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St Mary's Catholic High School

GCSE Geographers on Brighton Beach

On Wednesday, 8th March, Year 11 GCSE geography students visited Brighton in order to carry out fieldwork investigations as required for the examination.

Brighton is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK and is an ideal location to see at first hand the battle between the waters of the English Channel and the sea defences along the coastline.

The aim was to investigate the impact of coastal management on coastal processes and communities. In other words, looking at how the local council protect the beach - having groynes and other structures to help minimise natural processes. Students took several measurements and collected data as part of their GCSEs, measuring how the groynes are working to prevent longshore drift and encourage deposition of sediment, protecting the seaside city.

By measuring the height of the sediment on the west and east side of a groyne, it allows students to construct beach profiles from the backshore to the tideline. With their findings, they can see how well the groynes are working effectively to prevent material being transported along the coastline.

In addition to taking many measurements, students also took photographs as well as trying their hand at field sketches as primary evidence to record their observations. The Year 11 students have been kept busy since their return to school writing up the investigations in preparation for their GCSE examinations next month.