As we departed Hanoi, amidst the passing remnants of the previous night’s rain shower, the students were full of trepidation as we headed out to Ba Vi. Through a sprawl of new, and developing urban districts, Hanoi’s boundary seemed longer than usual to pass (partly due to my poor navigation skills….but never mind).
We arrived at the home stay, powered down a hearty lunch, then headed to the workroom for the Fieldwork briefing. Once all students were clear in uncovering the purpose of our outdoors research, and also health and safety requirements, we headed out to the river, and also into the river!
What myself and Mr. Forster found overwhelming was that all the students were prepared to get stuck into the river, despite many of them not having had this kind of experience before. The purpose of the trip was to learn about river environments: how humans impact, and are impacted by, rivers, as well as comparing real-time geomorphological data to theory about how river environments change from their source (starting point) to their mouth (end point). There were some interesting and surprising results, both from the field and the depth, detail and quality of our students responses in analysis and evaluation of their observations.
As I keep reiterating to our Geographers, both current and future; the study of this subject is a great asset to their university applications and future CV’s. It is an academically robust subject that helps develop their knowledge and enquiry skills, as well nurturing their confidence to take measured risks and communicate their ideas to their peers.
Geography is now the 2nd most popular subject at IGCSE, and I am proud to be leading such a motivated and enthusiastic bunch of students through their further education. As a department, we are looking forward to receiving increased support for future Geography Field Trips, as I truly believe that travel broadens the mind, and trips deepen the knowledge learnt in the classroom.
Jim Schofield, Subject Leader of Geography