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Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

WorldWise Challenge 2017 Final at Blencathra Centre

We had a sunny weekend for the 24 students and 9 teachers attending the 2017 WorldWise Challenge competition, held at the FSC Blencathra Field Study Centre in the Lake District from 5th to 6th May. The event was attended and supported by Mary Biddulph, the current President of the Geographical Association and three past Presidents Mark Higginbottom, Stephen Rawlinson and Sue Lomas OBE DL.

All the schools attending had been invited as a reward for their engagement and high levels of participation in a range of other WorldWise activities: the Local Quiz, the Online Quiz, My Places and Geography Awareness Week. 

The attending schools;

  • Stewart’s Melville College
  • Moreton Hall School
  • Ibstock Community College
  • Thomas Adams School
  • Ormiston

Their challenge for the weekend was to find out "How should the Lake District be managed in the future?"

World Wise ChallengeWorldwise Challenge Attendees

We began the weekend on Friday evening with ice breaker activities geared towards getting to know each other and finding out where everyone had travelled from. We then explored aspects of geography in the area and how a range of factors can combine to make the challenges faced more complicated. On Saturday the students undertook a range of fieldwork activities which involved exploration and discovery of the area around Threlkeld, Thirlmere and Keswick.

The Winning Teams

On Sunday morning, each team gave a creative oral and visual presentation to a panel of judges comprised of a combination of GA WorldWise volunteers and FSC staff.

The overall winners of the 2017 WorldWise Challenge trophy was Thomas Adams School from Shropshire who also received a voucher of £250 for fieldwork at the FSC Blencathra Centre.

Winners (1)GA President Mary Biddulph (left), 2017 winners Thomas Adams School (centre), FSC Blencathra head Tim Foster (right) 

Ibstock Community College from Leicestershire received the award for best team in the field and the award for best presentation went to Moreton Hall from Shropshire.

All the students taking part received an Ordnance Survey map of the Lake District kindly provided by the Ordnance Survey.

As always the standard was extremely high from all schools taking part, and the weekend was agreed by all - the students, their teachers, the FSC staff and the GA team of volunteers - to be a fun, challenging and truly memorable occasion.

This is what some of the teachers had to say about the 2017 Blencathra Challenge:

‘I think it was a very worthwhile experience for the pupils and promoted some good geographical thinking skills about the changing connections between people and place in a landscape over time’.

‘The pupils have been challenged and it was wonderful to see them rise to this independently'

'Having access to expert knowledge was superb’.


Learn more about the WorldWise Challenge

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