Last Sunday our Year 13 Geography & Business A level students headed off for their London residential. This enrichment trip gave our students first-hand experience of syllabus topics which have been studied in the classroom.

The trip started at London Docklands where we conducted a transect of the Isle of Dogs. The students could clearly see the phenomenal investment in the area. The developments which have taken place at the Olympic Park in Stratford and the continuing growth of the area are very impressive, nothing on this scale can be seen in North Devon.

We went to the state-of-the-art, highly automated deep-sea container port, London Gateway, with its unrivalled deep-water access, road and rail links to the whole of the UK. It is always useful for students to visualise their case studying learning and seeing global trade being moved with such efficiency and speed at London Gateway can never be experienced through text books alone.

One of the highlights was our visit to Coca-Cola’s manufacturing plant in Sidcup. We were presented with a business overview of how Coca-Cola operates, its corporate social responsibilities and how this global brand is so successfully marketed. We were privileged to see one of the production lines in operation. Fascinatingly, each can of coke [from the initial bottle mould through to leaving the factory and onwards to the retail shelf] is subject to a staggering 450 quality checks!

This wonderful trip showcased powerful investment, both in regards to driving a resurgence to an area, through to the recent £41million Coca-Cola have invested at their Sidcup production site. On-going investment forms a natural linkage between the dynamic man-made landscape, of keen interest to our Geographers, through to focusing on product and production innovation on an exciting global brand. Conversations about battling to remain as sustainable and environmentally efficient as possible had key relevance for both groups of students.

Mr. Steve Whaley & Mrs. Lou Wivell

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