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On 6th March the students set off on their long awaited GCSE Geography field trip to Dartmoor, Devon, studying the River Dart and collecting data on the Quality of Life in Bristol. This trip has been much talked about since UIV, however continuously postponed until now, and it did not disappoint!

Although a trip to the South Coast of England, at the beginning of March, may not seem appealing due to the unpredictable weather, the girls excitedly packed their bags, wellies and waterproofs and set off. Here, Poppy (UV - Year 11) describes the trip:

'We stayed in a stunning National Trust, Medieval Hall, transformed into a magical boutique hotel. It was as if we had stepped back in time, staying in a little pocket of Medieval England with all the romantic and natural beauty of that era. As well as this, the outstanding grounds contributed to the extensive beauty, fully encapturing the residents in a time capsule of the past. On the first day, after a delicious, Devonshire breakfast in the ‘Great Hall’, we set off to our first site on the river Dart. Our study of the river consisted of three checkpoints at three different stages of the river’s course. Although the checkpoints weren’t all that far apart, we were still able to see correlations and collect data that supported our hypothesises, further deepening our knowledge and understanding of rivers that we had learnt in the classroom. Despite the freezing winds, persistent drizzle, and thick grey skies, we kept on going, in the end knowing how to measure the cross-sectional area, depth, velocity, bed load size, discharge and many more features of a river. The day was a great success and much enjoyed, especially due to the trip to Mr Curran’s favourite place, the Model Village in Torquay, and finishing with an outstanding meal at a restaurant on the sea front.

But the day did not end there, to finish, we returned to the hotel, shared our data from the day and finally everyone participated in a very enjoyable quiz led by Mrs Willcox. The second and final day was spent visiting three different parts of Bristol – Cribbs Causeway, Cabot Circus and Wapping Wharf. At each site, each of us carried out various surveys, drawings, and questionnaires, including talking to members of the public, and asking their opinion on the quality of life, including environmental quality, in Bristol. Again, the day was completed with a visit to an incredible Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition in the M Shed at Wapping Wharf, before finishing off and heading back to school.

Overall, the whole trip was a great success and much enjoyed by everyone. It allowed us to see for ourselves all that we had learnt at school, putting theory into practice, further embedding our knowledge, and increasing our understanding. I for one thought it was fascinating to see the transformation of the river as it travelled to the sea and understanding why its different features change, as well as being able to appreciate the reasons for how the use of the land differs as you near the city centre from the rural urban fringe. Finally, I’d like to say a massive thank you to Ms Mathias-Williams who organised the trip and the staff who came with us; all your hard work is hugely appreciated and we are all so grateful for your time and effort, helping us to deepen our knowledge and improve our grades.'