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On a dreary Monday morning 27 A2 geographers and Miss Bletsoe-Brown, Mr Marriott, Mrs Harris and Mr Shuttleworth began the journey up to Malham for their 3 day residential trip in preparation for their A2 skills exam. As they headed nearer to the destination of the Field studies Centre, surrounded by undulating hills, limestone pavements and the mightily impressive Malham Cove, the clouds left to reveal glorious sunshine. On the first afternoon, the students went into the grounds of the field centre to investigate the differing characteristics between two areas of a temperate deciduous woodland. The students recorded data such as height of tree, trunk circumference, depth and PH of soil and light intensity to return to the classroom and compile a scale drawing and reasons for the differences they had found in the field.
Mr Shuttleworth wasted no time in surveying the area and gave an impromptu “hands on” lesson on lithosere succession using a rock which hosted lichens, mosses, small plants and even a tree!
On the Tuesday the students followed the enquiry process from aim and hypothesis through to conclusion and evaluation studying succession in a hydrosere. They donned their wellies and headed out onto Malham Peat Bog to collect data on species abundance and richness and soil PH. The weather didn’t dampen spirits as they broke the usual Trent curse of heavy rain and enjoyed another beautiful day. The students worked hard in the evening as they compiled, presented, analysed and evaluated their data and investigation – they were working so hard, that they even missed the local sighting of the Northern Lights!!
On the final morning, the students walked from the centre to Malham Cove taking in the amazing scenery and learning a little more about the geology of the area. This included the sink holes which never fail to amaze students as the water disappears below the ground and into underwater caverns and also the yearly re-enactments of Harry Potter as they crossed the limestone pavements, that the area is so well known for.Overall the group had a brilliant 3 days, the students were a real credit to themselves and the school and made it a pleasure for the teachers who accompanied and worked with them.