Barcelona Field Studies Centre

Edexcel GCSE Geography Syllabus A Unit A4 (core): The Natural World

Key Ideas Content Content detail

4.1 Air masses lead to changes in the UK weather

•  The origins and characteristics of main air masses affecting the UK.

•  How the air masses influence weather in the UK, and make it so changeable.

• Characteristic weather conditions associated with anticyclones and depressions.

• The use of synoptic charts and satellite images to show weather conditions.

•  Polar and tropical, continental and maritime air masses. Temperature and humidity characteristics of these air masses.

• Influences on temperature, pressure and rainfall. Only relief and frontal rainfall processes are required.

• Typical temperature and rainfall characteristics, together with associated cloud cover and wind characteristics.

• Recognition of anticyclones and depressions, and description of the characteristic weather associated with them. A key will be provided with any synoptic chart used in the examination, although students will be expected to recognise the three main types of front: warm, cold and occluded.

4.2 Average long term weather patterns lead to distinct climatic types

• Characteristics of west European maritime climates and east European continental interior climates, and contrasts between them.

• How these factors have influenced the characteristics identified (eg, influences on temperature range and rainfall totals/seasonality). The influence of latitude on climates of this region.

4.3 Distinct forest communities develop in particular conditions. Forests are sensitive and their balance is easily upset by human interference


• The global distribution of tropical rainforests, temperate deciduous and temperate coniferous forests (taiga).

• The ways in which trees in tropical rainforests and taiga have adapted to the natural environment.

• A study of a tropical rainforest system to show the ideas of conservation, exploitation and sustainable development, and the roles of different interest groups and the conflicts between them.


• The meanings of the terms listed in the content. The case study should cover the ideas of conservation, exploitation and sustainability, and look at the different groups involved (Papua New Guinea case study).