Calshot Activities Centre

Key Stage 5

Field Studies for AS and A level students are tailored to each courses specification and exam board.

'A' Level students completing a transect
The course may focus on methods and investigative skills in order to prepare the students for exam questions, or it may form part or all of students coursework.

Each programme is individually written with your input to ensure that the aims of your visit are met to a high standard. All sessions are taught by our experienced, graduate tutors. In the evenings follow up work usually takes the form of statistical analysis, and evaluating the methods used, which is delivered by our tutors.

The duration of these courses will be arranged when booking, but usually they run from 3 – 5 days. We do also offer one day field studies courses if that suits you better.

Programmes for Field Studies only courses do not usually contain Landsports and the focus is on academic achievement. If you would like to talk about the possibility of adding some land sports to a programme, perhaps as an evening session or a reward at the end of the week, then please speak to our bookings staff who can go through the options with you.

We understand that AS and A2 groups may require a different focus from studies, if you would like us to adapt any of our studies or provide alternatives please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Fluvial Geomorphology

River Lymington (4 + 1) or (6 + 1)

To investigate changes in a river system as it flows from source to mouth

8 site source to mouth river study sampling; width, depth, wetted perimeter, velocity, pebble size and shape and channel cross-section. Option of also recording; bank full width, depth and wetted perimeter, environmental conditions bi-polar survey and field sketches.  On return to the centre using our Dell latitude lap-tops data will be analysed. Hydraulic radius, river discharge and cross-sectional area will be calculated. Cross-sectional profiles of all 8 sites will be drawn. There is also the option of further analysing some of the data using Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient.

For each group to visit all 8 study sites requires 6 sessions plus 1 evening session. If limited on time the study can be completed in 4 sessions with 1 evening session by groups ‘leap-frogging’ sites and pooling data, each group would record data at 4 sites.

Study sites 1 and 2 require up to an hour of driving (traffic dependent) however the river characteristics seen on this river are excellent.

River Darkwater (4 + 1)

To investigate changes in a river system as it flows from source to mouth.

An 8 or 4 site source to mouth river study sampling; width, depth, wetted perimeter, velocity, pebble size and shape and channel cross-section. Option of also recording; bank full width, depth and wetted perimeter, environmental conditions bi-polar survey and field sketches.  On return to the centre using our Dell latitude lap-tops data will be analysed. Hydraulic radius, river discharge and cross-sectional area will be calculated. Cross-sectional profiles of all 8 sites will be drawn. There is also the option of further analysing some of the data using Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient.

For all 8 sites to be sampled in one day, groups would need to ‘leap-frog’ sites. They would collect data from 4 sites each and pool the data. The 4 site study is a good option if short on time.

Although closer to the centre the river Darkwater does not have the excellent examples of river characteristics seen on the river Lymington.

Coastal Studies

Coastal Management (4 + 1)

To investigate the coastal processes and management strategies of a stretch of coastline

Starting at Naish Farm, Barton-on-Sea, 6 sites will be visited and analysed. At each site one of our tutors will give an informed talk about the history, processes and management of the area. The students will work individually to complete a bi-polar environmental quality survey, coastal management questionnaire and produce an annotated field sketch. On return to the centre the students will get into small groups to put the knowledge they have gained throughout the day into practice. Using GEOPACKS Coastal Manager programme they will manage a stretch of coast line over a simulated period of 10 years. An alternative follow up is a discussion of coastal management issues. Students take on the roles of different community members and put their opinions about coastal management forward in a formal debate chaired by tutors and school staff.

Coastal Geomorphology (4 + 1) or (2 + 1)

To investigate the coastal processes and landforms of Stanswood Bay

We are perfectly placed for this study as the centre is situated on Calshot Spit. Students will track the geomorphic changes of Stanswood Bay. Starting at Cadland Cliffs students will record; beach shape, pebble shape and size, wind and wave data, groyne effectiveness and make annotated field sketches at each site. 5 sites can be studied to record changes from the cliffs to the spit. The follow up will enable the students to analyse their data graphically. Mann-Whitney U statistical test could also be run on some of the data.

