Geography Census
Journeys To & From School

Before Easter 1971 Mr. Shovelton, the Head of the Geography Department, suggested to the Lower Sixth Geography Group, that we might find it interesting to produce a map from the results of a survey carried out the previous year. The information for this survey had been collected, but never analysed, by our immediate predecessors. The forms showed the times taken each morning and evening for each pupil to and from school, also giving his address. The idea was simple - to compile a map with a scale equivalent to time (directions taken "as the crow flies") showing the various areas from which the pupils came. Two of these were to be compiled - one for the morning, and one for the afternoon, so that they could be compared with each other and with an ordinary map.

A section of the number of times late per month due to transport delays was included, but insufficient information was given and that which was given was apparently unreliable, and so ignored.

The forms were printed - about 550 of them - and distributed via the registers. We would like here to thank the two Secretaries for their great patience and co-operation - they must have been sick of the sight of us - and we certainly never wanted to see the inside of the office again.

We checked to see how representative a section of the school we had. Form lists were obtained and two of us spent an afternoon carefully checking names. There were some shattering results - 1H and the Upper Sixth were both totally missing (apparently lost in transit) and 40 or 50 other names were outstanding. We had a total of 130 names missing. More forms were printed, the old ones checked and corrected. Eventually (after about three weeks) we accepted a final result, 10 forms down on the official school strength. With the aid of an adding machine borrowed from Dr. Lewis we compiled average times, morning and evening, for each postal area and transferred these to maps as described above. A flow map, which is now on the Geography Room wall, together with an actual route map, was prepared and drawn up to scale, and is now available for viewing (any resemblance which it bears to a steam boiler is totally unintentional - convenience forced the design on us.) A copy of the flow map is included in the magazine (see below), as we feel it is the most interesting of the maps. We do not guarantee total accuracy, but it does represent a reasonably true picture.

  • N.B.1. The contrary motion between Eastcote and Ruislip on the flow map.
  • N.B.1. The high density from Ruislip, Watford and Hayes areas on the flow map.
  • N.B.1. The times given above are the average times worked out from the times given on the forms. Their accuracy is therefore only as good as the average accuracy of the pupils' own estimates.
  • N.B.1. The survey is correct to May 1971. Since then the Upper Sixth have left and a new First Year arrived. This will probably have altered the structure of the school considerably.
Our thanks are due to Messrs. Shovelton and Bayross who are to be blamed for the whole project.

R. Amor,
G. Hill,
P. Rodger,
M. Walton.

(Upper Sixth).

Journeys To & From School (Small Picture)
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