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Year 11 Field Trip to South Devon

October 19th, 2015

48 enthusiastic Year 11 Geographers recently visited the Slapton Ley Field Studies Centre in South Devon to study rivers and coasts as part of their GCSE course.  The immediate area around the field centre is an excellent location for fieldwork, a National Nature Reserve, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.  The freshwater ley is the largest body of freshwater in the South West.  The area also contains a number of rivers flowing off Dartmoor which provide excellent locations for river studies.


During our long weekend of fieldwork pupils completed a rivers revision day using the River Lemon as a case study.  They explored river processes, landforms and management issues.  Back at the field centre they analysed the river channel data they had collected to see if the river followed the characteristics laid down in the Bradsaw Model.  This case study knowledge and geographical understanding links directly with the main examination paper.

On the Saturday we set out for Start Point the southerly beginning of Start Bay.  Pupils were tasked with collecting data from 5 locations:  Hallsands, Beesands, Sunnydale, Torcross and Slapton Sands.  The groups had a multitude of data to gather, ranging from bipolar surveys of sea defences, cost/benefit analysis, flood risk surveys, beach profiles and questionnaires.  The weather was perfect, the girls enjoyed the 5 miles coastal walk and worked efficiently in their groups getting faster with each survey site.  The collected data will be used for the GCSE Controlled Assessment, in which pupils need to answer the question ‘How successful are the coastal defences in Start Bay?’

Sunday morning and early afternoon were spent in the classroom with our FSC tutors before departing for home.  Pupils worked industriously, beginning their controlled assessment write-up and considering methods and data presentation.

A highly productive but fun weekend was had by all, we were blessed with fine weather and as always the catering at Slapton was second to none.  On Saturday we even had a ginormous birthday cake to celebrate the birthdays of Rosanna and Annie.  Many thanks go to Mr Jones and Mrs Harper for their hard work and support.


“Start Bay and Slapton are excellent places to study as they have a vast range of coastal defences and coastal processes.  I had a very enjoyable time there.”  Lilly

“This field trip was really helpful for me to fully understand rivers and coasts.  It was useful to see the impact of coastal erosion and storms.” Aisling

“It was a really positive experience for me.  I learnt a great deal about coastal geography and sea defences.  I will be really helpful with my controlled assessment task.” Sam

Mr Meek – Head of Geography

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