Form 5 Geography Trip to Wales

Concord’s Form 5 Geographers went on a trip to North Wales recently, for further study on coastal management, measurement of climate and settlement.

Personally, I was excited about this trip as Geography is one of my favourite subjects. Upon arrival, we dropped our bags in the centre where we were staying and attended a short lesson immediately after. The first afternoon was spent studying in a nice town called Betws-y-Coed, to investigate the effects of tourism in the area and we evaluated the environment for different sites in the town. Afterwards, we were taught several ways to analyse raw data to show the impact of tourism in this town.

My favourite part of the trip was the second day; we got the chance to spend the whole day at Criccieth Bay – a beautiful coast which lies in the South West coast of the Llyn peninsula. The sun was shining through the swirling clouds, giving a magnificent view of the beach, which stretched over half a kilometre. Our group started the walk from the west, where the castle was located. We saw different coastal defences including groynes, the breakwater, the ‘Victorian Wall’ and the wave-return seawall. The instructor also constructed some learning activities for us to better understand the use of each defence. In addition, we measured the size and shape of the rocks up the beach and calculated the gradient along the coast. After all of these projects, we got an ice cream each as an enjoyable treat.

All feeling tired on what we thought was the bus journey back to basecamp, we had one more stop-off and more work to do. After getting off the bus, I was shocked again by the landscape in front of me… The rays of the gorgeous, golden sun shined onto the ground, reflecting the ups and downs of the headlands into our eyes. The sea was wide and loomed all the way to the horizon, connecting with the blue sky. We also walked into a huge cave to see the formation of an arch and took a group photo at the end. I collected some beautiful conches and shells on the beach too.

On the last day of the trip, we went to a forest to investigate the rate of interception of leaves with various shapes, and how does land use affect surface runoff – a process which can cause severe flooding of an area.

The social side of the trip was enjoyable too. The hard work in the day made the free time at night precious. The hot food served by the centre was delicious and I played cards with my roommates after dinner. Alongside this, I also found some time at night to complete my prep. Our teachers also organised a quiz session for us to have fun and consolidate our geographical knowledge. We all enjoyed the time in Wales and I really want to say thank you to all the teachers who arranged the trip for us, as well as the instructors at the centre.

Carolyn – F5

Our Geography Trip to Betws-y-Coed

Last weekend, almost all of the Form 5 Geography students went on a three day trip to Betws-y-Coed, Snowdonia National Park. Snowdonia is the highest mountain in Wales. Betws-y-Coed is a ‘honey pot’ destination and is particularly popular with bikers and walkers – so, the main income of the town comes from tourists.

This trip was a very good revision of both settlements and tourism topics in our IGCSE syllabus. It was also a very good opportunity for us, as students, to see things that we are studying, and carry out some practical investigations such as environmental surveys by ourselves – as opposed to just reading about them in books. At the end of the first day we had a practical lesson investigating the weather in the area, using Stevenson screen data and other instruments like ground thermometers and a rain gauge.

Except for the first day, each morning we would have an hour long lesson starting at 9:15am. We would set a task for our day and carefully produce our hypothesis of the investigation. On the second day we visited one of the coasts of Wales, Llŷn Peninsula, where Cricieth (in welsh) or Criccieth is located. This location was our case study for the last topic in our IGCSE syllabus – coasts. It was amazing to see our actual case study in real life, as we usually just learn important information about them, understand why it’s significant for our topic and don’t really have an opportunity to go there. We spent a whole day looking at coastal erosion and contrastingly, the ways the erosion is being stopped – specifically, coastal defences. At the end of day we had an hour long lesson drawing our findings into a conclusion. To do this, we plotted various graphs from the data we collected and analysed them.

The third day was mostly based in the research centre; we were revising the water cycle. Again, collecting data and carrying out experiments by ourselves was very useful, because simply knowing the theory of topics doesn’t give us the experience of what they’re like in real life. I’m certain that this experience will help us with our exams… We will be able to take ourselves back to the field and remember what we did, should an exam question come up on those topics.

We left on Monday lunch time, full of useful knowledge in our minds and also very tired from all of the work we had to carry out. But most importantly, we left happy.

If you are planning to take Geography at Concord, or are already taking it in the Lower School, don’t miss the chance to go on this Form 5 trip, as it is a wonderful experience.

Kris – F5