My Woodhouse Geography

Charlie Corke
Charlie Corke
Charlie Corke came to Woodhouse from Mount Grace School and lives in Potters Bar. He studied geography, sociology and biology at A level and graduated in 2018 with AAA. He is currently at York University studying Environmental Geography.
He spoke to us during his second year of A levels at Woodhouse...
“My school sixth form wasn’t for me and I wanted to leave, so I came to the open day here and really enjoyed it. Woodhouse was definitely my first choice.
The geography course has similar topics to GCSE but in much more detail and depth, and we use modern examples from the week’s news. We do ‘physical’ and ‘human’ geography so we’re doing coasts and hazards for ‘physical’, and globalisation and diverse places for ‘human’. I really like the ‘physical’ – floods, volcanos, earthquakes, extreme weather… that’s what I want to get into at university. I’ve been tracking hurricanes across the Atlantic Ocean lately, that have been in the news, - and we’ve done that in class too.I enjoy watching its path from an informed perspective, it’s really interesting.
The classes are relatively small and we have great discussions, so you get to know everyone… and everyone wants to learn. I like the teaching as well. Recently, we have been studying the carbon cycle. In a typical lesson our teacher may talk us through a power-point presentation and then open it up for a class discussion. As we learn we draw from our memory and our interaction in class. We are recommended to read The Economist - which I read often, because they always have a geography article. There are lots of text books in the huge college library, which I use to do a lot more reading around my subject. BBC News twitter feed has lots of good sources and I also use live earthquake maps.
As a department, we went on a residential trip -  staying near Box Hill in Surrey - and visited the coastal areas of Seaford and New Haven. It was very windy on the beach. I enjoyed the methods of collecting data we employed and going off on our own to collect first-hand information from locals. It was good to get away from college and see some different scenery… I enjoyed that.
We did a really interesting lesson on the Jurassic coast in the first year last term and I enjoyed it so much that I went and visited – in fact, I walked 96 miles of it! First of all I visited Portland Bill, south of Weymouth for a day and took some pictures. And then in the summer (along with my dad) I walked 96 miles of coast from Studland to Exmouth for my Extended Project Qualification and raised money charity - all based on how much I enjoyed one geography lesson at Woodhouse. My dad and I walked around 16 miles and day (my mum did the first day too) and at every site I got loads of pictures and information about the coast for my project. My mum and sister drove our stuff between bed and breakfast hotels and we raised around £2000 for Crohns and Colitis UK charity. I am a sufferer of Crohns. The college are very supportive and I get extra time when I need it, but at the moment I’m healthy and fit and don’t need any additional support.
I did the ‘Train for a 10k run’ for my extracurricular activity, running around Friary Park, and that was good because I like to keep fit and I made a few new friends too. I’ve also tried archery for day, which I’d never done before and that was really good.
I did some work experience in Year 10 with a flood engineering company. I spent a week with them in Cambridge and found it really interesting. They had lots of departments working on one flood and they work all around the world. That’s where my interest in flood management was seriously kick-started and I’d like to go into managing the risks of flooding and earthquakes or something like that for a career. I also managed to get a day of work experience with a Hertfordshire flood agency and they invited me back for more, and I’m looking for other work experience too now.
I’m applying to study geography at university and have visited York and Newcastle open days and am considering Durham as well - but not London… I want to get away.
I’ve definitely changed at Woodhouse and come out of my shell a bit, because you are expected to be a lot more independent here… it’s the next step to university. I’ve already moved away from old friends at my old school and had to make new ones and socialize, so feel I am ready for uni now.”