Loreto College’s Geography students went on field trips to various locations in and around Greater Manchester to gather data for their A-level coursework. The Geography Department allows students to choose their research topics, accounting for 20% of their A-Level grade. Trips were organised to locations like Llandudno, Sefton Coast, Castleton, and Hope Quarry, but students also had the option to conduct studies closer to home. Head of Geography, Tony Grundy, says, “Giving the students such a wide range of options means they have more engagement and ownership of their coursework.”

During these field trips, students were responsible for gathering data on topics such as sand dune development, the effectiveness of coastal defences, the environmental impacts of quarrying in the Hope Valley, and the success of regeneration schemes in the Greater Manchester area.

Now that the data has been collected, students will analyse the information and write a 3,000 to 4,000-word report. As Mr Grundy explains, “The students can focus on a variety of human and physical geography topics to enable them to come up with their hypotheses which they will aim to answer by conducting their surveys, measurements and interviews.”

This coursework prepares students for university research and helps them develop essential skills in investigating, analysing data, and drawing conclusions, which are valuable for their future careers. “It just shows how relevant geography is to study further, and the world of work,” added Mr Grundy.