Sunday, 28 August 2016

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#Where's your next Geography classroom?



Year 9 and 10 SPA Geog achieve new heights at the Wide Horizons Nightline Event

Image result for wide horizons logoNightline Hike with Wide Horizons
#What will you do today in Geography? 


I am writing to inform you of an incredible achievement by some of our Year 9 and 10 Geography students. They entered a competition called Nightline by Wide Horizons, which involved the students walking 30 miles overnight to raise funds for disadvantaged children to attend outreach programs with the charity. It would mean children who are economically deprived could attend trips like our competition win to Wales.

Year 9 team (from the left Emmanuel, Wojciech, Shanelle, Finlay, Sammy, Lilly, Phoebe, Nosa and Faith).
The Year 10 team (from the left Amy, Eljay, Taniesha, Joshua, Lateef, Folarin, Keoin, Kevin, Steve, Mateusz and Hugo).
Walking from Eltham through Avery Hill Park.

At the weekend we witnessed great team performances; England football team beating Wales 2-1 and the Rugby team winning their first ever series in Australia. The weekend was also commendable by the St Paul’s students in Year 9 and 10 showing the same values of teamwork, leadership and perseverance to achieve an incredible sporting feat. 
Hugo, Kevin and Nicolae leading from the front at approximately 9pm.

After a brief introduction from the Wide Horizon team, the students embarked from the start at Eltham and walked at a blistering pace of 3.5 mph. The students travelled through Chislehurst, Sidcup, the volunteering sites along Foots Cray Meadows (seen above) and to their first stop at Bexley Cricket Club.

Dusk along the River Cray.

Resting for approximately 20 minutes to refuel with the array of different snacks and drinks provided by Wide Horizons we ploughed on through Bexley Village. The journey suddenly became real for the students when the light diminished and we entered Hoxton which was the rural fringe to Dartford. As we approached the halfway mark the students were in excellent spirits. I was particularly impressed with the front runners (Keion, Lateef and Eljay) who led the way and maintained our speed of over 3 miles an hour. Similarly, the students worked hard to support themselves by carrying bags and providing supporting comments. I was particularly impressed by Finlay, Taniesha and Emmanuel – to name a few – that had never walked further than 3 miles and yet we found ourselves enjoying a hot beverage at 1am at the half way mark. What an achievement!


Having a break and having a kit kat at the halfway point.
Fields of poppies at midnight in Eynsford.

At the mid-way point we refuelled on a balanced diet of Lucozade tablets, sugary hot beverages and chocolate. Although there were now tired legs the students were determined to tackle the next phase of our adventure; the hilly North Downs. What made this part of the Nightline hike such a challenge was the lack of lit and designated pathways, the undulating terrain and obstacles such as thick mud and rivers to navigate through. Our pace slowed and we made our way to the 21 mile marker. I must admit that at this point some of the staff were huffing and puffing.

Farningham at sun rise at 4.36am in the morning. A well-deserved rest before we reached the next Wide Horizon's pit stop.

It is without a doubt, a tremendous accolade to achieve a challenge of this magnitude without training. 20 students reached the 21 mile marker navigating through undulating terrain, rivers and often limited light, except for the glow sticks directing our route. Amy shows you how learning does not have to be based in the classroom:


At this point the students had walked from Eltham to Shoreham village Hall. This distance is portrayed by the selection of the route below. If you would like a full description of the route please click on the links:




A selection of the route until the 21 mile base in Shoreham village.

A further 10 students walked with Mr Davis, Mr Eldridge and Ms. Gregory to tackle the hilly final 9 miles of the route. This included two hills over 200 metres above sea level and certainly proved a challenge when legs were tired and we were entering our 10th hour of walking. Nonetheless, the students worked cohesively and showed the staff why we have some many amazing young people in our school. The students achieved the unthinkable from the beginning of the evening the night before and recorded a time of 11.5 hours with rest breaks to reach 30 miles (50km).

The end which included a steep hill at Wrotham Hill Park.

40km out of 50km (24 miles).

Our position at 8am on Sunday morning.

Joshua and Amy at 48km.

Congratulations to all students for their tremendous achievement and I hope they thoroughly enjoy the Nightline Hike. What is especially commendable is the fact that these students have raised over £600 (including gift aid) for the charity and proved yet again that Geography students are a credit to the school and assets to our department. The students raised this to support disadvantaged students being able to attend outdoor learning experiences at Wide Horizon Centres. These students are marginalised from these spaces due to socio-economic status. If you would like to donate to our students please follow the link below:

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/SPAGeog



My thanks to Miss Gregory, Mr Elderidge and PC Verrall for their dedication to this event outside of curriculum time. Similarly, well done to the Wide Horizons team for a fantastic and well-organised event. See you next year! 

SPA Geog Team.

#Where is your geography classroom?

SPA Geog FIRST National Coursework trip to Swanage



SWANAGE


The SPA Geography department embark on their first National Controlled Assessment trip to Swanage

Where does Geography take you at St Paul’s Academy? After a successful year of a Shanty Town project at Downe, winning the illustrious trip to Wales, and experiencing the high-quality lectures from Citizens UK and Peabody, for Year 10 Geography it concluded in Swanage! Have a look at what the students got up to on their coursework excursion. SPA Geog #Making Geography a reality!

'We got the chance to explore nature and Geography fully, which we do not get to do often' (Fay C).


To find out more subscribe to:
Please see the blog for all upcoming trips this term from Year 7-11.

