Geography Overseas Learning Journey, Hong Kong
On 26th May 2012, a group of 32 Year 4/5 Geography enthusiasts and 3 teachers embarked on a learning journey to Hong Kong. This 6 days 5 nights Geography field studies trip was specially planned by the team of Geography teachers to suit the DHS Humanities Curriculum.
Contrary to the geographical imaginations of many, Hong Kong is not just a shopping and food paradise. The city-state also boasts of many world-class geological wonders. One of the highlights of the trip included spending 1.5 days visiting the Hong Kong Global Geopark of China, a unique natural area with special geological significance and geoheritage. Students traversed 4.6 billion years of geological history through exploration of the sedimentary and igneous rocks formation in the Geopark. The physical geography component was concluded with a visit to the Stephen Hui Geological Museum in The University of Hong Kong.
In the subsequent days, the students explored urban issues and challenge by first conducting a fieldwork study on the Central Business District in Hong Kong financial district and subsequently, an exploratory exercise on the theme of urban renewal along Shanghai Street. A vantage view from Victoria Peak gave students an opportunity to marvel at Hong Kong’s vibrant cityscape. In exploration of the globalisation theme, a visit to the Hong Kong stock exchange enabled students to gather insights into the flows of global capital and Hong Kong’s global city status. This was followed by an exploration of cultural globalisation when students got a glimpse into the backstage operations of Hong Kong Disneyland before they embarked on half a day of fun and joy rides in the resort. The final day was capped with a scenic cable car ride up Ngong Ping.
Every evening, debriefing sessions were conducted which allowed the Year 5 students to lead their Year 4 juniors in unpacking more abstract geographical concepts to answer an enquiry question. In the process, students consolidated their knowledge of the topic. Overall, this Hong Kong trip has infused in students a new passion for the subject and instilled a geographical eye and perspective to view the world’s diversity.
This is evident in the students’ reflections below:
The trip has given me the chance to see how geography applies to the world around us and enables me to use my knowledge of the subject in the real world. In every activity, there was either new content to be learnt, or case examples specific to Hong Kong to understand. The trip definitely achieved its goal in enhancing the understanding and supplementing the content learnt in class for me.
Chai Ning, 12Y5C24
Through the various themes, I am able to appreciate the place-specific landscapes in Hong Kong, such as the unique hexagonal columns for the physical aspect, the main urban issue of housing in Hong Kong’s cityscape, as well as the distinctive globalizing economic landscape of Hong Kong. Generally, it was an enjoyable experience – to be able to travel and see new and foreign things, and to be immensely enriched by the various visits and activities.
Cheryl Tay, 12Y4M
The trip forces us seniors to recall and revise what we have learnt in order to impart some background knowledge to our juniors. More importantly, the highlight of this trip is that we are able to observe with our own eyes the different natural landforms By having such close contact with the natural landscape and landforms, my interest in Geography is undoubtedly heightened. The debrief sessions at the end of the day are especially useful as they help me to consolidate my thoughts and the knowledge we have acquired.
Chua Zong Xuan, 12Y5C35