Schools Award Scheme with the
Geographical Association

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Schools expeditions including human as well as physical geography in the plans may apply for this Award Scheme, or may apply as a normal expedition.  Priority will be given to those that have not received a grant in recent years, and also to those that have at least a strong element of human geography.  Preference will be given to those schools applying for funds for expeditions or field study in the United Kingdom and Ireland as opposed to countries elsewhere in the world.  Schools expeditions and fieldwork of physical geography would not be precluded in consideration by the Trustees.  A grant is not normally given for resources.

The Award Scheme

Churchdown Village Junior School during fieldwork in the Malvern Hills

Schools often find it difficult to compete successfully for funds from the main grant-giving bodies or to allocate their own resources to field studies.  The Trust and the Geographical Association,, are keen to encourage field studies by providing financial support specifically for this work.  The Geographical Association helps to promote and administer the Frederick Soddy Schools Award Scheme.  Winning schools are invited to receive their awards at the Geographical Association's Annual Conference.

Normally sums awarded are between 200 and 550, depending on the merits of each project.  The Trust normally meets to consider applications for this scheme in early March.  It aims to notify schools of the results within a week of the meeting.
Photo by Bryan Ledgard (GA)

See Recent Support for examples of successful applications.

The awards are made to teams of pupils between 5 and 18 years of age.  There are two conditions:
1. A report on the project must be submitted to the Geographical Association and to the Trust (Professor Peter Wood, University College London, Pearson Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT) by 31 December of the year of the award.  Guidance on reports is given to successful applicants.  See Schools Award Scheme Reports.  Where reports are not submitted the Trust may not look favourably at future applications from the school.  The report can take various forms, and here is an example.
2. A statement acknowledging the Trust's support must be included in the report and in any other appropriate publication, and examples of the pupils' work is always of particular interest to the Trustees.

A certificate is awarded to those schools submitting what is deemed to be a 'good' report.

One of the schools winning the Award Scheme sets out for their field study, thinking ahead to the day's work, and to their report for the Trust at the end of a highly productive day.

How to apply
There is no prescribed form of application.  A case for an award must meet the Trust's objective of the study being one of "the whole life of an area" with an emphasis on the human community.  It should be no more than 500 words, but should include brief details of the plan, administrative arrangements and an itemised budget.  A map is essential.

The application, which must be signed by both the person leading the project and the Head-teacher, must be sent not later than 18 January to The Frederick Soddy Awards, c/o The Geographical Association, 160 Solly Street, Sheffield S1 4BF,


A school camp in tropical rain forest

A school party in an arid zone

The Geographical Association will compile a short list of potential candidates from which the Frederick Soddy Trustees will make final decisions.

Parsloes Primary School at Dagenham was given a grant to take Year 5 pupils to the Thames Barrier.

Results are announced to applicants soon after decisions have been taken, the winners being told by mid March.  The successful applicants are also announced in GA Magazine at a later stage and the awards are normally presented at the Annual Conference of the GA for those who can make it.

Some relevant web sites
The Geographical Association:, The Young Explorers' Trust, which supports expeditions and provides information:,  The British Schools Exploring Society:

Page last updated: Friday October 20, 2017

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Charity number 313379