At the centre we are lucky to have access to superb locations and knowledgeable, passionate staff with the right expertise to run a number of more specialist courses. As ever, these courses are tailored to meet your needs and we are always happy to develop new materials and content as necessary
Environmental education is embedded in all of our courses, making the most of the opportunities for enriching the curriculum wherever possible. However, we are also able to offer specific fieldwork days, either as part of a more general week or a residential for exam groups. As such, we can support the national curriculum for Geography and Science/Biology, as well as incorporating maths where appropriate.
Fieldwork at KS2 is not compulsory, but a day in the field can help to introduce a topic and/or deliver content and ideas in a fraction of the time it would take in class.
River studies – Several rivers in the National Park lend themselves to helping to develop an understanding of how rivers change from source to mouth and the effect they have on the wider landscape. We can look at classic landforms and how they form and find out how they affect the way humans use the land.
Contrasting area studies – The local towns and villages offer a great contrast to urban settlements, allowing us to look at similarities and differences with any other locality studied. We can explore the local high street and residential areas and work out why they have developed the way they have.
Habitat studies – Again the local rivers offer a great opportunity for study, this time to illustrate life cycles and classification of invertebrates. This could involve comparison between different parts of the river, or concentrate on one location. Similar studies are possible in the ponds or other micro habitats on site, or in local woodlands.
At KS4 fieldwork is compulsory in the GCSE Geography and Biology curriculum, but also has the potential to aid teaching in related disciplines.
Two days of fieldwork are required in all syllabi for GCSE Geography, which are assessed through examination. We can offer fieldwork in a range of contrasting environments and all studies can be adapted and refined to suit the needs of each specification.
- Hydrology –downstream changes in river channel characteristics, flooding & flood management.
- Coastal processes & management.
- Glacial landscapes and landforms in the Brecon Beacons.
- Weather & climate –climatic variations in valleys, mountains, woodland/forest or urban environments.
- Rocks & Scenery –limestone landscapes, which could include caving.
- Biogeography – woodland, sand dunes, and moorland habitats.
- Tourism –the nature, and impact of tourism on a range of environments human and physical, either in the National Park, on the South Wales Coast, or in the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape
- Urban studies –investigations at a range of scales (Cardiff, Brecon, Abergavenny and Hereford are all nearby) into land-use, environmental quality, movement patterns, service and retail provision, regional inequality, regeneration, and the effects of industry.
- Rural studies –changes in agriculture, village land-use, rural inequality, the rural continuum, rural sustainability.
- Resources -renewable/non-renewable energy, water resources.
In GCSE biology, there is a requirement for a non-examined assessment practical that uses fieldwork to investigate differences in a habitat. We can offer fieldwork using quadrats and belt transects in sand dunes, rocky shore, woodland and moorland environments.
A-level geography has a requirement for 4 days of fieldwork, which can be used either as a way of providing case-studies, delivering content, or giving opportunities for training, or collecting data, for the NEA. Not all topics lend themselves to an NEA investigation, but opportunities include:
- Hydrology –downstream changes in river channel characteristics, flooding & flood management, meandering.
- Coastal processes & management –comparing management strategies, development on the coast, succession and management on sand dunes.
- Geohazards –managing risk from landslides
- Ice on the land –glacial landforms in the Brecon Beacons.
- Biogeography –human influence on woodland, sand dunes, and freshwater habitats, environmental degradation by industrial waste.
- Tourism –the nature, impact and management of tourism on a range of environments human and physical, either in the National Park, on the South Wales Coast, or in the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape
- Urban studies –investigations at a range of scales (Cardiff, Brecon, Abergavenny and Hereford are all nearby) into land-use, environmental quality, movement patterns, service and retail provision, regional inequality, urban rebranding, regeneration, and the effects of industry.
- Rural studies –changes in agriculture, changes in village land-use, rural inequality, rural rebranding, rural service provision, the rural continuum.
As well as the required practicals in sampling in fieldwork, which appears in a range of contexts in the specifications, a lot of the content concerning ecosystems, biodiversity, succession and populations can be covered in the field. Fieldwork on sand dunes, rocky shores, woodland, moorland and in freshwater are all possible, as well as smaller scale experiments at the centre.
For residential courses, the most suitable sport for GCSE P.E. is climbing. With a week at the centre, we can cover all of the content required to complete the syllabus in the sport, with opportunities for students to develop their skills and build their score. In this we benefit from having our own climbing wall on site, some excellent outdoor venues for learning and highly experienced, highly qualified and passionate staff.
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
We are an Approved Activity Provider for both the Expedition and Residential sections of Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. As such we run Gold Residentials at least once a year, typically taking the form of an activity week. We can also run training expeditions and supervise or assess qualifying expeditions, which be either land- or water-based. From time to time we also offer open expeditions that anyone can join.