Geography river field trip for Common Entrance

Last week, Year 8 hot footed it to the River Pang in Berkshire, so data could be collected on a field trip.  Fieldwork is embedded within the geography curriculum, and now accounts for 20% of Common Entrance. 

The River Pang is a small chalk stream river in the west of Berkshire, and a tributary of the  River Thames. It runs for approximately 23km from its source near Compton to its confluence with the Thames in Pangbourne. 

What’s involved in the field work for Common Entrance?

Travelling in style by tractor, our pupils then waded through the Pang to investigate how the river changed from source to mouth.  They used their enquiry skills to observe how elements such as velocity, discharge, friction, load and width changed the features of the river as it traveled downstream.

Head of Geography, Mr Pilkington, said:

“The boys were simply outstanding! They loved being towed around the Berkshire countryside by a tractor and wading through rivers collecting Geography Fieldwork. After months of lock down this was simply teaching and learning at its best. We managed to take a few pictures throughout the day, whilst being in the river ourselves.”

Presenting their field work data

Pupils spend several weeks collating their primary field work data. Their written work is supported by maps, annotated field sketches, photographs, graphs and charts, to substantiate their results. Secondary materials from other sources can also be used. 

After a conclusion of the results and decision to accept or reject the hypotheses, pupils then evaluate the reliability of the methods used to collect the data.

With the surprisingly warm September weather, Year 8 experienced a truly memorable, stimulating and successful day in the glorious Berkshire countryside. Good luck to all of you for your Common Entrance geography presentations.

Mr Pilkington concluded:

“The year group showed amazing qualities of teamwork, intelligence, questioning and enquiry yesterday. I feel delighted with their start to the year.”