On Friday 7th to Sunday 9th November, 30 boys from Year 9 went to Machynlleth in Wales to visit the Centre for Alternative Technology (http://www.cat.org.uk) to have an eco-weekend learning about sustainability and renewable energy.
The following report has been written by Kyle Cornish, Ed Deathridge, Jake Fletcher, James Michell and Matthew Murray.
We arrived at the centre on Friday to discover our ‘eco cabins’ weren’t like normal residential accommodation. We had to monitoring our electricity and our heating supplied entirely by solar panels, wind and hydro turbines. If we ran out of electricity, we couldn’t use any of the sockets and the lights would go out. The temperature of the hot water for showers depended on a good strong fire, some were more successful that others!
On our first night, we had a vegetarian dinner followed by and activities up to 9pm. We had a number of competitions and tasks based on the eco cabins, learning about a future ‘Zero-Carbon’ Britain. We completed some puzzles and had a game of quick on the draw before heading back to the cabin for games, hot chocolate and pot noodles.
After a good night’s sleep, we started the next day with a guided tour followed by a workshop on wind turbines, presented by staff at CAT. The wind turbine workshop was a competition to see who can design and create the best wind turbine, learning that a small wind turbine was the most efficient. We then had a workshop on Zero Carbon Britain learning how the UK could improve its renewable energy supply. After lunch (vegetarian again) we embarked on the hooded adventure. Ever tried walking around a forest blindfolded with a number of obstacles? We had to follow a rope around a challenging course. In the end, Ed, Matt C and Matt L fell into a pond, someone went round a section of the course in circles and someone who stopped following the rope and followed a stick! We learnt lots about using our senses to explore the nature around us.
In the evening we completed a range of activities including how we could make Sandbach School more eco-friendly and sustainable. In groups of five we created a presentation looking at the possibilities of getting a biomass boiler to save the school money as well as putting solar panels on different buildings around the school. We all agreed that the school should invest in LED lighting technology and improve our recycling around the school. Mr Jennings and Mr Roberts were the judges and they gave us keywords which we had to work into our presentation for bonus points! We then went back to the cabins for games, toasted marshmallows and a much needed sleep.
The final day, we went for our final vegetarian meal and exploration of the site, giving us the opportunity to reflect and review our weekend. We collected a certificate of participation and made a commitment to do something differently in our lives to reduce our impact on the environment. It was a great weekend and everyone slept well on the journey home! Thank you to all the teachers and the staff at the Centre of Alternative Technology.
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On Wednesday 19th March, Year 12 Geography students completed fieldwork on a local river.
The aim of the day was to successfully and accurately carry out appropriate fieldwork techniques to gain a greater understanding of river channel characteristics.
This will prepare the students for their AS Level Geography examination this summer.
For further information on A Level Geography at Sandbach School Sixth Form click here.
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On Wednesday 2nd October 35 Geographers visited Cwm Idwal and the Nant Ffrancon valley in Snowdonia to study upland glaciation in Snowdonia. Students learnt to describe key glacial landforms observed, explain how they were created and outline how periglacial and fluvioglacial processes have changed this post-glacial landscape.
After a heavy shower of rain, the day started with a walk up to Cwm Idwal. This massive corrie is one of the best examples in the UK, with its steep back wall shadowing the tarn, Llyn Idwal, which lies in the corrie basin. After discussing the corrie and its formation, plus a quick field sketch, a walk to the top of a hill was next, to look down the Nant Ffrancon valley to again gain an overview of the features in this wide U-shaped valley. This was followed by a walk to the other end of Llyn Idwal and lunch on the shores of the 800m long lake.
After visiting the new visitor centre everyone took a two-mile walk down the Nant Ffrancon valley in the afternoon to look in more detail at the landforms in the valley. This included the huge Roche Moutonnee which was formed in the centre of the valley and the various truncated spurs and rock types in the valley.
A fantastic time was had by all and being in a post-glacial environment helped illustrate some key information for the cold environments part of the course.
Written by James McDowell, Year 12.
Sandbach School GCSE Geography Fieldtrip to the Bay of Naples
On 9th July 2013, 49 Year 10 boys embarked on their adventure to the Bay of Naples to learn about the impacts of tourism.
The first day to the Bay of Naples consisted of travelling to our accommodation followed by a visit to Sorrento to look at how tourism affects a popular tourist attraction.
Our second day in Italy gave us the opportunity to visit the ruins of the third largest amphitheatre in Italy and have a look at volcano Solfatara, learning about its volcanic activity and how it would affect local people. In the evening we completed a video presentation activity returning to our rooms for the night.
Our third day in Italy allowed us to be taken to the gigantic ruins of Pompeii for a day out in the Roman city. We saw lots of preserved buildings, pictures and casts of the people who were unfortunate to be taken by Vesuvius. We were also lucky enough to have a tour guide to take us around Pompeii. In the evening we had another opportunity to relax again by the pool of our site before having to return to our dorms.
Our fourth day in Italy took us to the summit of Mt Vesuvius, with a tour guide, to see the picturesque landscape surrounding the volcano before looking around the better preserved ruins of Herculaneum which was covered by a mudslide caused by Vesuvius. In the evening we had our final day to relax by the pool before returning for an early night in our dorms.
An early wake up on our final day in Italy took us back home to England for the end of the best Geography trip we have ever had.
Oliver Shenton & Sam Porter