A-level geography students from Highfields School have spent a day investigating the diverse ecosystem of Cressbrook Dale.
Experiencing the place instead of just reading about it, made the work so much more accessible.
“Textbooks don’t do it justice,” said geography student Tavier Fairburn.
The National Park Authority Education Service helped to organise the students and provided equipment, including iPads.
Students collected data about the plant life, sunlight, and PH levels of the soil, and discovered the huge changes between scrubland and woodland.
The teenagers were in awe of how in one little area of 15sq m there could be such a variety of plant life.
Geography teacher Melanie Barker said: “We are so lucky in Matlock to be able to explore this wonderful landscape so easily from school.
“And seeing this stunning ecosystem made our students realise what geography is all about, getting out into the world around us and witnessing it face to face.
“Collecting raw data in this way makes working towards their A level exam so much more meaningful.
This seems to help results - this year 92% of our A level geographers achieved top grades, A*, A or B, far ahead of the national figure of 57%, and 100% gained an A* to C.”
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