GCSE Geography Trip to Blackpool and Cleveleys
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Tuesday, 24 and Wednesday, 25 September 2019
On Tuesday, 24 and Wednesday, 25 September, approximately 90 GCSE geographers travelled 40 miles north of Manchester to the seaside town of Blackpool and nearby Cleveleys, to take part in compulsory physical and human geography fieldwork for their Paper 3 examination on 11 June 2020 (this is worth 15% of their final grade!).
Students were able to surmise that these sites had been chosen as Blackpool has been a popular tourist destination within northern England for over 200 years, while Cleveleys exemplifies how sediments are transported along beaches, with their installation of wooden groyne in the 1920s and rock groynes in 2013 trapping sediment from moving along the beach.
After an 80-minute drive, students began their day in Blackpool, where they were investigating whether tourism had been having environmental impacts throughout the town. Students had hypothesised that tourism does have an environmental impact on Blackpool’s surroundings and so set out to either prove or disprove this point. To collect data, students visiting four sites, stretching from the sea front at Coral Island to the residential housing of Albert Road. To assess any environmental damage, students conducted an environmental quality survey at each site which sought to measure how noisy, clean, congested and well-maintained tourist, retail and residential areas were as we progressed further away from the seafront and the influence of tourism. Each aspect was ranked as being more positive or negative, and back in lessons students will plot this data into a Radar diagram to allow comparisons between sites.
Students spent the other half of their day at Cleveleys beach, where they were investigating whether coastal sediments such as rocks, pebbles and sand were being transported northwards along the beach. Using rulers, students measured the height of sediment on the northern and southern sides of five of Cleveley’s groynes. The difference in height between these two sides of each groyne informed the students which direction sediments were being transported by longshore drift. We expected greater amounts of sediments to be found on the southern side of each groyne, however students discovered that several of our groynes had a greater build up of sediment on the northern side. This is something we will explore further in lessons; however, it still provides evidence that transportation is occurring.
Following all our measurements and data collections, and while waiting for bus to pick us up again, there was even time for fish and chips, skimming stones and writing in the sand on the beach!
We cannot wait to see the result of student’s effort during the day in class and this August.