Geography & Geology

Geology enrichment experiences

Ingleton Falls, Yorkshire Dales

A study and investigation into the past geological processes that have formed the spectacular Thornton Force waterfall and the illustration of the immense time gaps involved in deposition and periods of mountain building and subsequent erosion.

Arran residential field visit

Our week long residential based on the beautiful and rugged Scottish Island concentrates on the volcanic processes that occurred 65 million years ago during the splitting of the European plate and African plates from the North and South American plates. This ever widening of the Atlantic Ocean still continues today and is superbly demonstrated by the rift valley of central Iceland and active outpouring of volcanic lava.

Salthill Geology Trail- Clitheroe, North Lancashire

If evidence was needed to support the theory of continental drift, then our very own fossil rich field visit to this unique site underlines the position of the UK some 350 million years ago at the equator.  Here we have a preserved fossil rich reef structure jam packed with organisms that thrive only in shallow, tropical marine conditions such as trilobites, crinoids, coral, brachiopods, bryozoans, goniatites and others. Fundamental principles of geology are put to the test and are investigated, as well as the development of student’s practical field techniques and skills.

Thurstaston field visit- Wirral Peninsula

A completely different perspective of the history of the UK is shown by the investigation of the arid red desert sandstone of the Triassic period that we encountered as the continental landmass the UK was part of, continued to drift northwards in an area that is now occupied by the Sahara desert of North Africa. The sandstone also has huge practical applications being used historically as building stone and a superb water bearing aquifer used by water companies and businesses, notably the Cains brewery in Liverpool.

Geography enrichment experiences


Iceland conjures up many emotions and arriving on this volcanic Island situated on the mid ocean ridge certainly does not disappoint. Huge tensional crevasses, boiling explosive geysers, active volcanoes, black landscapes, mountain glaciers and raging 100 metre waterfalls sets Iceland apart from just about any other place on Earth. The evidence of a huge plume of magma just below the surface is all too evident, yet enjoyment can be gained through the bathing in the hot thermal springs of the fabulous Blue Lagoon. Proximity to the Arctic Circle during the summer months provides the surreal experience of twenty four hour daylight, adding to this unique experience.

Holme Beck River, Kirkby Lonsdale

On this trip the student undertake their AS geography fieldwork. They investigate how channel characteristics change downstream, including channel width, pebble size, velocity and gradient. After the fieldwork has been complete we enjoy a walk along the River Lune, into the centre of Kirkby Lonsdale.


Lower sixth students gained their first taste for geology in the field by applying their newly acquired knowledge and skills to a Carboniferous sedimentary sequence. Here they identified the likely depositional environment of the Heysham Head sandstones and shales to be a tropical intertidal beach, evidenced by trace fossil worm burrows, skolithos and fossilised calamites (horsetail). Plate tectonic movement and crustal folding was also evidenced at low tide by a small but perfectly formed anticline, that demonstrated key components of structural geology such as limb dips, axial plane, oldest beds and the direction of maximum crustal force that folded this sequence after deposition had ceased.

Peel Energy Talk

A speaker from Peel Energy, a company at the forefront of developing renewable solutions for a low-carbon Britain, came to talk to students about his experiences and the viability of green energy careers. One of their current projects involves the design of a tidal energy barrier across the River Mersey.