On the afternoon of Wednesday 12th January, L6th Geographers headed out of the classroom with Mrs Gibbs and Mrs Walls for a mini local fieldtrip. The students have recently started the Changing Spaces; Making Places topic and one of the case studies for this is Southampton, namely St Mary’s and Ocean Village. Learning ‘in the field’ is such an important part of Geography and therefore taking the students out for a double lesson was a great way to introduce them to these areas and some of the factors affecting these local places. Issues of segregation, ethnic and cultural diversity and service provision were discussed in relation to the sense of place and place identity. Regeneration and creating a positive place image was also addressed within Ocean Village. We were blessed with lovely weather and the students came away with a much better understanding of the local area.
18 Geography students travelled to Iceland over the Easter holidays to discover the incredible Geology and Geography on offer in this amazing country. Iceland is well known for its changing weather and we certainly experienced this – snow, torrential rain and sunshine! Bathing in the Blue Lagoon was most definitely a highlight for the students and they used the silica mud on the bottom of the lagoon to cleanse their skin. We visited numerous waterfalls, some with water so pure that the students were able to drink directly from the waterfall. Strokkur geysir mesmerised us all as it sprayed boiling hot water up to 35 metres into the air every 5 minutes. Iceland has a huge amount to offer and we were extremely fortunate to be able to experience so many of the geological wonders.
On Tuesday 20th September, we were fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to take some of our GCSE Geography students to Winchester for an evening with Sir Ranulph Fiennes, otherwise known as 'The World's Greatest Living Explorer'. Burrells Jewellers held the event at The Great Hall in Winchester and our students were treated to an intimate Q&A session whereby many of them were able to ask Sir Ranulph questions about his expeditions. We were also fortunate to win a signed copy of Sir Ranulph's recent book and were able to speak to him on a one-to-one basis at the end of the evening. Students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and felt inspired by the words of this great man.
We were privileged to have Dr Nick Middleton speak to all our Sixth Form Geographers on Friday 16th September. Dr Middleton gave a talk entitled 'An Atlas of countries that don't exist'. The students listened eagerly to Dr Middleton and it was fascinating to hear about countries which are unrecognised by many other countries. This talk linked extremely well to the new A-level specification and therefore was extremely relevant for our students.
The Geography Society were delighted to welcome Dr Simon Boxall lecturer within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton. Simon spoke about the role of an Oceanographer and helped students to understand the numerous links to Geography. The primary focus of Simon’s talk was on the topic of Tsunamis, whereby he shared his extensive knowledge about tsunamis around the world and his experience of monitoring and reporting on these. Simon has recently returned from Venice where he is undertaking a project to explore the flora of the Venice lagoon in order to advise the Italian Government about methods of protection on how to try and combat the problems of the sinking city and rising sea levels. Special thanks must go to Luke Roberts (Deputy Head of School) for arranging for Simon to come and speak at Geography Society.
The Geography Department were delighted to welcome David Edwards to school on Thursday 24th September to give a series of talks to students about a wide variety of geographical topics ranging from ‘Iceland – a geographical wonderland’ to ‘Global Warming and Climate Change’. David also provided the whole school with an inspiring assembly, where he shared stories with us and life lessons which he has learnt along the way.
David has an extensive background in adventure, travel and environmental education including being a professional mountain walks leader and a ranger in the Grand Canyon National Park. He graduated from Edinburgh University with honours Geology and worked as an expedition science leader in Botswana and the Yukon. He has also worked as a field studies tutor teaching Geology and Geography, as well as being the University Expeditions Advisor for the Royal Geographical Society. Whilst carrying out a biodiversity survey on the island of Montserrat he experienced the infamous volcanic eruption. Surviving this eruption was the topic of his lunchtime talk at Geography Society.