Geography PGCE field trip to Flatford Mill Field Studies Council Centre
At the start of the academic year, Secondary Geography PGCE trainees and apprenticeship teachers spent a weekend in East Bergholt, Suffolk, in geography fieldwork.
The group visited the beautiful setting of Flatford Mill Field Studies Council Centre where John Constable painted the Hay Wain, and stayed in a 16th century-old building. They spent the weekend planning, taking part in, and designing fieldwork activities for all age groups, from field sketches to standing in rivers.
Some of the activities trainees took part in to help with their development in fieldwork included looking at the benefits and barriers, how to plan a course, considering legal requirements, and conducting risk assessments. They participated in group work that involved field sketch, river studies, experimental fieldwork, presentations, data presentation and analysis.
The trip received really positive feedback from all those who attended, including one trainee who said “Upon reflection, I have gained a deeper understanding on how to best plan fieldwork in a way that must incorporate behavior management but place equal emphasis on promoting student engagement and build upon geographic knowledge through meeting the learning outcomes. By switching roles, I also have developed an appreciation of how students may think or feel about certain methods or approaches to fieldwork both human and physical.”
Course leader, Sharon Reilly said: “Fieldwork is an important component of KS3, 4 and 5 geography as it helps to bring the subject alive and allows students to make geographical connections. During the trip, the trainees learned to plan, develop and implement fieldwork whilst understanding the value of fieldwork educational purposes as well as well-being and developing communication skills. The course also supports them in planning, completing paperwork, communicating with parents, and assessing the risks.
“Everyone had an amazing weekend, not only did they all learn a vast amount of knowledge and understanding about fieldwork, but it was also a great opportunity to develop lasting friendships.”