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Coombes Girls School

Geography Trip to Slapton

Studying Geography at Coombe Sixth Form provides many opportunities for students to take part in fieldwork and the trip to Slapton, Devon, is one of the many highlights throughout the year.

The main aim of this trip was to begin developing skills for completing the Year 12 and 13 independent projects. This project involves choosing a concept to focus on, ‘Identity of a Place, for example, and exploring this issue by gathering primary and secondary evidence based on a series of 3 key questions. This project is really effective preparation for University research.

During their time in Slapton students looked at a variety of relevant field sites such as urban regeneration in Plymouth, the moisture of soil and carbon storage in an Ancient woodland and management of erosion three contrasting beaches. 

After a 6 hour journey, the students arrived safe and well to meet the instructor who would be guiding them for the rest of their stay. After setting out the plan for the coming days, the group settled into their accommodation, used the game room and had their first Slapton supper together.

Plymouth was the destination for the first morning, where students were looking at regeneration and it was clear how different parts of the city, such as the docks, have been updated and modernised through extensive funding.

The next day involved a cliff top 8km walk through the pouring rain, stopping at beaches to assess the effects of erosion, coastal management and how the local population was affected.

Data was collected on the gradient of beaches, rocks were collected as samples to analyse and layers of geology in the cliffs were noted.

Following this, the group looked at water filtration on site at the Field Studies Centre whilst collecting data and analysing rainfall, water-logging and how different soils coped with water.

Finally, a trip to the village of Slapton provided information on the challenges faced by quiet rural villages and how holiday homes are having an impact. The group ended the expedition by going to Totnes, a unique town with many independent shops to independently gather their own data, making the first steps in their projects.

Mr Odling and Ms Darney would like to say ‘Thank you’ to the year 12s who were such good fun, worked hard all week and were especially competitive in the quiz and Slapton Olympic challenge.

Two Year 12s commented on the trip:


I really loved it! I thought it was really good for broadening my understanding of Geography and deepening my appreciation for it as I saw how Geography manifests itself in the real word in many different and interesting ways. I managed to record some data but I’m not quite sure what my project will be yet exactly.


The different places we visited were very contrasting to New Malden and Kingston and were fascinating to learn about. We used different types of data collection on the high streets to calculate footfall, deprivation and clone town shops. 

It was really interesting as we learnt that the food was sourced and produced locally and every evening we were told how much carbon our meal produced. Overall, I had a really fun time in Slapton and I learnt so much new and exciting information.