Friday, 18 April 2014

Proper Geography

From the British Pathe YouTube release...

GA Conference - blog feedback...

It wasn't just me writing about the GA conference - there's a whole range of other bloggers who have been sharing their thoughts.
Here are links to some of the blogs that I've come across via Twitter.
Feel free to tell me about yours if you have one...
V1: 18th April

David Rogers has several posts about the Conference currently at his blog.
Rachel Norman posted her favourite sessions, Margaret Roberts included, on her Geographical Enquirer blog.
Hannah Holden blogged about her time on the Future Geographers' day, and was particularly impressed with Dan's Guerrilla Geography presentation

Meanwhile, Rayburn Tours put a video on YouTube..

GA Conference - New Primary blog...

While at the conference, I was introduced to a newish PRIMARY GEOGRAPHY blog, with postings from people like Anthony Barlow.
There's already a few ideas on there that I'm going to use.

GA Conference - Missions

Thanks to all the delegates who came along to the conference, but also took the time to complete some of our special missions.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

British Pathe archive released to YouTube

Tweet earlier today from British Pathe

There are, therefore, thousands of historic videos now available to Geographers.
I don't sadly have time at the moment to do this justice.
Here's a small selection of architecture films that one blogger has identified for those exploring urban themes.
So much scope here... 
Please add any really good Geography films that you find as comments below...
Or add them to the GOOGLE SHEET here.

Here's some maps being made in 1961 for example...

GA Conference - David Rogers' Lecture

#gaconf14 New curriculum lecture from David Rogers

I was unable to get to this lecture as it clashed with something else I had to be at, but it had great feedback...
Here's the slides that David used, although as with all these online resources, you really need to hear the speaker to bring them to life completely...

Now listening...

GA Conference - Centre of Excellence Award for King's Ely

After the Association at Work day and AGM, the GA Conference opens to the main group of delegates with the Public Lecture.

This time it was given by Professor Iain Stewart, who talked about the artificial division between Human and Physical Geography, and also the importance of energy sources, such as fracking.

I was also there Claire and Jane from my department to pick up the Centre of Excellence award, that we had received from the GA this year, associated with the Global Learning Programme. The 'official photo' will be added here when available, but here's an iPhone snap for starters...

Congratulations to all the award winners, particularly Sharon Witt and Andrea Tapsfield.

Google celebrates 63 years of the Peak District...

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

London Curriculum

Have you heard of the London Curriculum ?
I hadn't until a few hours ago...

A conversation with a colleague at the GA Conference today led me to the project, which is designed to support the National Curriculum.

We are using London itself to inspire new key stage three resources and activities in the capital’s schools. The Mayor of London’s Education Inquiry recognised the huge opportunity to enrich and strengthen education in London, by drawing on the city’s rich heritage. We are now entering the pilot phase of the London Curriculum, scroll down to find out how you can take part!
You can find the London Curriculum guide and subject summaries for English, art and design, music, history and geography at the bottom of this page.
The London Curriculum will support the new National Curriculum, while helping young Londoners to better understand and engage with their city. The London Curriculum aims to improve:
  • Subject knowledge and skills – helping teachers bring subjects to life by making illustrative and inspiring connections to the city, its people, places and heritage.
  • City knowledge and skills – helping London students to become experts in the places, people and events that shape their city.
  • Connection and contribution – helping students connect with London and other Londoners, to make more of the opportunities and help shape their city for the better.
The teaching resources are being developed by a partnership of subject specialists, cultural and heritage organisations and London schools, to support learning in and out of the classroom.

How will the pilot work?

We are currently developing the London Curriculum resources with around 30 pilot schools in London, before they launch for all schools in June 2014, ready for the new school year. At present the materials are aimed at Key Stage 3 and cover English, history, geography, music and art. You can find more detail in the guides at the bottom of the page.
London Curriculum pilot schools all over the city are enjoying inspiring educational opportunities inside and outside the classroom based on the resources we are developing. Their pupils are discovering the rich architecture of the city, exploring London's global heritage from the Roman times to the present day and learning about musicians inspired by the capital, from Handel, to the Kinks and Dizzee Rascal. 
Head to the WEBSITE page, scroll down to see the link to the GEOGRAPHY DOCUMENT (PDF)

The project will be launched in June / July ready for use in the September 2014

I wonder whether schools in cities other than London might want to develop something similar for their own locations too, based on the structure used here...

