On Sunday 23rd and Monday 24th November, 24 brave Y11 GCSE Geographers took part in a coasts, rivers and alternative energy field trip to North Wales.
After a bleary eyed start on Sunday morning, first stop was Towyn to study the impressive rip-rap, groynes and gabions first hand… coastal defences to you and me! Next stop Llandudno and much to the amusement of the many tourists, beach studies and a chance to get creative making ‘Percy Pebble’ characters on the sand to enhance the understanding of coastal erosion, transport and deposition. Emily Scragg must get a mention as the bravest soul, as the only pupil to actually dip her toes into the somewhat cool North Atlantic!
Tourist studies and retail therapy followed at the Christmas Market before a slightly tortuous journey to our overnight hostel deep in the Snowdonian Mountains. Freezing cold it may have been outside but with a huge roaring log fire, boundless enthusiasm from the students and a hearty meal lovingly prepared by Miss Bennett, Mr Smith and Mr Bygrave the atmosphere inside was roasting to the point of melting!
After copious work until around 10pm (honestly!) hot chocolate, birthday cake (Happy Birthday Millie Johnson) and an impromptu orchestra on bongos and guitar, a thoroughly exhausted group retired to their bijou but comfy rooms… to be woken what seemed liked minutes later, but was in fact 7am, to that unmistakable aroma of cheesy bacon and sausage oatcakes along with Miss Bennett’s dulcet screams of ‘Wakey Wakey’.
Outside a thick hoary frost coated the mountains and wood smoke stung the nostrils of our now ‘wide awake’ crew. However, river studies soon got everyone back in the Geography groove as did the visit to the very impressive CAT (Centre for Alternative Technology) at Machynlleth. Here students learnt about sustainable lifestyles and ways of lessening the impact of humans on the planet and of course how important poo (biogas) could be in the energy mix of the future!
After lunch, lovingly prepared earlier by the students themselves, (including doing the washing-up!) it was unfortunately time to return to UAK. All the students were an absolute credit to the Academy and were complimented at every venue by the staff and public. As Chloe Benbow said, ‘Please can we stay a bit longer, I don’t want to go home yet!’ … a sentiment reflected by both staff and pupils, definitely a trip to remember!