KING’S Ely’s GCSE Geography students could be found exploring part of the beautiful North Norfolk coastline.

The Year 10 Geographers were investigating their coastal case study for the ‘Distinctive Landscapes’ unit of work. It so happens that the case study in their textbook is of the North Norfolk coastline, no coincidence there being as it was written by King’s Ely’s very own Mr Parkinson!

Head of Geography at King’s Ely Senior, Helen Melville, said: “In Geography, we thrive on getting out and about in our environment to explore and investigate the topics we are covering. The new GCSE course provides many opportunities to do this and we have a trip or experience planned to link with each of the eight units covered across the two years.

“We started the day with a trip on a boat out to Blakeney Point spit. The spit is formed by longshore drift on the coastline and grows in length by around 20 metres a year. We all enjoyed a rather splashy boat ride and watching the seals laze on the beaches, and we investigated how the National Trust land on the spit is managed to reduce erosion and the impacts of visitors.

“We headed east next to Sheringham, an archetypal British seaside town. We completed observations of what the land along the coast was used for to determine the value obtained by protecting it with heavy sea defences. We studied the defences themselves, estimating the huge costs involved and whether their impact can be balanced against their unsightly looks and expense. Sheringham of course is well renowned for its fish and chips and mammoth selection of ice cream flavours so of course we made sure we had time for a quick sample of these culinary delights before we headed off!

“We then traveled to Overstrand where, despite sea defences, the erosion of the coast is still quite severe. We investigated the underlying geology that contributes to the rates of erosion and again, looked at the land values and evaluated the defences in order to compare them with those at Sheringham. We had a go at completing some field sketches of the cliff slumping and engineering methods before heading home and considered how the coast is shaped in places where there are no sea defences. Students commented that they had really enjoyed a day outside the classroom and that seeing the landscapes and processes for themselves was an invaluable learning experience.”

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