Leading fieldwork can be a daunting task, just how much freedom can be achieved? How does one plan and analyse student ideas into a manageable study? What are the benefits of ‘’short and sweet’’ v ‘’longer is stronger’’? How to do fieldwork ‘on the cheap’ and still get outstanding results?

This course will help you to remove the trepidation in running your own trips and increase your confidence so that you can solve many of the potential issues as they arise (so long as you plan well in advance).


  • Breaking down what it takes to run a fieldtrip for the NEA
  • Making light work of the dreaded risk assessments
  • Learning lessons about constraint and manageability
  • Building on what is there: using what you’ve got
  • Where and how to benefit from innovation and ‘different’ studies
  • The need to let students off the leash.
  • Materials will be provided to help teachers to cover the content in innovative and student-friendly ways that push the highest ability students
  • Suitable for all specifications
COURSE DATE London | Monday 6 December 2021
  • Heads of Department (Geography)
  • Lead Geography Teachers
  • Teachers who want to be more adventurous with their fieldwork provision
  • Teachers leading trips for the first time
  • NQT’s
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues


10.00 – 10.40am
Dealing with the paperwork and explaining the choice

Often, the most problematic part of the study can be one of a number of aspects. Dealing with extremely detailed paperwork, lacking the confidence to allow students to use the specification to their benefit and giving them freedom, taking simple routes to minimise space for accident, imposter syndrome at the idea of being qualified enough to run trips safely and having the right ratio of staff to students are a perennial problems for all.

This part of the course is aimed at addressing the major concerns that teachers have with fieldtrips and how to deal with the inevitable problems that will arise.

  • Getting onside with the people that sign off trips
  • What skills should I have before we start?
  • Residential or day trips, the costs and benefits
  • Who pays?
  • Getting students to understand that less can be significantly more
  • What are the possibilities? – I can allow them full access to the specification
  • Choice can be good for them but bad for you
  • Why does everyone do Regeneration?

10.40 – 11.00am: Discussion P.1

11.00 – 12.30pm
Getting the risk assessments done and the inevitable ‘what if?’

Running a fieldtrip for the independent investigation can lead to all sorts of headaches that most teachers can do without but we must remember always the dividends it pays come exam time and that the experience can stay with them for the rest of their lives. Avoiding simple errors can solve many of the issues. Arguing your justification with senior management in some schools/ colleges can be one of the biggest issues for teachers. Some practical help here will hopefully benefit everyone.

  • Leaving students or staying with them?
  • What happens when something goes wrong
  • Collaboration or independence
  • Dealing with the weather
  • College or school investment in better grades
  • Fulfilling the criteria of the mark scheme
  • Fieldwork on the ‘cheap’

12.30 – 1.30pm: Lunch

1.30 – 2.10pm
The Introduction, Methodology and Evaluation

The layout of coursework for students is left purposefully vague and this often means students don’t know where to start having had something thrown at them that they often do not have the cultural capital or experience to deal with. This is a massive learning curve for all. How can I help when I am not allowed to help?

  • What is the expectation, getting the layout right
  • How can students stand out
  • Getting the methods right
  • Why students struggle to get started
  • If a student invests then the ‘pay-out’ can be significantly higher
  • Setting a mark scheme that students can understand

2.10 – 2.30pm: Discussion P.2

2.30 – 3.10pm
Evaluation and Conclusions

Often the biggest mark tariff and a chance for a student to really get a grip of analysing and assessing the work they’ve done. Students will learn to understand being wrong can be a good learning curve

  • When the writing starts and panic sets in
  • Consolidating and understanding what they have done
  • How to see a silver lining on a every cloud
  • What have we learnt from the experience
  • Evidence means more than anything else.

3.10 – 3.30pm
Plenary & Concluding Discussion

James Foster

James has been Head of Geography at Xaverian Sixth Form, Manchester College for over nine years. He has been a senior examiner since 2010 and worked on both the 2008 and the 2016 specifications, specifically the human and physical papers and AS Physical paper. He has been a Chartered Geographer since 2012 in recognition of his work and has written extensively for both Edexcel and GeoFactfsheet. Additionally, he is a reviewer on Routesjounal.org, an online journal which aims to showcase the best abilities of A-level and undergraduate students.