After flying over the Main Divide and landing on the Franz Joseph GlacierYear 12 Geography by Alena Wafer


Geography continues to be a popular choice for students.

The two Year 11 geography classes have engaged well with different contexts, at local, national and international scales. The Kaikoura earthquake gave students an excellent insight into how an extreme natural event can significantly affect people and the environment. Locally, a field trip to St Clair allowed students to see, firsthand, the issues our city faces with the coastline. Students could then appreciate the difficulty around the decision-making process, when trying to ensure the best way forward for Dunedin.

For the first time in over 20 years, the annual trip to the Aitken's farm on the Taieri Plains, to investigate sustainable dairy farming, could not go ahead, due to COVID. Instead, for this year, we turned our attention to the sustainability of tourism in the Maldives. Next year, though, we look forward to renewing our long-held association with the Aitken family.

This was a very exciting year for the Year 12 Geography class, who got to participate in the inaugural Mt Cook field trip. It was an absolutely amazing experience for the students, in one of the most beautiful natural environments. Students were able to see and experience up-close, what they had been learning about in the classroom. Highlights included flying over the Main Divide and landing on Fox and Franz Glaciers, as well as taking a boat trip up Lake Tasman to see and touch 600-year-old glacial ice. A big thank you to Mr Lines and Mrs Hurst for accompanying us on the trip.

The other focus for Year 12s has been on inequalities in development, particularly in Tanzania. This allowed students to learn about life in a country, very different to their own.

The Year 13 Geography field trip to Queenstown is always a highlight of the year. The trip allows students to observe glaciation, natural and cultural environments, and tourism development, all elements of the Level 3 course. In addition, students were lucky enough to participate in some of the tourist activities, with both parasailing and bungy jumping being popular choices!

The Year 13 students also investigated the planning and decision-making process around a major event in New Zealand, as well as learning about human trafficking and why it is such a significant issue in the world.

At the end of our second COVID-interrupted year, I am thankful for the continued enthusiasm and passion of both the staff and students, who make the Geography department such a fabulous place to be a part of.