Take advantage of the grounds at Holt Hall to develop geographical enquiry and communication. This whole day activity introduces students to a variety of fieldwork techniques within the topics of microclimate, soils and ecology. Working in groups, students are set the challenge of carrying out an investigative task and reporting their findings before the end of the day! This is aimed particularly at more able students (Young Gifted & Talented) but can be adapted to suit students of all abilities.
Variation and Classification
Investigate the abundance and diversity of invertebrates living in two contrasting locations, e.g. native and non-native shrubs. Students plan and carry out their own investigation and present their results to the rest of the group. Identification and classification are the background concepts while key skills include enquiry and communication.
Classification and Keys
How do we group living organisms? What features can we use? Students use keys to identify woodland invertebrates before creating their own dichotomous key from field observations. Comparisons between woodland and grassland sites can also lead to discussions about adaptations.
Plants are sometimes overlooked when considering adaptations. Students investigate the number of prickles on holly leaves. Are there more prickles on some parts of the tree than others? Students develop practical and enquiry skills.
The River Glaven
Changes in channel characteristics are considered as we travel from the source to the mouth of the River Glaven. Width, depth, velocity, wetted perimeter and bankfull measurements are taken to allow detailed analyses of river processes. Students are also encouraged to make careful field sketches of the river and surrounding landscape. Speed investigations and invertebrate sampling are optional and it is possible to visit a site of extensive river restoration where students are able to observe management techniques.
Living organisms are excellent indicators of environmental conditions. Is human activity affecting the environment? Students investigate the effect of Holt sewage treatment works on the invertebrate life of the River Glaven. Accurate data collection, including identification of invertebrates using keys, and analysis are essential for the task. Abiotic factors are also considered. Alternatively, investigate differences in air pollution levels through the distribution of lichens.
Cliffs along the North Norfolk coast are being rapidly eroded. The physical causes and consequences are observed. Students discuss coastal protection/management strategies and the socio-economic consequences of these. The information gathered during the session may form the basis of a mock debate.
Transportation and deposition of material by longshore shore drift have created a dramatic and dynamic feature on the North Norfolk coast in the form of Blakeney Spit. Students are encouraged to suggest hypotheses and methodologies. Typically this involves beach profiles, pebble analysis and wave surveys at two or three sites along the coast.
Local towns such as Holt, Cromer and Sheringham have undergone many changes over the years as a consequence of varying levels of tourism and its impact on traditional industries such as fishing. Students practise skills associated with urban studies such as land use/amenity surveys and questionnaires. Digital images can be used and taken to build a sense of place. Alternatively investigate whether Holt is a sustainable community. Is Holt a place you want to live now and in the future?
The project at Holt Hall has already engaged students from different educational backgrounds and community groups, helping to facilitate the development of horticultural, teamwork and interpersonal skills. We would be pleased to discuss ways in which this project may be integrated into your course programme.
Students are set the task of designing and building a raft which can be launched on the lake at Holt Hall. Team work is essential to this task as equipment and time is limited! Hard work and co-operation from all team members is vital for a successful and seaworthy vessel!
Survival and Campfire Cooking
Working in small teams, students must build a den and make sure it is warm, dry and camouflaged! Everyone will need to work together to survive this task! Follow this with learning to a build a camp fire and gutting and cooking fish!
Now Get Out Of That!
A series of group tasks designed to build co-operation and develop problem solving strategies. Teams will need to communicate and show initiative to be successful. Students are also encouraged to reflect on their teamwork: what worked well and how could things be improved next time?
Students undertake a series of short tasks and two permanent orienteering courses, in the grounds of Holt Hall, to improve their map reading and compass skills.