The Physical Environment course is a compulsory element of the National 4 and 5 Curriculum. Knowledge and Understanding of the following topics is essential to meet the standards for exams. The topics covered in this section are:
The weather is a compulsory element of the Physical Environments unit. It focuses on weather conditions within the context of the United Kingdom. There are three main areas to cover:
1. The effect of latitude, relief, aspect and distance from the sea on local weather condition.
2. The characteristics of the five main air masses that affect the United Kingdom
3. The characteristics of weather associated with depressions and anticyclones.
There is an element of choice within this section, you can study EITHER:
Upland Glaciated Landscapes AND Coastal Landscapes. OR
Upland Limestone Landscapes AND Rivers and their Valleys.
Within all landscape types, the following areas must be covered:
1. The identification and formation of features and landforms.
2. Land uses that are appropriate to the landscape types you have selected, using a case study of a chosen area.
3. Land use conflicts that arise between land users in your chosen area.
4. Solutions to land use conflicts in your chosen area.
5. Ways that landscapes are protected.
Glaciated Landforms to study- Corries, aretes, pyramidal peaks, U-shaped valleys, truncated spurs
Coastal Landforms to study - Headlands and bays, cliffs, caves, arches, stacks, stumps, sandspits, sandbars and tombolos
Limestone Landforms to study - Limestone pavement, swallow holes, caves, stalactites and stalagmites, intermittent drainage
River landforms to study - V-shaped valleys, waterfalls, meanders, oxbow lakes, levees
Although there is only a requirement to study two of the four landscape types, all four will be covered in this section for the benefit of everyone.