Many of our field courses are based in the coastal town of Southwold in Suffolk – here we use the spacious facilities of the summer theatre at St Edmunds Hall in the heart of the town to start all field courses and depending on the itinerary of the day, will return here for data interpretation, GIS and plenary sessions.
The theatre is located next to the famous Adnams brewery, 2 minutes walk from the beach and 3 minutes to the town centre. The theatre is equipped with toilets, seating, tables, large high-quality presentation equipment and disabled access.
For courses in most other locations we use similar spaces, including church halls and even a rugby club to deliver some of our tuition. The arrangements of which will be made clear to you depending on the course and location of your booking.
Our A-level classroom
Over the winter of 2017 we refurbished and redesigned our A level classroom. We’ve created a high-spec, modern and bright teaching space which is ideal for smaller groups of older students. The room is equipped with laptops which enable students to design their own bespoke fieldwork booklets and also trial formats of digital presentation such as ArcGIS.
Our retro drop-down hatch connects the classroom to a small kitchenette, where students (and teachers) can serve up tea, coffee and cake!
Head Tutor – Chris Webster
Chris is a former head of Geography at a large high school and sixth form in Suffolk. The Geography department here has developed into one of the most successful in the county, it was ranked by Oxford Analytics as 22nd nationally in 2015 on overall ‘progress added’ to GCSE students and has achieved in the Top 10% of progress added for A-level students with ALPS scores of 2 and 3 consistently.
Chris is a current GCSE and A-level examiner and has kept abreast of the changes to not only the Geography curriculum but also the changing demands of the fieldwork requirements across the key stages. Fieldwork and GIS are his passions!
Chris has overseen the development of all the courses we have created, he has formed relationships with key partners including the Environment Agency and Adnams and is driven by the ambition to be able to provide high quality fieldwork courses at affordable prices.
Our Geography Fieldworkers
All courses will be led and delivered by a trained and experienced
Geography teacher, our team includes Andy, Rona and Pete.
What we do
A successful field course requires lots of thought and logistical planning. Where will we go? How will we get there? Where will we park? Where can the students go to the toilet? What if it rains? Where will we hide if that black cloud turns out to be thunder and lightning!? That’s before you have even considered what issues you will investigate; how will students collect their data, have you got all the necessary equipment? Will the methods used generate appropriate data which can be interpreted and presented? And... does the investigation link with the new curriculum!! Above all, you hope that your fieldtrip is educational and engaging for your students!!
The Geography Fieldwork Academy is here to help. We organise and deliver high quality field courses for KS3, GCSE, AS and for the new NEA at A-level.
All our field courses are linked to the new curriculum and are tailored to the requirements of each specific exam board. We use local partners to develop unique courses which break from the norm, including our sustainable energy course with Adnams brewery. We work with the Environment Agency to build an archive of secondary data and together with local accommodation providers attempt to offer not only affordable day courses, but the best value residential packages for groups staying longer.
We provide follow-up assessments at KS3, detailed A3 summary organiser sheets for all GCSE courses and at A-level, students are able to customise their own data collection methods and fieldwork booklets before their field course and benefit from a range of NEA support materials, including an example study.
We aim to provide an alternative fieldwork option for teachers and their students.
As existing teachers ourselves, we know how expensive field courses can be, and how increasingly difficult it is justifying these costs to students and their parents. By renting the facilities which we use we keep our overheads lower than other fieldwork providers nationally. Furthermore, our team includes active qualified geography teachers, which ensure we have the experience to pitch our courses and accompanying resources at the right level with a focus on engagement and accessibility for all learners, whilst our roles as exam markers also helps to provide a valuable insight into what is required from a fieldwork aspect.
We also aim to benefit the town of Southwold;
We have received great support from the local community since our launch and continue to work with both the local Southwold town and Waveney district councils to help meet the goals outlined by the Southwold Coastal Community Team: Economic Plan, which aims to boost the local economy by;
- Encouraging local partnerships – by continuing to work with local accommodation providers, the Adnams Sustainability team, The Environment Agency Coastal Management and Flood Risk team, Broads Tours and the Southwold Arts Centre Summer theatre.
- Diversifying the local economy – by helping to broaden the focus of visitors to the town we aim to help reduce the reliance on the seasonal tourist influx, benefiting the high street and other local businesses.
- Providing training and upskilling for local young adults – by proactively employing local apprentices to support our tuition we benefit the local employment pool and economy.
We are currently in negotiations to secure an appropriate site within Southwold to provide affordable bunk-style accommodation. We aim to help encourage the sustainable use of local heritage and cultural assets to provide a focus for community activities and enhanced economic opportunities. Watch this space!!