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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:47 pm
Posts: 464
Location: South Bucks
We received a letter about an expensive trip for child doing GCSE Geography

First there is this bit that seems to say that it is a really important trip:

Quote:
We will be collecting data on the trip which the students will then process and use to write up their coursework with. This is worth 25% of their final mark in the GCSE. The overwhelming advantage of this field trip for students is that apart from the interest generated by their outdoor experience of practical Geography, they can learn and consolidate the skills necessary to produce coursework of the highest standard, in a time efficient manner.


But then comes this bit that indicates that it is just an "optional extra":

Quote:
This educational visit is not a compulsory part of the school syllabus and is offered as an optional extra


How can it be both?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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It can't be both ... they do need to collect data for their coursework.

What alternative is being offered for those who can't afford it? I have often thought that Geography coursework should be done locally to the school or the trip paid for by the school as it's as essential part of the course! One reason we rejected Geography as a GCSE ... colouring pencils are expensive :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:12 pm 
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Location: South Bucks
No alternative offered. Presumably they will give a copy of the data collected to those who don't go, though if this is sufficient then why the expensive trip? :roll:

This trip is 15 x more expensive that the GCSE Geog field trip organised by a nearby, high achieving, school


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:18 pm 
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Most Bucks GS stay in the UK so I'm not sure why your DC's school visit is so expensive; perhaps the teachers prefer somewhere exotic? :shock:

It will be hard to explain collection of data if they are not there and it will be 'secondary data' as they have not collected it themselves. I think it might be hard to get a high mark without going but I'm not a Geog teacher and I would be straight into the school to get them to justify this expense. This expense should have been made clear at Options time ...


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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The second bit sounds like them covering their backs because state schools aren't allowed to charge for compulsory activities.

Best practice is to make things like this clear to parents before students choose their options.
At least you should be given sufficient warning to be able to save up/ pay in installments if you wish to.
I would go and see the head of department to find out how your DC would approach the course work if they don't do the trip.
Also making clear if necessary that since it's not part of the school day they have a responsibilty to provide sufficient support and guidance within the classroom.
And also, assuming this isn't the first year of the trip, what proportion of students don't go.

When my DCs did this sometime ago each student worked independently ( so it can be done!) but there seems to gave been a trend for the class to do data collection en mass.

Without all the facts I'm jumping to conclusions but it sniffs of the school finding a way to reduce the workload of staff by getting parents to pay for this trip ( assuming since its expensive its to a study centre?)
The trip may well be to the benefit of the children if it helps them get the course work done efficiently- it can be very time consuming - so I'm not suggesting its a waste of time but it does sound like poor management that you weren't made aware sooner.

Once you have details you might find you can spend less money and have a family trip out to acheive similar results.

I hope you manage to sort it out.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:08 pm 
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Location: South Bucks
The trip in question is just over £300 and is 3 days 2 nights in Wales. Apparently there is an even more expensive overseas History trip on the horizon as well. Last year same child had to miss out on a French trip to France (over £400). It is a school in a very affluent area where many parents used to spend this every week on their child's independent primary school education.

My older child attends a school in a less wealthy area and their GCSE field trip was a day trip costing £20. They learned a lot, collected lots of data and did a lot of work with that data. If a £20 day trip does the job at GCSE then it should be a £20 day trip (they did VERY well at GCSE). It was only at AS level that they went on a longer, more involved trip which was 4 days 3 nights for about £270 (it was a hugely successful trip)

I do think they are just trying to cover their backs with the wording.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:59 pm
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drummer, my DS went to a well thought of GS in south Bucks and his geography GCSE coursework entailed wading around a local river followed by an ill-advised short cut through a field of what they thought were cows…

Admittedly there was an expensive field trip for A level geography, but we warned about that at options evening.

Is it even possible to spend £300 in 3 days in Wales? :D


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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local GS AS geography trip was about 30 miles away measuring river levels and cost < £10 and lasted one day , the GCSE trip was the inevitable Malham jaunt - one day and about £7.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:47 pm
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Location: South Bucks
Rob Clark wrote:
his geography GCSE coursework entailed wading around a local river followed by an ill-advised short cut through a field of what they thought were cows…


Quality experience which will serve to guide them for years! :D

Rob Clark wrote:
Is it even possible to spend £300 in 3 days in Wales? :D


:lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
Out of Interest I looked at DDs school website, as geog is looking like her first choice when picking humanities gcse options next year.
They do a day field trip in year 10. (They do one in year 9 too, seems to involve wading I to the river Chess when the water level is higher than your wellies)

I'm sure if a residential trip is compulsory then the school should at least subsidise it?

Rob, perhaps they needed a biology field trip instead? :lol:


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