Geography fieldwork is one of the most important aspects of good geography education, to promote learning experiences outside of the classroom. The opportunity to go outside to study the geographical processes taught in class is one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of Geography teaching. As part of the GITEP course, the Geography trainees visited Nettlecombe Field Studies Council Centre in Exmoor. There they had the chance to top up their own fieldwork skills and build their confidence in taking pupils into the field.
The weekend was led by Nick Lapthorn, Head of Centre at Nettlecombe and the Junior Vice President of the Geographical Association. Nick is a leading expert in fieldwork provision and geography education. The weekend provided the chance for the trainees to really reflect on their own experiences of fieldwork as well as asking a wide range of questions about building the best experiences for their pupils. Additionally, the fieldwork experience was offered to Geography teachers from other schools in the GITEP partnership, so the trainees could share ideas and compare theory to practice with teachers from Chosen Hill and Maidenhill School.
‘A very informative and fun few days which helped build confidence before leading field trips. The centre was excellent. It gave a very good overview of how to plan and carry out fieldwork.’ Paul Acton, Geography GITEP trainee, Sir Thomas Rich’s School
The trainees were involved in a wide range of fieldwork experiences. These included: river studies; exploring risk assessment; assessing fieldwork at GCSE/A-Level; measuring coastal processes; visual techniques to use in the field; the use of technology; discovering the value of secondary data and developing an independent enquiry based on land use in Minehead.
‘A really useful and enjoyable weekend. It covered, in depth, a range of important fieldwork exercises and essential fieldwork teaching criteria.’ Freddie Burrage, Geography GITEP trainee, Thomas Keble School