Investigating the ‘Outdoor Classroom’ at Epping Forest

Form 6 pupils were eager to get their hands dirty and wade into the river, despite the heavy rain, when they visited Epping Forest Field Centre, a Special Area of Conservation. Head of Geography, Mr David Palmer, explained “we practised working together in groups, learned about delegation of tasks, our role of responsibility to the group as a whole and how to sustain interest and high quality work in inhospitable surroundings, whilst also learning about the changing course of rivers”.

The young geographers were encouraged to get thoroughly muddy as they studied the source of Loughton Brook at the Essex centre. One Form 6 pupil explained that the purpose of their visit was to “investigate the changes in the characteristics of a river” and this included getting to know little river creatures at close proximity, as the pupils measured the width, depth and velocity of the river, as well as changes in its load.

Mr Palmer explained, “While we learnt all about rivers and how they change over their course, we practised working together in groups, learnt about delegation of tasks and our role of responsibility to the group as a whole, about sustaining interest and high quality work in inhospitable surroundings.”