Year 8 Geography at the beach

In lessons Year 8 students have been studying a unit titled ‘What happens when the land meets the sea?’. On Wednesday 12th June, Year 8 students travelled to Walton-on-the-Naze to conduct fieldwork where they investigated the processes occurring along a stretch of coastline and compared different types of coastal management. The fieldwork conducted allowed students to consolidate and expand their knowledge of coastal environments and the impact that erosion is having on our UK coastlines. The fieldwork provided students with opportunities to see coastal erosion and how management has been put on one side of the beach for protection. Students then compared this to an unmanaged side of the beach, where the true impact of coastal erosion and lack of coastal management was seen. The layers of rock were clearly visible where cliff erosion and mass movement had taken place. Students conducted their fieldwork on this side of the beach, standing on the wave-cut platform visible only at low tide. The cliff, on average, is eroding at a rate of 1.5 metres each year and to visualise the erosion since 1945, students saw the WW2 pill-box bunkers which were originally on the cliff tops. This provided a cross curricular link to both History and English where students study war poetry. Back in school, students will use their fieldwork data to complete a decision making activity about how we should further manage Walton-on-the-Naze.

Students used a range of fieldwork techniques such as field sketches, environmental quality indexes, long-shore drift tests, wave counts, measuring groyne heights and beach profiles. We look forward to students developing their human fieldwork techniques next year in the local area.

Well done to all students on their hard work, and thank you to staff who accompanied this trip.