As they embarked on their journey as PGCE trainees, our (Secondary) Geography PGCE students visited Flatford Mill in Suffolk to train to deliver fieldwork to key stage pupils and support the A level independent study (NEA).
Flatford Mill is a location of the Field Studies Council (FSC), providing environmental understanding in the form of fieldwork courses including Secondary Geography teacher training.
The trip provided our students with an abundance of opportunity including the chance to practice different fieldwork techniques and develop an understanding of sense of place. Not only did they develop strong friendship links and groups work skills, they became a geography community of their own to help support each other during the PGCE.
On arrival, students developed multiple fieldwork techniques in order to understand the local area, including field sketches. A variety of fieldwork equipment was used to design their own fieldwork investigations which was aimed at KS3 pupils and focused on developing a sense of excitement around geography. These included:
‘The Bucket Challenge’
In groups, participants were given a bucket of equipment and asked to create an investigation rooted in the ideas they came up with during the landscape questioning activity. In order to apply the investigation sequence to their work, equipment was used to collect a small amount of information to present back to the group.
Our students were also shown the ‘sense of place’ day which is used with NEA groups at Flatford. In pairs the participants conducted innovative and exciting methods such as emoticon mapping and smell/sound audits, to collect information about this place.
Additionally, students spent time at the Bildeston River Site, where they explored a range of fieldwork requirements, resources, objectives and teaching strategies to facilitate students’ experience (relating to GCSE specifications).