Form 6AS geographers recently spent three days experiencing different aspects of physical geography in York and the Yorkshire Wolds.
Teacher of Geography Mrs Hannah Campion tells us more:-
“Having arrived at lunchtime, we all enjoyed an afternoon tour of York and its flood defences including the Foss barrier. Following the recent heavy rainfall from Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis, pupils were able to see the flood defences in action. Several buildings and roads were still underwater, flood gates were shut around the city, sandbags and flood shutters were on display for all to see, and council clean-up operations were underway. This provided Form 6 with an insight into both the impacts of and responses to a major flood event. Given that York forms the major case study for river flooding in the A-level course, an experience such as this will be invaluable to the pupils as the knowledge and experience gained will be easily transferable in the classroom and in exam essays.
The evening session allowed some time for reflection on the major learning points for the day while also allowing each group to prepare for Saturday's focus on measuring small scale fluvial processes.
Saturday morning we split into two groups and half the year went to Pickering and half went to Dalby Forest. The groups switched over at lunchtime. Those that travelled to Pickering first explored an area that has seen severe flooding, most recently in 2015 and 2007. During a walking tour, pupils identified signs of hard engineering and flooding defences such as flood gates, channelization and land-use changes.
In the afternoon we switched over to Dalby Forest along Dalby Beck. Initially, we walked along the valley to annotate features that have shown historic and present-day change along the river, identifying river cliffs, misfit streams and historic floodplain terracing. Pupils then were able to get into the river and practise their fieldwork skills, learning how to measure channel depth, velocity and measure angularity and size of bedload. This proved tricky for some as even the most mature could not resist the temptation to paddle in the river and get involved in collecting the measurements to apply to their classroom learning later on.
Sunday’s focus was on coastal environments. We headed down to Flamborough Head with our helmets on to explore the coastal features and erosional processes along Selwicks Bay. We battled the winds to explore the top of the headlands and pupils were then able to view the bay as a whole looking at ideas of mass movement and weathering. Unfortunately, the tide was in so we could not go through the arches as in previous years, but we were still able to identify the arches, stacks and wave-cut platform along the bay. Pupils observed and discussed how erosional processes transform the coast. We were also joined by a family of seals, looking on at us from the sea. This was really valuable for the students to see geography in action as they will go on to study a Rocks and Weathering unit in the Summer Term and it will all add to their theory and case study knowledge ready for a coastal unit in Form 7.
Overall a successful weekend packed with fieldwork.