Focus on Fieldwork

At Beaumont, the Geography Department takes field work very seriously and offers every year group the opportunity to take part. As the famous traveller, Geographer and Monty Python star Michael Palin said: ‘Schools should place a renewed focus on traditional geography field trips to stop pupils being trapped behind computer screens in the classroom’ and we in the Beaumont Geography Department couldn’t agree more!

Our fieldwork year starts in September with the Year 7 trip to the River Lea in Wheathampstead. This day trip gives our students the opportunity to try out lots of fieldwork methodologies to work out which stage of the River they are in. Abby Harrison (7N) sums up her experience: ‘The most exciting thing when we went to the River Lea, was when we did the measurements and when we worked out how fast the dog biscuit flowed along the River. It was also fun having a good time with the teachers and our friends’.

In October, it is the turn of Year 11 to go on their residential trip to Sheringham in Norfolk. This trip enables our students to gather data for their GCSE controlled assessment. Fraser McFarlane and Jonny Light sum up their experience: ‘As a keen Geography student I was apprehensive about my controlled assessment. However, the trip turned out to be exciting, educational and excellent! It prepared us extensively for our controlled assessment. Overall I enjoyed the trip immensely and am confident it improved my Geography’.

In January our Year 9s get the opportunity to spend half a CED gathering data about the possibility of rebranding St Albans city centre. In February, our Year 12 A Level students go to Swanage in Dorset for two nights in order to learn methodologies that might be useful for their A Level, and visit case study locations. This is closely followed by Year 8 in March who also get half a CED to gather fieldwork data in St Albans. Josh Hobbs (8A) summarised what he did: ‘The year was split into 3 groups and sent to different locations in St Albans. We were all looking for a suitable location for the Griffin family to live. During this we had to record noise, how nice it looked, damage to houses and some pupils asked members of the public questionnaires’.

Finally, in April it the turn of Year 10 who get to experience a River trip to Epping Forest. This year will be the first time we have run this trip at Beaumont. Lucy Lechartier-Rutter (10N) is looking forward to the trip: ‘I think this is a great opportunity to learn more about physical Geography. Field trips can be particularly beneficial to some students because it allows them to learn in a different style especially if they are visual or kinaesthetic learners. Field trips are a fun way to learn and can also help students to remember key details in order to help with their exams. After researching Epping Forest I found out that it is London’s largest open space and it is made up of many distinct areas of woodland, grassland and other habitats. I’m sure Epping Forest will be an exciting and intriguing field trip for everyone’.

Ms Kent