Bio & Geo, Aberdeen
Together with three teachers, thirty-one Year 3 and 4 students embarked on a Biology-Geography Overseas Learning Journey to the United Kingdom from 2nd to 11th June 2013. The main objective of this trip is to deepen students’ understanding of biological and geographical concepts through the exposure to authentic fieldwork processes, an opportunity that is hard to come by in urban Singapore.
We spent the first four days of the learning journey at the Orielton Field Studies Council in Pembrokeshire, Wales. There was much interesting fieldwork done including a transactional study on plant succession along the sand dunes at Freshwater West, coastal cliff top trek along the Stackpole coastline, marine processes and human intervention at Saunderfoot’s Bay and even getting into the river channel of Afon Syfynwy at the upper and middle course sections to conduct hydrological and biological studies. It was truly a fulfilling experience at the centre as each day, we would conduct fieldwork in the morning and afternoon, and in the evening, our facilitator, Martha, would guide us on how to process and present the data. Concepts and knowledge that we learnt in class were brought to life as we explored and experienced them through the fieldwork.
After bidding picturesque Wales farewell, we continued our UK journey towards Oxford and London.
In Oxford, we visited the University of Oxford, the oldest surviving university in UK, where we marvelled at the breath-taking sights where famous authors and politicians once studied and where box-office hits like Harry Potter set their scenes for Hogwarts. We had the opportunity to take the underground train in London, known as the Tube and explored Covent Garden and Oxford Street on our own. We also went on a city tour to visit the famous landmarks such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace.
Just before we left, we visited the soon-to-be Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to learn more about the process of urban renewal in the Stratford area and the economic, social and environmental factors and impacts it faces due to the recent London Olympics.
On this trip, we learnt to be more independent and also to take of others. All in all, we had a wonderful time and forged meaningful friendships on this trip.
Below are some of the reflections from the students who went for the trip:
“The part of the fieldtrip that I enjoyed the most would be the stay at Orielton Field Studies Centre where we did fieldwork at the beaches, sand dunes and rivers. I had the opportunity to handle various equipment and collect data in order to prove theories and hypotheses, hence gaining more in-depth knowledge of those geological aspects. The thing that made it fun was that the fieldwork was based on our independent learning and exploration and really allowed us to do hands-on investigations to prove hypotheses that we came up by ourselves.”
13Y3J Ong Yuki
“The ten days passed by in a flash, as though it had all been an amazing dream, but the times we spent in the UK are memories that I will treasure for the years to come. I am extremely thankful for this opportunity to witness Nature’s majesty in person, to understand the relationship between Man and his environment, and appreciate the transience of our ever-changing landscape.”
13Y4E Joey Wong
“This trip has provided a well-rounded education not limited to Biology or Geography aspects of education but it also enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of other aspects such as the history and culture of UK. The trip had definitely fulfilled dual purposes; as a rewarding educational experience and not to forget, a relaxing post-exam getaway as we got to enjoy breath taking sceneries, watches a musical, and walk along the streets of England’s capital city, London.”
13Y4E Clara Soo
“Irreplaceable and enriching are how I would sum up my thoughts for this trip. This trip has truly been enjoyable yet at the same time, beneficial for me through the strong bonds fostered within the people that embarked on this trip together and the many learning opportunities that were offered. It has enabled me to better appreciate the beauty of Geography and Biology through real life fieldwork and at the same time, applying concrete knowledge learnt from the classroom.”
13Y4D Yong Kit Yuan