Geology is a very popular A Level subject at Eckington School. The students who take it love it and do well. Most of them go on to study geology or a related subject at university or they take up a related apprenticeship. The teachers are highly qualified subject experts who also work for exam boards and are passionate about the subject.
Geology helps you to appreciate the place of humans in both the timescale of the solar system and evolutionary history. Geology is a practical science subject. As well as classroom based activities, we undertake laboratory experiments and lots of fieldwork visits. We often have visits to school from or ex-students who come in to let us know how they are getting on, which is always wonderful to hear!
Our students undertake a three-day residential visit to the Lake District National Park, and a number of day visits to the Peak District National Park, including Millers Dale, Lathkill Dale, Dove Dale, The Manifold Valley, Tideswell, Stony Middleton, Ladybower and Castleton. We go out of school a lot! Here are some photographs of our students in action:
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-Igneous rocks / Sedimentary rocks / Metamorphic rocks and processes
-Evolution of life and climate (dinosaurs & mass extinctions!)
-Fossils and time
-The earth’s structure (Big bang / volcanoes / earthquakes!)
-Plate tectonics (very interesting!)
-Economic and engineering geology (tunnels / mining / dams/ oil and gas exploration)
-Geohazards and risk (Earthquakes, tsunami’s, landslides!)
-Practical skills in the laboratory and on fieldwork visits
All terminal exams are sat at the end of the two years of study.
The examination process consists of three written exam papers, two lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes and a practical skills exam lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes. In addition, students must achieve a practical endorsement in geology by undertaking a minimum of four days fieldwork outside of the classroom.
Where could studying geology lead you to?
Over the five years, we have run a geology course, a big majority of our students have loved it so much that they have continued to study geology or a related subject at University. We have sent a number of students to the top universities for geology in the UK. Geology jobs often involve lots of money and travel, especially in the extraction industries (oil, gas, coal, metals, stone). Geologists also work with / as engineers on big projects such as dams, tunnels, bridges and landfill sites, as well as earthquake safety. So geology is certainly about more than studying dinosaurs and fossils, but you can do that too if you wish! Remember that geologists are scientists, so geologists appeal to any of the big recruiters looking for employees with scientific skills.