascals, a measure of air pressure, so lower pressure equals a higher altitude.

I want you to come to the lesson next week having accessed at least one of these links or websites.

Mr Monteith


Factors influencing climate and cold environments

Mr Monteith’s lesson on Wednesday 25th June focused on global environmental factors that influence the development of cold climates. We focused on:



3.Continent/ocean interaction

4. Atmospheric circulation

Now, this is a little test to see who has signed up to receive the emails from the blog and secondly, who is actually reading the blog posts as I would like you to complete some HOMEWORK for next Wednesday and bring it with you.

I would like you to read through the two articles on the links below:

Met Office web link on land and sea ice interaction

Glacier Bay Alaska – Ocean currents influence on glacier development

Reading through the material above I would like you to answer the following questions:

1. How can changes in land and sea ice impact the climate? (Met Office publication)

2.How have ocean currents influenced the development of glaciers in Glacier Bay, Alaska?

A paragraph on each will be sufficient!

Mr Monteith






Information, resources and links for A level and GCSE geographers at UVHS. Some of the content has been adapted from resources on the Edexcel Geography Ning – we are exceedingly grateful and hope this blog works to provide ideas and support for other Geography teachers as well as pupils.