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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Horncastle

Geology is an exciting subject to study, encapsulating all scientific aspects of planet Earth from unravelling the dynamic explosive activity of volcanic eruptions to piecing together the evolution of the billions of lifeforms that have inhabited our world. The content is applied in nature, covering areas such as hydrocarbon and mineral exploration and can be the first step to a career in any of the geosciences. As a Sixth Form subject it is refreshing in content and requires no previous knowledge except a solid background in science.

The subject attracts considerable interest with up to 36 students in a year having studied the course. Results are very positive, especially when viewed through individual students’ “value added” showing that students perform very well relative to their expected outcomes.

The subject Leader, Dr Aggett, is a PhD qualified Geologist with industrial experience in the oil industry. He also continues to undertake a small amount of consultancy as a Reservoir Quality Analyst which helps maintain the industrial input. 

We follow the OCR specification which continues as a course in its current format until 2017 (i.e. AS and A2).

For further information, please feel free to contact me at the school (Dr Aggett).

Dr Aggett is available most lunch times to provide support and help as needed. Students are encouraged to come along and discuss any issue they may need help with. Students are also very supportive of each other and discuss the subject outside the classroom.

More able students are encouraged, as are all students, to extend their studies as outlined in the ‘enrichment’ section below. 

There are plenty of opportunities for students to extend their work in class. There is an extensive library of relevant textbooks in the Geology study bay where students can carry out independent research.

There is currently a 3 day fieldtrip to the Yorkshire Coast where students are able to use their skills to determine the environments during the Jurassic Period. Fieldwork is obviously an important part of the subject and students are encouraged to carry out their own fieldwork wherever they travel. A first year fieldtrip is also being planned. Students are also encouraged to bring in their own collections and ‘finds’.

Dr Aggett has links with two local geoscience consultancies, Badley Ashton & Assoc. Ltd. and Badley Geoscience Ltd. Both companies have been supportive in terms of both resources and work experience placements.

The Department has its own seismometer (donated by the British Geological Society, see link below) that is capable of recording earthquakes of magnitude 6 or higher anywhere in the world (we have picked up a number from Japan for example!). Students are encouraged to monitor the earthquakes for themselves and to use the information to locate the epicentre.

Geology is such an interesting subject to study (many parents comment that they wish they had been given the opportunity!) that there are literally hundreds of TV programmes relevant to the subject and students can extend their knowledge of real-life examples through this and other media.

For general information on geology and to help decide if it is for you, visit and browse the British Geological Society website http://www.bgs.ac.uk/.

From 2017 a new specification will be in place. A copy of the specification, together with many supporting documents can be found at http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-geology-h014-h414-from-2017/