This term, Mr Elliott, Ms Fountain and myself had the pleasure of taking the Y12 IB geographers on a geographical adventure deep into Dalat countryside. On this adventure the students were able to collect huge amounts of river data for their Internal Assessment and also experience a unique ‘Geomystery tour’ which aims to develop the way in which they think critically and reflect upon the interrelationships between people and their environment.
In order for the students to collect fluvial geomorphological data on the Da Deung River, we had to trek many kilometres over two days, stomp through thick vegetation, traverse the stream via fallen trees and climb down river banks to access this beautifully clear river, not forgetting the night of wild camping and the teachers maintaining the fire by collecting all the additional firewood!
The final part of the trip saw the students embarking on the Geomystery tour. Prepared with a quick summary of how amateur Victorian explorers constructed their early geographical knowledge, our team of geographers had to devise an explanation as to how Pongour Waterfall and the surrounding area had formed. The team heard some excellent presentations, set to the backdrop of the waterfall’s enormous gorge. Very little water flows over the waterfall these days due to the huge Dai Ninh Dam. Further sites on the tour included the Koho minority village, Datanla Waterfall, Tuyen Lam Lake, and Cam Ly waterfall. All these sites offered a different perspective into the impacts of flood plain modification around Dalat; consequently, our geographers had to think critically and piece the diverse clues together in order to consider the sustainability of the rapid development taking place around Dalat.
The nature of this trip encourages students to work collaboratively as independent groups, think critically and be open minded as they reflect upon a range of contemporary issues. It was not only a delight to see the students rise to this challenge during the trip, but we are also able to see how their mind-set has changed back in the classroom.
I would like to thank the parents for supporting the department in running this trip, and for all the time that our brilliant staff gave up to provide this opportunity for our geographers.
Mark Hadley, Head of Geography