Fieldwork at Flatford

Blog Header Image


1st to 3rd December, 2021

By Mr Tooze

On Wednesday 1st December, 18 intrepid Leventhorpe A Level Geography students embarked on a local residential trip to Flatford Mill in the county of Suffolk; Constable Country!

The aim of the trip was to prepare the current Year 12 students for their up-coming NEA coursework and allow the Year 13s to gain some essential fieldwork skills and revision. Throughout the trip, students were offered a varied diet of topics, outdoor fieldwork activities and seminars led by experienced practitioners of the Field Studies Centre. 

Now planning an outdoor trip in December is not the usual geography-teacher motif, but with Mr Tooze only just starting at the school and Covid on the horizon, time was of the essence. 

On Day 1 the students were whisked off to Dedham, a small rural village, to analyse the geographical concept of ‘Representation of Place’. Here students carried out a number of different fieldwork tasks to gather essential data about the lived experience and perception of the idyllic rural life. Unfortunately for the students, this was the moment the heavens decided to open and we were hit by a torrential downpour. Luckily for Mr Tooze and Mr Shepherd there was a local café nearby where they could get a lovely warm drink and a vegan cake. 

On Day 2 the students were studying the impact of coastal processes on a UK landscape; focusing on the much-loved destination of Walton-on-the-Naze. Rather than looking at the main town, students were investigating the geological importance of the Naze and how natural processes has led to human problems. The members of staff present were impressed with how the students battled through the data collection despite the close-to-zero temperatures and wind chill. 

On Day 3 the students were taken to the urban area of Ipswich to study the regeneration schemes that have changed the function of the town.  They were able to freely investigate the whole town and collect valuable data on how the area has been changed over time. When back in the Centre, students had the opportunity to use GIS when mapping data on to a shared computer programme; ultimately to decide if the money spent on regenerating Ipswich has been a success. 

Overall, both Mr Tooze and Mr Shepherd were highly impressed with the students on the trip.  Both year groups gelled well together and were engaged throughout. The level of focus and knowledge they showed was impressive and their lecturer was full of praise for them all. Also, teachers were often approached by the general public to remark at how polite and respectful the Leventhorpe students were and what a credit they are to the school.

All-in-all a very successful trip.