Practical ‘Hands-On’ Geography for Year 12 A Level Students

On 16th November, Miss Girvan (Head of Geography) and Mr McDonagh (Maths Teacher) took Year 12 Geography students to the Natural Park of Montseny. This is a regular activity in the A Level Geography curriculum aimed to revise the first topic of study related to Hydrology and Fluvial Geomorphology. This subject area covers basic topics, such as the drainage basin system, rainfall, river channel processes and landforms, and the human impact in terms of land-use changes.

During the day the group visited different sites along the Tordera river to see how the river changes and how humans have altered its course. Miss Girvan guided the students at the different sites explaining the processes and landforms that can be seen along the river, and they discussed how humans are using the river in the area and how this affects the river.

The students´ field work consisted of carrying out tests in the river looking at channel width, depth, speed of the river, wetted perimeter, river efficiency and channel gradient. We then looked at how this changed at two different sites.

Fieldwork plays a very important role in supporting the teaching and learning of Geography and it is of great priority in the department. Miss Girvan, said. “This is a great opportunity to learn Geography outside in the field. This enables students to experience the processes and ideas that we are covering in class first hand and this will undoubtedly stick in their memory. This is of course useful for the exam, but also Geography is a practical subject, so it is great to get the students outdoors doing geography!”