Worldwise Challenge 2012
Worldwise Challenge: FSC Blencathra, 11-13 May 2012
We had a bright and breezy weekend for the 42 students and 14 teachers attending the 2012 Worldwise Challenge at the FSC Blencathra Field Study Centre in the Lake District.
It was an excellent weekend made extra special as it was the last time the Challenge will take place at Blencathra for a while. Next year the competition will be moving to FSC Nettlecombe Court in Exmoor.
All the schools attending had been invited as a reward for their engagement and high levels of participation in a range of other Worldwise activities: the Local Quiz, the Online Quiz, My Places and Geography Awareness Week.
Their challenge for the weekend was to find out 'What makes the area around Blencathra a special place?'.
We started on Friday evening with ice breaker activities geared towards getting to know each other and finding out where everyone had travelled from. We then explored aspects of geography in the area and how a range of factors can combine to make a place special.
On Saturday the students undertook a range of fieldwork activities, involving exploration and discovery of the area around Blencathra. They gathered a variety of evidence for Blecathra's 'specialness' from visits to Low Bridge End Farm at St John's in the Vale and Castlerigg stone circle, and from an ascent of Latrigg that provided stunning views of Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite from one side and Blencathra mountain (or Saddleback as it is sometimes called) and Skiddaw from the other.
The winning teams
On Sunday morning each team gave a creative oral and visual presentation to a panel of judges comprising a combination of GA Worldwise volunteers and FSC staff.
The 14 teams competing in the 2012 Worldwise Challenge competition came from the following schools:
King Ecbert's School
Our Lady's Convent High School
Whitmore High School
The Thomas Hardye School
Stewart's Melville College
The overall winner of the 2012 Worldwise Challenge trophy was Reading School.
King Ecbert’s school from Sheffield received the award for best team in the field and the award for best presentation went to Our Lady's Convent School, Stamford Hill, London.
An additional FSC Blencathra prize for excellent individual performances over the weekend was also awarded to James Woolaghan from Reading School.
A great weekend had by all
As always the standard was extremely high from all schools taking part, and the weekend was agreed by all - the students, their teachers, the FSC staff and the GA team of volunteers - to be a fun, challenging and truly memorable occasion.
This is what some of the teachers had to say about the 2012 Worldwise Challenge:
'I think it was a very worthwhile experience for the pupils and promoted some good geographical thinking skills about the changing connections between people and place in a landscape over time'
'The pupils have been challenged and it was wonderful to see them rise to this independently'
'Having access to expert knowledge was superb'
Worldwise Challenge and FSC Partnership
The Field Studies Council (FSC) is a strategic partner of the Geographical Association and has generously supported Worldwise for eight years by hosting the annual Worldwise Challenge weekend at one of its field study centres, free of charge.
Since 2005 more than 500 young people and 110 teachers have participated in a weekend of fieldwork and presentations. They have experienced the awe and wonder of the geography of the Yorkshire Dales around Malham, the uniqueness of the landscapes around Box Hill, and the physical and human processes that form the geography of Blencathra.
Our strategic partnership brings together two educational charities with shared aims of bringing a greater understanding of our world. Through this shared interest in the pursuit of geography in the field we work together to promote excellent out-of-classroom activity as an essential part of geographical education.
The Worldwise Challenge event is the culmination of our work together around the FSC's vision 'Inspiring environmental understanding through first-hand experience' and this is reflected in the views of teachers and students:
'We feel privileged to have been invited. The students have had a fantastic time living and breathing geography, with experts on hand to support, advise and tease out geographical understanding.'
Report by John Lyon, Ruth Potts, Mark Higginbottom, Sue Lomas and Tim Foster
What better way to enthuse your students about geography than by giving them the opportunity to win a free weekend of field studies?
Worldwise incorporates a range of fun free-of-charge activities, and the more you and your students do, the greater your chances of winning a place at our Worldwise Challenge weekends funded by the Field Studies Council.
- Local Quiz: Our popular face-to-face quiz for teams of three (Years 8-10) - compete within your school or against others in your area
- Geography Awareness Week: A designated week in June each year for primary and secondary (including Post-16) students to undertake a range of activities on a geographical theme
- Online Quizzes: Online quiz questions in various formats for primary and secondary students accessed via the Worldwise website
- My Places: Primary and secondary (including Post-16) students upload images with accompanying text to explain why the place they have chosen is significant to them
Please note: some Worldwise activities require students to log in. As a teacher, you must first register your school on the site - you can do this here. After this has been completed students will be able to set up their own accounts - they can do this here. Registration is free and will give students access to their 'My Places', previous quiz scores and a printable Worldwise certificate.
The Field Studies Council (FSC) contributes to the success of Worldwise by providing free use of their field centres for the immensely popular Worldwise Challenge weekends. These events are truly memorable for all concerned and would not be possible without their generous support.
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