Bedales geographers trek through Morocco

30 Block 4 (year 10) geographers from Bedales School departed for Marrakesh on 2 January for an eight day tour of Morocco, following on from the great success of last year’s visit.

Bedales School
The purpose of the week was entirely experiential. It was not a typical geography field trip with wellington boots, clinometers and beach profiling, but instead it was an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the culture in which they lived for the week.
Covering such a great distance on the trip, the group stayed in a different location every night. The students had the chance to practise their French, learn some Arabic and Berber; sample the huge range of tagines and dishes on offer; and to watch and feel as the landscape changed from warm Mediterranean climes to the cold rugged mountains of the High Atlas before finally embarking on the plateau and desert pavements out to the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi in time for a night under the stars in a desert camp.
Commenting on the visit, Kirsty Layton, Head of Geography said:
“Hearing the ‘eureka’ moments come over the course of the week is one of the many reasons we do this trip: trekking along the Dades Valley as the sun rises, through gorse like bushes with no leaves, talking about why species have to adapt to this harsh environment; fossil hunting along the way through the Jurassic sediments full of coral, bivalves and ammonites – to the chorus of ‘this is real Geography!’; finding bottles of frozen water in the morning enabling our students to accept that the temperature plummets at night time in the desert (backed up by the temperature logs of 18°C at 4pm and -6°C at 3am); and riding camels for an hour over the dunes at sunrise towards the Kasbah that has breakfast… all in the name of Geography!
“This experience really allows the students to take learning to a new level, developing their own take on the culture, accepting the degrees of social difference between the UK and Morocco, and also building an understanding of what changes could and should arise in the future.”

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music school. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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