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Geography Fieldwork

33 Lower Sixth Geographers spent five days in South Wales, collecting data as part of their A Level fieldwork.

The students arrived at Margam Discovery Centre, set within 1000 acres of parkland – a picture-perfect backdrop of natural beauty, local industry and historical elements, such as the Port Talbot Steelworks and Margam Castle, to carry out their investigations. Liv reports back on some of the week’s highlights:

Under the guidance of two friendly and informative instructors, we spent the first day conducting an on-site investigation focusing on the water cycle, testing the infiltration and interception rates at two locations, before returning to the field centre to analyse the data and conduct various statistical tests. The following day involved data collection at Newton Beach and Trecco Bay, studying erosion rates, measuring wave heights and conducting fieldwork sketches to understand the impact of asset deterioration on coastal communities.

The next day, we travelled to Cardiff Bay to learn about the area’s history, including the impact of de-industrialisation on the community and environment, and the consequent need for regeneration. We collected data in the form of questionnaires, photographs, emotions, epitome words, environmental quality assessments (EQA), index of decay and land use surveys, using GIS to form accurate and accessible data presentations. We also carried about more statistical tests, including Chi-squared and Spearman’s Rank. 

Our penultimate day focused on the carbon cycle, collecting data at deciduous and coniferous forests, working out tree biomass and species richness. We also used GIS mapping tools to estimate the storage rate of the whole forested area, highlighting the importance of managing woodland to increase carbon sequestration. On our final day, we learnt how to conduct surveys on a GIS app called Survey 123 to produce maps of our survey results.

Every evening, we enjoyed helpful sessions with our teachers, learning more about how to structure our NEA (non-examined assessment), which accounts for 20% of the final grade in A Level Geography.  With our newfound skills and knowledge, we headed back to London, with a better understanding of how the world around us works and an even keener enthusiasm for the subject and our future geographical endeavours.


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