On the 27 September, two separate groups of Year 11 students from St Christopher’s School visited the Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) and the Manama Souq as part of their GCSE Geography Controlled Assessment. The task that had been assigned to students was to collect data from the BFH and the Manama Souq and to investigate why land use differs in a particular area. Each student had formulated two or three hypotheses and had to record and collect data on various aspects of the environment, such as the quality of the environment, the quality of the buildings, the approximate height of the buildings, pedestrian counts and traffic counts. The data collected will be analysed to support or disprove their respective hypotheses. The teachers had skilfully taken a transect across the BFH and the Souq in order to provide us with as much possible data to collect. The group of students was then split into two halves, one of which began their investigation in the heart of the Souq, and the latter in the BFH.
Those who began in the Souq had the opportunity to conduct questionnaires on people of varying ethnicity and status, using a specific questionnaire designed by the Geography staff members that helped to collect peoples’ thoughts and perceptions on land use in the area. Moreover, the abundance of traditional shops and other historical aspects of the Souq were of great interest to explore during the course of the investigation. The group that started their investigation at the BFH had the privilege of accessing one of the top floors of the building, granting them a spectacular view of the city. This not only made the students gaze in amazement, but was also very helpful in determining the different building heights ahead of them. The students were also received with enthusiasm, thanks to the excellent hospitality at the BFH. Furthermore, the relaxed and immaculate environment helped the students feel at ease with conducting their surveys in the building. Overall, the fieldwork day was a successful event, and the number of photographs taken that day must have made it a memorable occasion. The students were successful in collecting the required information, and took leave of the area, tired, but on an optimistic note. ~ Sriram Venkatesh 11E