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GCSE Geography Trip to Somerset

On Wednesday 2nd October, 17 year 11 pupils headed off on their GCSE geography field trip to West Somerset. After a two-hour train journey – many snacks were consumed on board! – the group arrived in Taunton and met their field studies centre tutor, Hannah.

The afternoon was spent recapping urban geography topics and learning more about urban fieldwork strategies. The girls then created transects of Taunton by analysing urban land use and measuring the height of buildings. After some free time back at the manor house of Nettlecombe, the pupils had a chance to supplement their primary data with the 2011 Census data, as well as the newly-released 2019 Index of Multiple Deprivation.

Thursday was a beach day and pupils enjoyed a short bus ride to the seaside village of Porlock. There, they learned how to measure pebble size and used the Power’s Index of Roundness to record the shapes of the pebbles. Beach profiling followed and pupils recorded their data on the portable tablets provided by the Field Studies Centre. After a picnic lunch and a visit to the local ice cream shop, it was another short bus ride to the other side of the bay at Hurlstone Point. After a climb up the point, the girls learned how to field sketch, taking in the gorgeous views across Porlock Bay. After collecting data on the beach below, it was back to Nettlecombe to analyse the results. The evening’s lesson was a challenging one in which the girls learned how to draw radar graphs and also studied the geology of the area, drawing conclusions as to its influence on their day’s findings.

Their final day of fieldwork on Friday was spent putting together and presenting their findings to the rest of the group. Their presentations were evidence of their improved understanding of the process of geographical enquiry. The trip has left them well prepared for their Paper 3 examination in the summer.

A very special thank you to our year 11 geographers for their enthusiasm and hard work over the three days. A big thank you to the staff who accompanied them also.