A Level Geology students recently visited Osmington Bay on the Dorset coast, hunting for fossils and looking at coastal erosion!

The College has an outstanding science department, which has received national renown and prestige since attaining STEM Assured® status by the New Engineering Foundation (NEF) in 2012. STEM Assured® status is an industry-led kite-mark for excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, meaning that students can be assured that they are receiving the best possible education in these subjects, with a particular focus on relevance and employability.

As part of their on-going commitment to providing the best possible experience for students taking STEM subjects, the College recently established Geology as an available A Level option. Geology is an interesting and topical subject which focuses on the origins and development of Earth. Geology students develop a strong understanding of volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, learning how to predict and minimise the damage caused by natural disasters such as these.

Throughout their time at Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form, students are invited to participate in a variety of educational trips and experiences. Geology students recently attended a two-day visit to the wonderful field studies centre at Osmington Bay in Dorset. Louise Peate, Science tutor, said, “It was a fantastic trip; the students really enjoyed taking the theory out of the classroom!”

On their first day, students visited Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, both located on the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site on the English Channel coast. Lulworth Cove is wildly popular with tourists, attracting approximately 500,000 visitors per year, and is considered one of the world’s finest coves. Durdle Door is an incredible natural limestone arch, which has been used as the backdrop for a variety of different popular culture productions, including music videos and films.

On their second day, students enjoyed a real blast from the past! They spent the morning on the Jurassic coast hunting fossils in Oxford clay, which dates back to the time of the dinosaurs in the Jurassic period – 165 million years ago! They found an abundance of fossils, including those of ammonites, belemnites, brachiopods and gryphaea. The winter storms have exposed new layers in the clay, and the College students truly reaped the benefits! They then spent the afternoon at Chesil Beach, witnessing first-hand the effects of coastal erosion – a matter that is currently close to the hearts of many!

Student Damian Williams said, “It was great to get out and do some practical lessons rather than being sat in a classroom. The second day was easily the best; I loved when we went searching for fossils in the clay. The instructor Toby was great and did his best to make everything interesting.”