Year 7 take a plunge in the River Pang

Last week, Year 7 took a refreshing plunge in the River Pang in Berkshire, so data could be collected for their fieldwork.  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. 

Fieldwork is embedded within the geography curriculum, and now accounts for 20% of Common Entrance.   As this was the first trip off site for a while, it was an extra special day for pupils and staff. 

What’s involved in the Geography fieldwork for Common Entrance?

First, Year 7 was split into three groups. They then took tractor rides across the beautiful Berkshire countryside, singing merrily along the way. Excited to be outdoors and so close to nature, Year 7 then reached their section of the river.

Due to a few days rainfall a few days before, River Pang’s levels were high. Without any concern, pupils submerged themselves up to their waists and measured velocity, perimeter, depth, width and gradient.

Head of Geography, Mr Pilkington, said:

“This year group showed real leadership skills and teamwork to produce some amazing results. One group even managed to make their cross sectional area graphs by the end of the afternoon when we were back at school.”

Here is an example of Monty’s graph:

Presenting their fieldwork data

Pupils spend several weeks collating their primary fieldwork 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.

To find out more about learning Geography at Elstree click here.