Thursday, 13 May 2010

Out in the sun in Swansea

Ysgol Penyrheol

It's always a pleasure going out on field trips, but especially nice when the sun shines. Today, the minibus was not available, so we took a walk instead. The car said it was 9.5 degrees, but when we got going, I was too warm with my big coat on. We must have walked for about 15 minutes from the school and it really was a mystery tour – everybody seemed to know where we were going and what we would see, but not what the area was called. So after a while walking through suburban streets we came to a place where there were lots of fairground rides being painted and showmen's caravans parked. Right next to it was a semi-wild piece of ground with a bridge over a small river. We had arrived. It turned out to be ideal for taking pictures of plants and trees and moving water and even a horse in a field. We didn't know its name, but this place was a perfect example of ‘waste ground'.

Above: Penyrheol class happy in the sun with their cameras

Back in class, the children had taken lots of interesting pictures. Most had picked up on the idea and gone off to use their own imagination. It hadn't taken much instruction or guidance from us adults for them to come up with some great work.

Ysgol Pen-y-Bryn

Everybody was ready to go. The minibuses were outside with their drivers waiting, the class excited. However, we had to delay a little while six new students joined the group – they had to be presented with their cameras and basic instructions given. That didn't take long and we were soon off, driving north over the motorway and along small country roads to Felindre Reservoir. The weather was still and bright, the trees just coming into leaf and the water rippled, reflecting the sun. Wow!

Above: Penybryn kids at Felindre Reservoir

What pictures we took! We walked along the dam, with the water to our right and fields, trees and farms downstream to our left. There was even a man fishing. So, there were lots of opportunities, and the young people all made the most of them, snapping away at everything in this lovely landscape. This is the lower of two reservoirs on the Lliw river and it supplies drinking water to much of south Wales, including Cardiff. It could be said that, in this case, the actions of man on the landscape have had a beneficial effect, creating a wider variety of habitats than were here before the dam was built. However, it probably didn't seem like an advantage to the farmers who lost their fields in the 1920s.

Let's hope for more weather like this for our other field trips.

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