Thursday, 31 January 2008


A few of you have been asking about the Wales trip... There will be lots more information coming soon but in the meantime...

We will be leaving school on Monday 29th September and returning on Friday 3rd October, and we will be staying at Beechwood Court, which is just outside the town of Conwy.

The main purpose of the trip is for you to develop some of the skills that you will need for your coursework project, to give you some ideas about what you might want to do for your coursework project, and for me to remind myself how to use an OHP! It is highly likely that some of what we do will be different this year, but the itinerary in the past has been something like this:

Leave Swanwick at 9am. Arrive at Beechwood Court at about 2pm and allocate rooms, etc. Head to Conwy Morfa to examine the beach profile, longshore drift, and sorting along the spit. Dinner at 6ish, and then work/planning/preparation from 7.30-9.30ish.

Breakfast at 8ish. Walk up Conwy Mountain to look at the view, do some field sketching, etc.. Set off to Llandudno at 11am - working as a group in the morning to delimit the CBD, and then some smaller investigations in the afternoon, looking at accessibility, streetscapes, land-use, etc. Dinner and work!

Breakfast. Off to Snowdonia... Llyn Ogwen, Nant-Ffrancon, Cwm Idwal... looking at glaciation. Dinner and work! Looking at some past A level projects and planning a "pilot study".

Breakfast. Off in small groups to various different places to carry out "pilot studies" - river studies, land use in Llandudno, traffic and transport in Conwy, saltmarsh study, accessibility, environmental impact assessments, and of course, the infamous scree slopes! Dinner and work.

Pack, load minibus, breakfast. Comparison of Trefriw and Betws-y-Coed as tourist destinations. Return to Swanwick by 4pm.

Check out the photos on Share from the past few years!!


As promised (though a little later than intended.. sorry!) a selection of useful and interesting Boscastle resources. I deliberately haven't included anything from the news websites - not because there's nothing there, or they're not useful, just that there are too many... But do have a look at the BBC, Guardian, Telegraph, Times, etc.

Excellent report from the Environment Agency about the Boscastle Flood.

A leaflet about the flood produced by North Cornwall District Council.

Information from the Met Office about the weather conditions leading up to the flood.

Video clip from the construction company responsible for the flood defence scheme in Boscastle.

Details of the Valency defence scheme from NCDC.

Costing the Earth - programme from Radio 4 from December 2004, looking at the flood, the aftermath, and "the lessons we might learn" from the flood.

And finally, the Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle (those of you who were in my GCSE group already know about this one - and the witch balls in the window!) has an online diary of the floods, the damage to the museum, and the cleanup operation.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

How many countries...?

Thanks (I think) to Alan who blogged about this the other day...

Click on the link below and see how many countries you can name in 5 minutes... Your time will start straight away... Get ready!!
Come back and leave a comment to let us know how you did...

(And DON'T click on the link if you have other things to do...)

Plate Tectonics...

Although not directly related to anything that we are studying this year, this episode of In Our Time, looking at plate tectonics is worth a listen... and will be helpful for next year...

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

A question...

Sorting out resources for tomorrow's lesson, I have just found this picture in a news story... What is it, where is it, and how does it work?

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Young Geographer of the Year

It is Young Geographer of the Year time again, so if you fancy winning a trip to the Himalayas or a mountain bike, then check out the website of Geographical Magazine and find out more...

This year's theme is Explore Your World, and you need to get out there and do some investigating! The closing date is 30th April, so get thinking about some ideas!


Following our conversations this morning about the current and anticipated flooding in England and Wales...

The picture below is of Upton upon Severn, in Worcestershire (the home of the amazing Map Shop) and is one of an In Pictures of the flooding from the BBC. The BBC also has several stories about the flooding (Experts' fear of further flooding, Flood warnings after overnight rain and others...).

Upton upon Severn's website has lots of information and photos of floods from the past ten years, and from 1947. (And as an interesting aside, it seems that Upton is also a plastic-bag free town!)

As I am writing this, there are still 71 flood warnings in place across England and Wales, and 163 flood watches. Several of the flood warnings and watches are on the Trent and the Derwent in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. The current flood warnings section of the Environment Agency website is here, but it's also worth having a look at the rest of the Flooding section of the website - there's some good stuff on there about how to prepare for floods, and a review of the Summer 2007 floods.

You can also look at the Flood Risk maps - the same ones that are used by insurance companies to help them to determine premiums.

Also just found the Flood Forum - I've not studied it carefully, but might be worth a look.

Let me know if you find anything else useful or interesting...

Boscastle stuff to follow...

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

The BBC has an excellent set of pictures of New Year celebrations around the world, including this one from Hong Kong...

Some UK pictures here...

And this set - be warned though, they're not for the faint-hearted!!