Dorset Field Trip
Year 12 and 13 Geography students had the delightful experience of a three-day residential in Dorset during December where they were expertly tutored in how to complete the Geography A-level NEA, a 4000-word independent project into the geographical issue of their choice. After a very early Monday start (via the Salisbury McDonalds for breakfast!) we met up with Barry from Geofieldwork Ltd at Lulworth where we began to look at the ethical considerations of an investigation and how to formulate a geographical enquiry question. Barry has been working with school groups providing advanced fieldwork opportunities for over 20 years and, as a resident of Dorset, his expertise and knowledge of the local area is incredible. He immediately took us to see the coastal features of Lulworth and we embarked upon coastal fieldwork on the beach. Whilst none of our students will be completing coastal fieldwork, it is still an excellent way to teach about coastal processes and as these are an area to be examined in the main A-level, the activities were informative and beneficial. After lunch we went to see Man-o-War cove and Durdle Door, two instantly recognisable landmarks of the Dorset coast.
On Tuesday, we moved to studying human fieldwork, and visited Dorchester and Poundbury. Barry had been advised as to the questions the students wished to investigate and planned tailored experiences based on the exact techniques the students would want to replicate when they returned home to do their own work. He also provided us with the resources which they would need. We compared the two locations before returning to the hostel for further classroom work on data presentation techniques and using mathematical approaches to understanding and making sense of the data which we had collected. Wednesday was an early start where we continued our human fieldwork techniques as we went to Poole to look at the external influences on the town centre and considered its status as a “clone town”. Both of these two days featured specific tuition in the techniques to try, and summary sessions afterwards where we evaluated what went well and how students would adapt the techniques for themselves.
The student conduct and attitude was exceptional across the three days, and we all had a wonderful time. For the current sixth form students, they now know exactly how to formulate a geographical question, carry out an enquiry, and can look forward to doing so for themselves and handing in a detailed and thorough NEA. For current students in Year 11, I hope the news of this trip tempts you to look further into the idea of A-level Geography, and if you would like to know anything more about the course, please feel free to contact Mr Bird with any questions you may have.
Dorset Field Trip