A wide range of fieldwork opportunities are offered to Madras College geographers from S2 upwards. We strongly believe in outdoor learning and taking the learning outdoors when we can. In the junior school we explore the geography of our local area and introduce the pupils to the fundamentals of gathering data as well as processing this information when back in the classroom. As part of understanding landscapes, pupils have the opportunity to visit Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh where they travel back in time and learn about Scotland's geological past as well as many contemporary issues facing our planet today.
In the senior school we provide fieldtrips which help pupils gather data for their National and Higher course assignments.
CfE National 4 & 5: Highland Fieldtrip
This trip showcases the changing landscape between lowland and highland Scotland. The pupils gather a wide range of geographical data covering both physical and human elements. The route passes through Dundee, Perth, Dunkeld and Pitlochry. Pupils have the opportunity to explore both Dunkeld and Pitlochry on foot whilst they gather geographical information for processing back in the classroom. The river survey just to the south of Dalwhinnie marks the most northerly point of the trip before heading back down the A9 and homewards. It's a busy but thoroughly rewarding day and provides a strong foundation from which to move forward with their added value unit and course assignment.
CfE Higher: Yorkshire Dales Fieldtrip
Every year in September, Higher and Advanced Higher geography pupils make the trip to study the limestone scenery of the Yorkshire Dales. As part of the new CfE Higher, pupils are given the opportunity to collect data for their course assignment. This is worth a 1/3 of their final higher mark. The trip is packed full of visits which link with physical, human and environmental geography theory and offers real case studies for the pupils to write about in their coursework. The trip is based from the tranquil village of Hawes in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. From there we make trips to Swinden quarry, Whitescar Cave, Grassington, Malham and the famous Hawes creamery.
In the photographs, you can see last year’s group at Swinden quarry completing a fieldsketch from the viewing platform. Also featured are photographs of the spectacular Karst scenary around Malham village, Gordale and Malham cove. Also pictured is the cheese making demonstration at Hawes creamery. This is just one of the fieldtrips we offer to Madras College geographers, but it’s probably the most popular and enjoyable one for pupils and staff!
CfE Higher Urban Fieldtrip
Edinburgh This day trip to our capital allows the pupil to link classroom theory to real life examples of urban geography. The trip takes the class through all the key urban zones and allows them to collect named examples which can be used in coursework or the final exam.
A Pupil account of the Yorkshire Dales Field Trip
Madras pupils and teachers, as part of studying for Higher Geography, set off on a voyage of limestone discovery to Yorkshire Dales!
We stayed in the village of Hawes situated in the heart of Wensleydale. We were given a tour around Swinden Quarry - the largest in Britain. Then we travelled to White Scar Cave to witness firsthand the processes of limestone deposition. A real highlight of the trip followed when the underground tunnels opened up into an enormous cavern filled with needed like stalactites hanging from the ceiling! We visited Gordale Scar, a gorge that is believed to have been created from glaciers in the ice age that scoured away the rock. However, we had one final and heavily anticipated destination to visit- the infamous Wensleydale Cheese Factory! We learnt about the history’s business and watched a demonstration of cheese making.
On behalf of all the students I would like to thank Mrs Thomson, Mrs Latto, Mr Clark and Mr Mackay for giving up their valuable time - we really do appreciate it!
by Alex Price