Coastal Conflict at Dibden Bay (4)

To investigate the economic benefits and environmental costs in developing Southampton’s Ports

Looking at the current ABP port and the proposed site at Dibden Bay from Hythe Marina, groups will complete bi-polar environmental surveys, environmental impact assessments and a conflict matrix to investigate the pro’s and con’s of this controversial proposal. Tutors will give an introduction into Southampton Port history and outline the proposals for Dibden Bay. The students will be involved in a short discussion of the costs and benefits before leaving for Hythe. On return to the centre a formal discussion chaired by Tutors and School staff will be set up. The students will take on the role of various people who would be affected by the development.

Succession

Heathland Biogeography (4 + 1)

To investigate the biotic and abiotic changes down a heathland slope

Study the changing vegetation and associated abiotic factors of this New Forest Heathland slope. The vegetation will be sampled using 50cm x 50cm quadrats, the terrain will be profiled and a variety of abiotic factors, including soil, will be recorded along a 60m transect. Analysis of the data will be in the form of kite diagrams which can either be drawn on our custom-made excel spreadsheet using our Dell latitude lap-tops or by hand on A1 graph paper. The evening session will include statistically testing the data using Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient and taking a look at how to interpret the kite diagrams.

Psammosere Succession (4 + 2) or (8 + 2)

To investigate changes across a sand dune system, looking at succession and dune morphology.

Please note; This study takes place at Studland National Nature Reserve which is a 2hr drive from the centre.

Study the changing vegetation and associated abiotic factors of this famous sand dune system. The vegetation will be sampled using 50cm x 50cm quadrats, the terrain will be profiled and a variety of abiotic factors, including soil, will be recorded along the transect. Analysis of the data will be in the form of kite diagrams which can either be drawn on our custom-made excel spreadsheet using our Dell latitude lap-tops or by hand on A1 graph paper. The night before the study an evening session will be used for the introduction and methods for the study, this allows the group to leave at 9am the next morning. The second evening session will include statistically testing the data using Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient and taking a look at how to interpret the kite diagrams.

An alternative Halosere Succession study situated close to the centre is available for small groups, please enquire if you feel your group could benefit from this.

Human Geography

Marchwood Vs Lyndhurst Settlement Study (4) or (2)

A comparison of a rural/urban fringe (urban shadow) and rural settlement, looking at implications for social welfare.

Starting by looking at the urban-rural continuum, students will consider the changes that occur physically and socially as distance from an urban centre increases. They will head out to two very different Hampshire settlements and record; land use, house age and type, local provisions, facilities and transportation links. They will also assess the abundance and quality of provisions, complete an environmental quality survey and assess pollution. The follow up session will look at how best to display the data and how to draw information from it. Limitations and health and safety of this type of study can also be discussed.

This study can be completed in a morning without any follow up or by looking at one settlement for methods only.

This study can also be converted to a tourism study by changing the focus.

Lymington, a case study (4) or (2)

To investigate whether Lymington is a New Forest ‘urban centre’

Using Lymington as a case study, students will investigate; land use, service provisions, local facilities, transportation links, environmental quality and pollution. They will consider the demographic make-up of the town, look into tourist Vs local facilities and try to answer the question; within the New Forest does Lymington provide enough services to be considered an urban centre? The follow up will consist of ways to display data and interpretation of results leading to a discussion of the question.

Southampton Urban Re-branding (4 +1)

To look at urban re-branding in different locations within the city.

Visiting up to 8 sites within the city students look at how re-branding and regeneration are having an impact on the look of the city. Using field sketches and descriptions, car age, traffic and pedestrian counts, environmental quality, crime perception and built environment surveys students will analyse each area ‘’’

 

River Ecology

River Darkwater, River Lymington or Bartley Water (4 + 1)

To investigate the distribution and abundance of freshwater invertebrates in a New Forest stream.

River biota will be sampled using the kick sampling method and identified using a mixture of dichotomous and picture keys. Some abiotic readings will also be taken. Samples will be taken from either pools and riffles or different sites. The groups results will be pooled using analysis spreadsheets on our Dell Latitude lap-tops. The data will be used to calculate species richness, species diversity and to assess how clean the water is using the BMWP score. In the evening session the Chi-squared goodness of fit test will be used to further analyse the data collected.

We are able to use 3 different sites for this study enabling us to record sufficient data without greatly effecting the local environment.

Marine Studies

Sub-littoral Ecology (2)

To investigate seaweeds and marine fauna found in Southampton Water

Using our 8.5m trawling boat, Naiad, students are able to collect and sort seaweeds and fauna found at the bottom of Southampton Water and plankton floating at the surface. The follow up allows students to use their classification skills to create their own dichotomous keys which the other students will then use. This study creates a great opening for discussions on the ethics of fishing and marine habitat protection.

