Meandering in the woods…

It was a lovely sunny December afternoon when Prep V set out for a geographical field study walk in the woods to consolidate our topic on rivers. Feeling excited about our unexpected freedom on a Thursday afternoon, we squelched along the muddy path, enjoying the puddles and unexpected sunshine.

Once in the woods, we looked up at the patterns made by bare branches of a tree against the blue sky and the veins on an autumn leaf, and saw they show the same patterns as a river system, where small rivulets join a main river. We also saw how water gathers and forms a tiny stream flowing downhill from boggy ground, just like the source of a river. Some of us thought this part of the woods reminded us of the part in Harry Potter where Harry and Ron find the spider Aragog in the Forbidden Forest. Fortunately, there were no giant spiders in evidence in Worsley Woods (or Ford Anglias either!)

Next, we walked down to Kempnough Brook, and saw how it was joined by smaller tributary streams. It was rather like the Blue Nile and the White Nile – but somewhat smaller! As the brook meandered its way through the woods, we were able to spot erosion, where the fast-flowing brook had worn away the bank, and small “beaches” on the other side, where the slower flowing water how deposited stones, mud, sticks and sand.

For many of us, the highlight of the walk was paddling in the water, where it was shallow enough to find some interesting historical artefacts on the bed of the brook. We found coal, fragments of old pottery, bits of tile and brick, as well as round pebbles which had rubbed together over many years to become smooth. We assembled our treasures on a bench, just like proper archaeologists at an excavation.

Finally, we took the path uphill where we could look down on the brook and see all the meanders through the bare trees. Mr. Grant noticed that we too were meandering as we walked, just like the water. We realised that the brook and children meandered for the same reason; to avoid obstacles in our path. We squelched our way back to school, tired but happy, and prised our reluctant wellingtons off at the door. An excellent afternoon’s work, with beautifully behaved children who listened and answered questions thoughtfully and knowledgeably. My favourite part was listening to the brook babbling (great vocabulary for our word wall!) I wonder which part was your favourite?

Many thanks to Mr. Grant for his geographical expertise and enthusiasm, and to Mr. Rooney for accompanying us on our walk.

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