building a castle

North Wales Geography Trip

Last Friday Year 8 students with an interest in history and geography took a trip to North Wales. Although a very wet day, the weather didn’t dampen their enthusiasm. Students headed on a quarry tour to learn about sedimentary rock formation and had the opportunity to search for treasure…well in the shape of fool’s gold, granite and slate.

Our group turned out to be budding geologists asking the ex-slate miners many questions about rock formations such as why there are very few fossils in slate and why there was so much piled high around the mine.

Students then went back in time, imagining the mines during the Industrial Revolution where Welsh miners would walk to work and use hand tools to quarry slate. They got the chance to use hand drills and climb the chains and listened to three personal stories of the Welsh miners.

Our cohort were also taught the two main rules of mining ‘no women in the mines’ and ‘no whistling’ as both were considered bad luck likely to bring the devil.

Later on Thursday the group travelled to Padarn National Park and travelled on the LLanberis steam railway before heading to our accommodation at Tyn-Y-Felin. Students enjoyed a pyjama party and film night watching ‘Fantastic Beasts and where to find them’.

On Friday the group headed to Beaumaris to visit the Medieval Castle. Students learnt about concentric stone castles and the purpose of them before then working as a team to build a replica castle out of foam blocks.

Finally students scaled the upper turrets of the castle and had a beautiful if not windy view over the pier and sea.

Year 8 were not the only students to visit North Wales however, Year 12 students also recently undertook their A level geography field trip to assist in their studies.

Year 12 went to five different locations during their visit including Criccieth and Aberffraw on Anglesey. The students are now ready to plan their own investigation in year 13 which will count for 20% of their final mark.