Geography in Action with Radley College

4 October 2023

This year Downe House hosted the third annual event with the Geography Department at Radley College. Mr Godfrey (Deputy Head) explains the importance of these collaborations:

The Downe House-Radley College Geography Conference is the most recent in a range of collaborative academic events involving pupils from both Radley College and Downe House. The pupils from both schools frequently come together for mutually beneficial academic, co-curricular and social projects. These provide all the pupils with direct and meaningful experience of working with the opposite sex, preparing them for life beyond school while retaining the integrity and value of single sex education; relationships of respect are created through these regular interactions.
– Mr Matthew Godfrey, Deputy Head


As hosts, we wanted to showcase the stunning school grounds we have through a fieldwork theme of ‘Geography in Action’. The day saw students from both schools collaborate academically on a series of fieldwork tasks. Read on to hear from Miss Kathryn Rawlinson (Head of Geography) about the different work completed.

In the woodland behind the Geography Department, students were shown by Miss Rawlinson and Mrs Taylor how to calculate the carbon content of a tree using trigonometry. Back in the classroom the group used their data to calculate that the 21 trees they measured held 60 tonnes of carbon which was the equivalent of 29 car free years!

Meanwhile in the outdoor classroom area, Mrs Patrick discussed all things microclimate. Students were given a digital anemometer and thermometer and were tasked with plotting the microclimate of the environment surrounding the Murray Centre. Students then discussed how the architecture of Downe House influenced the microclimate of the site.


In the Murray Centre, Mrs Compton-Ilott and Mrs Price taught students the art of field sketching. The students then practiced their skills in the beautiful Cloisters area of the School.

All these tasks were overseen and supported by our wonderful Upper Sixth geographers. It truly was a triumph of collaboration.

The girls and boys collaborating academically is so powerful and it was great to have your Sixth Form there as role models for all the Year 9 students.
– Mrs Lydia Robinson, Head of Geography, Radley College

We were also delighted to virtually welcome Ms Sahdia Ali from Downe House Riyadh. Ms Ali spoke about her 15 years of volunteering in the charity sector in the UK and abroad, sharing her recent experience supporting the Turkey earthquake disaster response in February and March of this year, and her work with Hope for Humanity in Syria.

Often discussing difficult topics through human experience creates beautiful opportunities to see the compassion and care our young people have for the world they live in. Inspiring young people to be the change they wish to see is at the core of this ethos.
– Ms Sahdia Ali, Head of Sixth Form and Teacher of Humanities,
Downe House Riyadh

Tours & Open Mornings

The best way to find out more about Downe House is to experience it for yourself. Book a personal tour or join us at one of our Open Mornings, available throughout the year.

Now accepting more Day Pupils for September 2025! Learn more at our Open Event on Thursday 9 May.
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