Geography is about embracing the outdoors, visualizing the theory from the classroom and to witness new landscapes. It is also the opportunity to gained independence from parents/carers and to seek new experiences. This is the ethos behind the Geography department's decision to take 74 students away in Year 10. It was also to be able to collect data for Controlled Assessment worth 25% of the overall course. The main mantra behind our planning is summarized below:

On June 24th-27th 2016 74 Year 10 students with the aid of the Geography department ventured on their first National Trip to Swanage. The students were visiting Studland Bay, Old Harry’s Rock and Swanage bay to test their controlled assessment hypothesis: 

The management strategies implemented along the Jurassic coastline have been equally effective at minimising the impact of coastal erosion.’ 

Year 10 SPA Geography- a fantastic testament to the academy.
This excursion involved collecting data to prove or disprove this hypothesis. The students saw an array of different Geography landforms that we had studied in class: including Swanage bay; Studland Bay Nature Reserve; and the famous landform Old Harry’s Rock.



Landforms along the Jurassic coastline that the students visited.

After a exhausting 5 hour journey the students conducted their first piece of data collection in the picturesque landscape of Studland Bay. Known for its outstanding beauty and being a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) it is owned by the National Trust and is also well known for being used as a filming site for the James Bond Movie 'Spectre'. From the photos you can understand why it has the label of 'outstanding beauty' as the views were stunning and even the weather was sunny!

Wide Horizons leading Mr Davis' group through the historical background of Studland Bay.
The groups split into three classes and each were assigned a different task to complete; one class collected beach transect data; the other footpath erosion and the final one a field sketch of the local area. What made this trip so unique is working together to complete data collection techniques in the field, being able to experience 'sand between our toes' as one student stated, and for some seeing landforms such as sand dunes and a beach for the first time.


 
Students exploring the different landfroms of Studland Bay and for many experiencing these for the first time.
Laurette emphasizes below the attractiveness of travelling to different environments to experience Geography. Whilst Benga seemed to have other ideas whilst work was being carried out! Who could blame him with the picturesque views?!


Benga chilling on a sand dune.

All of the work completed through the day was consolidated in the evening in the classroom. The students collated the data in various graphs and analysed the trends to whether it supported the hypothesis. 

Students studying in the classroom after a day in the field.

Although hard work was needed and completed by the students there was always time to relax and have fun (as illustrated below):


Day 2:

After a hearty breakfast served by the Wide Horizon staff we walked to the headland of Peveril Point to look out over Swanage Bay and the Durlston Country Park. Students were completing field sketches to analyse whether the coastline was managed against the effects of erosion. The weather was not the greatest with intermittent spells of rain, however the Geography team worked exceeding well and collect invaluable date towards their hypothesis.

SPA Geog students completing a field sketch of Swanage Bay.
The view from Peveril Point Headland
The students continued their collection of data with exploring Swanage Bay and the surrounding area to test whether the management structures implemented along this stretch of the coastline stopped or reduced erosion effectively. Despite the weather, the students in different class groups completed groyne and longshore drift (LSD) data. Lateef had the right idea when it started to downpour!
Groynes not only collecting sand but Lawals aswell!

The aim of groyne data was to assess whether the management structures were effective at trapping sand, thus creating a beach that absorbs the power of the waves. Data suggested that the groynes worked effectively and was supported additionally by the measuring of LSD through apples being thrown into the ocean. Some groups were unfortunate in the LSD data as seagulls ate the apples! What about this for effecting your validity of data collection?!
Proof of the groynes effectively minimising erosion in Swanage Bay.
Emmanuel and Yves-Michel collecting geographical data for their coursework.

Please do not assume that this trip was all about work. Yes the students worked extremely hard and were a testament to the Geography department and the academy, however there was always time for exploration and high jinx!

Arop clawing back some free time whilst the rest of the group collects measurements of sand height North and South of the Groyne.
Anesu perfects his Karate Kid impression at the end of the groyne- I must admit I was hoping for a SPLASH! :OD

The data collection at the different sites was later written up in the classroom and analysed. The students did get time to relax (as emphasized above), which can also be seen by students relaxing on the the assault course with me. There was also time on Sunday for mass at the local Church in Swanage much to the delight of the Priest and the congregation who gave SPA a standing ovation at the end of the service. We were also fortunate to visit the famous landmark of Old Harry’s Rock on our last day at Swanage and we were able to witness some of the wonders that the Jurassic coastline has to offer.
Mass with a Swanage Church on Sunday.
The famous Jurassic coastline landform Old Harry's Rock.
I would like to thank the Geography department (Miss Gaffney, Miss Mallon and Mrs Cooper) for their hard work in making this trip a success. Also the staff members, who without them the trip would not have run or been as easy to enjoy (Mrs Gregory and Mr Pinkerton). 

I would like to extend my gratitude to the Wide Horizon staff who supported the students and staff with a high standard of professionalism and excellence. We would be sure to recommend this trip to other schools and future students.

The article cannot be complete without a personal appreciation of the exceptional work of the students who have made the trip for the teachers. The Year 10 SPA Geog team are an amazing collection of students who will be very successful in their GCSE and beyond. Please see selfies from Mrs Cooper and my class below!


'An unforgettable experience that will stay with me for eternity' (Amy K).

I hope this article has portrayed the future experiences you can expect from the Geography team. Please ask them about new trips or see Mr Davis for further details. Finally the last words to say have to be from Marcell....

#Where is your next Geography classroom? 

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