Joyous Geography

Sand and sand sculptures; sea, lakes and harbours; a towering fort and a bustling front: is there a more perfect place for a field-trip than wonderous Weymouth?

It was an early start for 40 children from Walwayne Court School; setting off before 8am to walk to Trowbridge station in time for the GWR service to Weymouth. On arrival at the station, students were given a rail-safety reminder by the Platform team, and then had the opportunity to show off how much rail knowledge they had remembered from their workshops (which was a lot!).

Then, it was all aboard the GWR service to Weymouth. Despite it being early in the day, the sun was shining as the train pulled out of Trowbridge, and so air-conditioned carriages were most welcome.

On the journey down, students were given workbooks that included activities that were necessary to provide context for the day, including consolidating focus-vocabulary, recapping the meaning of human and physical features of geography, and considering the different purposes behind human geography features. The train journey from Trowbridge to Weymouth travels through stunning Somerset and Dorset countryside and there was plenty of opportunity to spot different geographical features from the train.

In Weymouth, students departed the train and headed to RSPB Lake Radipole to identify natural and man-made landmarks. This was followed by a walk to the front to visit the sand sculpture (which was beautifully crafted to replicate King Charles) and to spot what on the beach were features of physical geography, and what had been placed there by humans.

Then, it was finally time to hit the sand and enjoy the beauty of Weymouth beach. Students played, dug, paddled and laughed (they also did some impressive seagull dodging when it came to packed-lunches). Time flies when you’re having sun (!), and it was soon time to pack up and make the way back to the station…. via the ice cream shop, of course!

At Weymouth station, the train was waiting and some very sandy students climbed aboard and got comfortable for the journey home. The field-trip was certainly not over, though, as students had the rest of their workbooks to complete on the journey back: creating their own maps and keys, a connection grid for reflection on the day’s learning, and some sketching activities.

Emilie Dawson, Learning Development Manager for Platform, said, “It was a wonderful day and the students worked their socks off. We spend a lot of our time crossing our fingers for good weather so it is always a bonus when we get it. Having the line down to Weymouth on our patch has been a revelation in terms of opportunity for expanding our curriculum-linked school trips, and this was evident in our geography-focused excursion today.”

Two days later, it was time to do the trip all over again with another group of students from Walwayne Court. The day was equally successful, just as sunny, and the seagulls’ behaviour was much better, much to the team’s relief.

Thanks go to GWR for providing free travel for rail education, meaning this trip was carried out at no cost to the school.

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