Year 6’s first trip of the year involving a two-night stay was to Naivasha. Prior to arrival at their campsite the pupils stopped at Hells Gate National Park that lies south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya, north west of Nairobi. ‘Hell’s Gate’ – so named after a narrow break in the cliffs was once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley. Walking through the gorge our pupils looked at the different layers of deposition in the walls, finding evidence the gorge is deepening due to erosion.
This national park is also home to three geothermal power stations and so Year 6 were excited to discover hot springs and where challenged by their teachers to consider why the water coming out of the ground was so hot and in other places why rocks, were so hot they could barely be touched! To round off a perfect introduction to Geography in the Field, the third and largest of three geothermal ponds became the ideal place to relax and enjoy the warmth of the water in temperatures from lows of 30oC to highs of 40oC.
Following a night’s camping all were ready to set off early for the ascent of Mt. Longonot. Rising from the floor of the Great Rift Valley the extinct volcano of Mount Longonot. The children learnt it is a stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano built up by many layers (strata) of hardened lava and ash. The volcano provided a sense of teamwork and camaraderie as everybody encouraged each other on the tough climb on a particularly hot day.
Although the climb proved challenging for some everybody remained in good spirits. The crater rim provided super scenic views across the beautiful Rift Valley all the way to Lake Naivasha. As part of their Field Work, Year 6 looked at the different features of the volcano and some of the group walked around part of the crater edge. Descending the crater was a lot more fun; and very quickly the whole year group were enveloped from a distance in their own dustcloud as they got to the bottom far more quickly than climbing to the top! Ice creams for an excellent effort to climb Longonot awaited all on return. Boys’ versus girls’ rounders and a number of other teambuilding activities followed this. That evening the camp was quiet rather early as 40 tired, but successful children drifted to sleep dreaming of their achievement.
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