Littoral Ecology (2)

To investigate the species found on two different beach types, sheltered and exposed

Students will begin by identifying problems faced by beach living organisms and thinking about how they have adapted to life in such a harsh environment. Using the ACFOR abundance scale data will be collected from a 10m x 10m sample area on both a sheltered and exposed beach. Data collected can be pooled and used to run a Chi-squared goodness of fit test. Students are encouraged to discover reasons behind any patterns found using either our own fact files or through a group discussion at the end of the session.

Succession

Heathland Biogeography (4 + 1)

To investigate the biotic and abiotic changes down a heathland slope

Study the changing vegetation and associated abiotic factors of this New Forest Heathland slope. The vegetation will be sampled using 50cm x 50cm quadrats, the terrain will be profiled and a variety of abiotic factors, including soil, will be recorded along a 60m transect. Analysis of the data will be in the form of kite diagrams which can either be drawn on our custom-made excel spreadsheet using our Dell Latitude lap-tops, or by hand on A1 graph paper. The evening session will include statistically testing the data using Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient and taking a look at how to interpret the kite diagrams.

Psammosere Succession (4 + 2) or (8 + 2)

To investigate changes across a sand dune system, looking at succession and dune morphology

NB This study takes place at Studland National Nature Reserve which is a 2hr drive from the centre.

Study the changing vegetation and associated abiotic factors of this famous sand dune system. The vegetation will be sampled using 50cm x 50cm quadrats, the terrain will be profiled and a variety of abiotic factors, including soil, will be recorded along the transect. Analysis of the data will be in the form of kite diagrams which can either be drawn on our custom-made excel spreadsheet using our Dell Latitude lap-tops or by hand on A1 graph paper. The night before the study an evening session will be used for the introduction and methods for the study, this allows the group to leave at 9am the next morning. The second evening session will include statistically testing the data using Spearman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient and taking a look at how to interpret the kite diagrams.

An alternative Halosere Succession study situated close to the centre is available for small groups, please enquire if you feel your group could benefit from this.

Woodland Studies

Woodland Biodiversity (2 + 1) or (4)

To investigate differences in the ground flora between a broadleaf forest area and coniferous forest area

Data will be collected from a 10m x 10m sample area at both sites. Using 50cm x 50cm quadrats vegetation presence will be recorded. Some abiotic readings will also be taken from within the sample area. A map of trees within the area will be drawn with the girth and species of each tree recorded. The data will be used to calculate species richness and species diversity using one of Simpson’s Index’s. Data can also be pooled and used to run a Chi-squared goodness of fit test.

 

Abseiling (1)

Individually students have the opportunity to try to abseil off the top of our climbing wall whilst being encouraged by other members of their group.

Archery (1)

Requires good concentration, a sharp eye and a steady hand. Archery is approached in a disciplined but supportive atmosphere, and provides a change of pace from many of our more physically demanding activities.

Climbing (1 or 2)

We possess the South’s premier indoor climbing facility, 520m2, from short easy angled slabs, to a 13m overhang with abseiling platform. Groups work in three’s and have therefore plenty of opportunity to learn and practise the skills associated with this fast growing and accessible sport. Developing trust, support and communication are also important factors.  

High Ropes (1)

Our unique indoor facility provides groups with a year round opportunity to explore the concepts of support and trust whilst facing personal challenge. Challenges available include Crate Build, Cat Walk and Peg Pole.

Initiative Course (1)

Elements such as ‘The Spider’s Web’, ‘The Tunnel’, ‘Washed Out Bridge’, and ‘Mushroom Field’ emphasize different team qualities and stimulate discussion when reviewing. Students are encouraged to think about how they are perceived within the team, and how they contribute to its success.

Low Ropes (1)

Our recently upgraded outdoor course features many exciting challenges which provide a basis for discussions on assessing risk, problem solving, recognising leadership and other qualities which are the hallmarks of successful teams.

Skiing (1 or 2)

The emphasis is on energetic and fun sessions, where progression is at the pace of the individual’s capabilities.

Track Cycle (1)

A unique opportunity to have a go on the only indoor banked velodrome in the South of England. The cycle track provides a safe yet challenging introduction to this Olympic sport.