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Year 11 Geography Field Trip

“I hear the waves crashing against the coast and the squawking of seagulls high above my head. I listen to my teacher whilst sinking in the soft sand...

“I hear the waves crashing against the coast and the squawking of seagulls high above my head. I listen to my teacher whilst sinking in the soft sand. The alluring aroma of fish and chips tempting me to the seafront.”


During the final week of September, the newly inducted Y11 students visited the East Yorkshire Coast in the first Geography Department field trip of the year. The trip, organised by Mr Benson, was a visit to Flamborough Head and Hornsea, which sought to consolidate pupils’ understanding of coastal formation and erosion.

The day began with an early start; students were asked to arrive at the school entrance for 7:45am, where they were registered and then subsequently boarded the coach 30 minutes later. The tedious journey paid off greatly when on arrival at Flamborough Head, they were met with fantastic weather and the open sea before them.

Flamborough Head gave the geographers an opportunity to see an area of the coast that required less human protection due to the ‘harder, more resistant rock types’. They observed headlands, shingle bays, and different rock formations – such as stacks, arches, and caves. Students were given a booklet where they noted the coordinates of different features (both human and physical structures) from an OS map. During the day, they also annotated images of how the different rock formations were eroded over time.

After the activities at Flamborough Head, students were taken to Hornsea to inspect coastal defences (and given some time to relax). Each coastal defence was ‘rated’ and given a score depending on how effective it was deemed to be. There was a general consensus that Rock Armour was the most effective example of human intervention (Rock Armour involves piling boulders along the coast to absorb wave energy and reduce impact to the actual coastline). Students were then given 30-40 minutes of free time to relax and explore the coast – where they skimmed stones, bought refreshments and souvenirs, and enjoyed arcade games at a nearby amusements store.    

After speaking to students, it is clear that the field trip was a fantastic addition to classroom teaching and learning. They all agree that it helped further develop their understanding of the different types of coastal erosion and human efforts to protect Britain’s affected coastlines. The “Coastal Zone” topic forms one third of their final Physical Geography examinations in the upcoming summer of June 2016, and hopefully they will take what they have learnt and apply it to the questions they are asked in their exams.

The trip proves, once again, that additional ‘out of the classroom’ learning is a great supplementary measure in supporting teaching and learning.


Asim Abbas 12BH