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     “Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future” - Michael Palin

Head of Department - Mr R Chambers

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YEAR 8 Grafham Water Visit

This September the St.Ivo Geography Department took 130 year 8 students (over three days), on a fun-filled educational trip as part of our ‘Rivers’ topic.

After a prompt departure from the recreation centre at 8.30am, the coach headed straight for Brampton Mill where the first group would start their day (the second group started their day at Grafham water). The group were met by three members of the Grafham Water Team who gave an introduction to canoeing and a safety briefing. Once buoyancy aids were on and paddles (chin height) were selected, the students left land and began their canoeing adventure on the Great River Ouse. Students were able to see first-hand the different river landforms including a flood plain, river cliff and slip-off slope. Whilst clinging on to the canoes of their peers, students learnt key terms associated with rivers including ‘erosion’, ‘deposition’ and ‘meander’. This outdoor classroom provided students a unique and valuable experience and really made geography come to life!

After a quick change, a short bus journey to Grafham water and a bite to eat students were ready for their next activity – raft building. After a brief by the two instructors (including a quick demonstration of knots), bouncy aids were back on and paddles at the ready. Working in teams, students had 20 minutes to design and build a raft which would get them ALL round the red buoy and back again. Team work was crucial in this challenge. Some teams remained remarkably dry whilst others found themselves clinging onto pieces of the broken raft and swimming back to shore.

Back on land and in a dry set of clothes, students were ready for the final part of their day, orienteering. Building on the map skills learnt in year 7, students were given a map of the centre and first faced the task of orienteering the map! After a brief talk on 6 figure grid references and a quick practice, students were ready to put their skills into practice. Using 6 figure grid references students had to run around the site and answer a series of questions relating to Grafham water. Students showed real enthusiasm and some groups answered more than 10 of the questions!

A short (and quite) bus journey later and students arrived back at the recreation centre at 4.15pm – tired but exhilarated by the action packed day!