Daniel Grocott, Head of Geography
The Geography Department and our excellent field assistants led an exciting few days out of Shanghai for a field trip in rural Zhejiang Province with all 62 Year 10 Geographers and 6 of our Year 11 students who joined us recently and missed the trip last year.
The aim of the trip was for students to learn important field investigation techniques in a river environment and apply it to exam questions in Paper 4. Students worked well in groups to measure size and roundness of the rocks in the river bed using callipers and roundness charts. They used ranging poles and clinometers to measure gradient and they took velocity readings using a ping pong ball and stop watch. The students evaluated their methods of data collection to be critical of any weaknesses in their methods and also worked to present their findings and analyse their results; all key skills required for the Paper 4 exam they will take at the end of Year 11. Although the days were packed full of data collection we also worked with students during evening classes to introduce and guide them through potential exam questions they could be faced with, all in good preparation for this exam paper.
The second part of the trip was located in Wuzhen, an ancient Chinese water town and now a very popular tourist destination. Students worked in groups conducting surveys and questionnaires to determine the impacts of tourism in this area and evaluated measures to control tourism impact such as provision of rubbish bins, limiting tourist numbers and traffic control.
I am very proud of all of the excellent teaching and learning that occurred during these days and feedback from the trip is incredibly positive which demonstrates that students and staff enjoy exciting experiences like these. Special thanks goes to the staff that gave up their time; Mr Hill, Miss Townsend, Mr Lancaster, Mr Van Der Mynsbrugge, Miss Sanz and Miss Rudd who all played an important role to make it a very successful and rewarding trip.
Yi Wen Chen, 10U
On the 17th of October, all the geographers from Year 10 went on a trip to Anji and Wuzhen. The trip started off with a 4 hour-long bus ride travelling west, with people sharing laughter and connecting with others.
When we finally arrived to Anji and went into the river to collect data for the first time, all the groups were trying hard to collaborate together and communicate efficiently. We only visited two sites on the first day but as far as I know, everyone was excited to visit even more sites on the following day. In the evening, we had an observation quiz. For this, the teachers asked us different questions like for example, what the names of our tour guides were. Each and every group worked hard together to come up with answers. This ended the first day of our amazing geography trip.
The second day was a full river study day. Uncountable experiences happened on this day: people fell into the river, people caught each other’s back, and everyone was learning how to collect accurate data in the best classroom there is – outside! Everyone stayed positive and kept smiling and the weather was nice. To me, it felt like the hours passed by in no time. I learned so much about the course and at the same time enjoyed it whilst connecting and getting to know my class mates. At the end of the day, I felt so proud of my group for working so well together, and I heard the same from all the other groups.
The tourist study was an interesting experience as well, getting to know the surrounding features of the tourist town of Wuzhen and having a chat with the locals and visitors there.
To sum everything up, the whole trip was an amazing and fascinating opportunity for us, as geographers, to understand why we are taking the course, having fun and learning useful field skills in Geography as well. In my opinion, this was the best trip that I have had and overall, I am proud to call myself a true Geographer!