Wish you were here

23rd June 1995 at 01:00
BETWS-Y-COED: A CONTRASTING LOCALITY IN WALES. Pounds 14.95 (plus Pounds 1 pp). Welsh edition autumn 95. Field Study Council Publications. Preston Montford, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY4 1HW

This package on the Field Study Council's location at Betws-y-coed is thorough and rich enough even for classroom study from a distance. It has the necessary geographical detail garnered with help from the local primary school and, no doubt, by a steady stream of visiting school groups. The package succeeds in maintaining a balance of appropriate information and activities avoiding the temptation to overload from familiarity with the location.

Just as geographical education has returned to greater emphasis on real places, including places actually visited, it is entirely consistent that "questions for enquiry" are most cogent when asked by real children. It seems that a heavy load of residential school group experience is conveyed in the worksheet question "Why isn't there a fish and chip shop in Betws-y-coed?". Changes in economic activity, farming, tourism: a wide range of locality-based enquiries is possible from the information provided. This includes eight A4 sheets of colour photographs plus a range of maps. There is a selection of tourist and historic monument leaflets and, thoughtfully, six postcards. Teachers can write cards for the family before leaving as they will be too busy once there.

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