Geographers Head into the Field

Dartford and Devon were the diverse destinations of Woldingham geographers earlier this month...

Dartford

Our Year 9 girls seemed very excited about the annual Geography trip to Dartford, especially when the name Bluewater was thrown into the mix! The purpose of the trip was to investigate whether Dartford High Street is dying due to the impact of Bluewater Shopping Centre.

The day started at Dartford High Street, which on a Thursday is market day.  The pedestrian area was packed with stalls selling a multitude of items - from very kitsch decorative goods to the cheapest fruit and vegetables I have seen in a long time.  The girls got to work with their survey, all their Geography skills coming into action as they counted the number of people, types of shops and then asked the general public a variety of questions about their shopping habits.  The girls were surprised to find that the shoppers were very friendly and curious - actually coming up to them to find out what they were doing.  There was a real buzz about the place and lots of information was collected.

Then onto the second part of the trip - the lure of glittering Bluewater, complete with Christmas reindeer to greet us. Strict instructions were given by staff that the geography element of the trip had to be completed before any venturing into their own retail therapy. On cue we had the best bit of work from the girls, following the same format of information gathering as earlier.

The girls worked well and now have the data to use in their follow up work in class.  What do you think the answer to the question will be? Has Bluewater caused the death of Dartford High Street or has the High Street fought back…

Miss Annie O’Neill

Devon

Early last Friday, Upper Sixth geographers started making their way towards Paddington Station. The purpose of this migration was for the geography field trip to Nettlecombe Court, a field centre on the edge of Exmoor. The girls were to spend the next four days preparing for, and then beginning, their non-exam assessment (NEA), or coursework, for their A Level.

While at the centre the students went on field trips to Porlock Bay and the small town of Watchet, where they carried out numerous fieldwork data collection techniques. These were followed by work in the classroom until early evening. On Sunday the weather turned cold, wet and very windy, but the girls remained in good humour throughout and ploughed on with their tasks without complaint.

By Monday lunchtime and our departure, all the students had made a positive start to the NEA, which they will now endeavour to complete by the end of term. I would like to thank all of the girls for making the trip an enjoyable and positive experience. Special thanks to Mrs Jenkins who not only gave up her weekend, but also her day off on the Monday.

Mr David Lock