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The Society is delighted to once again be supporting primary and secondary school students undertaking fieldwork through the Frederick Soddy Schools Award.

The scheme, which forms part of the Frederick Soddy Awards and is generously supported by the Frederick Soddy Trust, offers annual grants of up to £600 to UK and Irish schools to support field trips with an element of human geography. The grants aim to enable students to gain the valuable experience provided by fieldwork, regardless of background and circumstances.

One of the seven schools in receipt of a grant this year is Barrhead High School in Glasgow. Through the scheme’s support, the school’s S3 geography students (aged 13-15) will embark on fieldwork to explore conflicts within Loch Lomond National Park and solutions to address them – a trip that will form part of the National 5 Geography exam. The pupils will conduct traffic surveys and questionnaires to understand more about the challenges facing locals and visitors to the busy site.

Philip Nelson, project leader and teacher at Barrhead High School, said of the Award:

“The last three years have been a very challenging time for a lot of learners that I have worked with. Lockdown learning from home, face masks in classrooms, unable at times to see friends and family, it has taken its toll in a variety of ways. Combined now with the cost of living crisis, our young people continue to be challenged on a daily basis.

“The subject of geography is more relevant now than it has ever been, but it has suffered recently in one area in particular, which was the cancellation of field trips due to the COVID restrictions. For a lot of the learners in Barrhead High School, they have never been on a geography field trip in their life.

“The Frederick Soddy Schools Award is enabling an entire year group of geographers to embark on their first experience of outside learning away from the school grounds to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. As well as upskilling their geographical skills, these trips are also important for health and wellbeing. Learners taking in the fresh air and the natural beauty of a fantastic national park, can only be a positive.

“These field trips are things they remember when they leave school, helping to contextualise their learning and they also inspire future generations of geographers. This grant will no doubt help to inspire more geographers!”

Congratulations to this year’s recipients:

  • Barrhead High School – Loch Lomond field trip

  • Hillhead Primary School – Ardentinny residential trip

  • Reading Blue Coat School – A Level fieldwork in Carlisle: coasts, hydrology and fluvial geomorphology

  • Glade Primary School – Cambridge field trip

  • Heworth CE Primary – fieldwork study

  • Foxyards Academy – lower Key Stage 2 geography fieldwork, Carding Mill Valley

  • Leopold Primary – Year 3 visit, River Thames and complete workshop

Find out more about the grants for schools awarded by the Society.

Grants for schools