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Pre-sessional success at Tewkesbury 2017

Pre-sessional 1st year undergraduates 2017

Instruction from lab technician, Adam Parker

Canoeing on the River Avon

19 September 2017

On Sunday afternoon, 104 new undergraduate students, 10 staff, and 4 postgrad teaching assistants returned from a successful pre-sessional fieldtrip to nearby Tewkesbury in north Gloucestershire. The cohort building trip was enjoyed by all and helped to get our 2017/18 academic year off to an energetic start.

Two-thirds of our registering first year students went on the optional fieldtrip this year. The School runs the fieldtrip for Year One students every year. The three day excursion aims to ease university transition experiences, build cohort collegiality, and introduce some basic field-skills for new students. 

The fieldtrip begins the three or four-year journey for most of our students. It is one degree experience amongst many that is cited every year by graduates as formative and crucial to their start as a university student in the School of Geographical Sciences.

For the past four years, the School has attended an excellent host facility just outside Tewkesbury. The facility’s proximity to Tewkesbury enables easy walking and river access to the picturesque town site and surrounds. On the rivers and lakes, in the town, and on its famous ‘Ham’, we run short introductory exercises ranging from the political economy of the commons to water chemistry, from flooding to landscape poetry, from physical topographies to geographical imaginaries of English identity. In between and afterwards, there is time for canoeing down the Avon, and a pint (or two) with socialising and dancing. 

This year, like last, the weather co-operated, if grudgingly, and the eight exercises went smoothly. Fun was had by all. 

Many thanks to the academic and administrative staff and postgraduate students who helped to make the trip a success and to begin the 2017 academic year on such a positive footing.

Professor Rachel Flecker and Dr Katerina Michaelides

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