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

GA Conference - Writing's on the Wall

Presentation used in workshop 'Writing on the Wall'.

See my teaching blog: GeographyTeacher 2.0 for more on the work that I did on Touching the Void.
Download the resources from Scribd and Slideshare here...

Sheet created by my HoD Claire

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Earthquake comparisons...

Thanks to Ben King for the tipoff to this really useful resource...

History will teach us... er... something

I try to keep aware of what is happening in subject communities beyond Geography... mainly so that I can subvert their ideas for Geography though.
I became aware of Michael Fordham's History blog recently, and he has been adding some interesting posts on what the changes to the GCSE might mean for planning, and talks about it needing a 'five year plan' to integrate KS3 with the new GCSE - some good ideas here, and a well designed blog.

Stats and I-USE - preparing for GA conference session

One of the workshops that I am taking part in at the GA Conference is related to to the I-USE project, which is one of the EU projects I'm currently taking part in. This is aimed at developing teachers' ability in statistical literacy.

Statistics were also in many people's minds earlier this week when the new GCSE Subject Content guidance for Geography was released.

Appendix: Use of mathematics and statistics in geography 

The list below outlines the range and extent of mathematical and statistical techniques considered appropriate to geography GCSE. The following should all be covered in any specification. Examples in bold are to aid understanding and suggest range, and these are not compulsory. 
Cartographic skills 
 use and understand gradient, contour and spot height on OS maps and other isoline maps (e.g. weather charts, ocean bathymetric charts) 
 interpret cross sections and transects
 use and understand coordinates, scale and distance
 describe and interpret geo-spatial data presented in a GIS framework (e.g. analysis of flood hazard using the interactive maps on the Environment Agency website)

Graphical skills 
 select and construct appropriate graphs and charts to present data, using appropriate scales and including bar charts, pie charts, pictograms, line charts, histograms with equal class intervals
 interpret and extract information from different types of graphs and charts including any of the above and others relevant to the topic (e.g. triangular graphs, radial graphs, wind rose diagrams, proportional symbols) 
 interpret population pyramids, choropleth maps and flow-line maps

Numerical skills 
 demonstrate an understanding of number, area and scale and the quantitative relationships between units
 design fieldwork data collection sheets and collect data with an understanding of accuracy, sample size and procedures, control groups and reliability
 understand and correctly use proportion and ratio, magnitude and frequency (e.g. 1:200 flood; and logarithmic scales such as the Richter scale, in orders of magnitude) 
 draw informed conclusions from numerical data

Statistical skills 
 use appropriate measures of central tendency, spread and cumulative frequency (median, mean, range, quartiles and inter-quartile range, mode and modal class)
 calculate percentage increase or decrease and understand the use of percentiles
 describe relationships in bivariate data: sketch trend lines through scatter plots; draw estimated lines of best fit; make predictions; interpolate and extrapolate trends
 be able to identify weaknesses in selective statistical presentation of data

We'll explore these at the meeting and make sure that we cover them.
Finally, here is David Rogers' view on the changes, which makes interesting reading as does the GA's thoughts on the document.

Also some really interesting thoughts from Carl Phillips here.

Come along to the I-USE workshop at the GA Conference 2014, on Wednesday next week at 9am - we'll be talking about support for statistics.

Follow us on Twitter @StatsinEdu for more details

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Top 100 UK Education Blogs

See the list in the latest UK EdChat Magazine @ukedchat #ukedchat

New day and time for my GA Conference workshop

We've had a change to the timing of our GA CONFERENCE workshop.

WRITING ON THE WALL will not now take place on the Wednesday morning.

It will now take place on Tuesday the 15th of April between 1.50 and 2.40 pm

Come and see 
One slight advantage of the changed timings is that we are no longer up against Margaret Roberts, which means that we may have more people coming along.... although it does mean we're now up at the same time slot as Andy Knill and Angus Willson.
Come and see Gary Dawson, Kathryn Stephenson and myself.

It also means I will be able to take part in the I-USE workshop on the Wednesday morning.

Also keep an eye on the GLP STRAND - don't forget my GLP CPD course

Friday, 11 April 2014

National Trust Shifting Shores report

A useful report for those teaching about COASTAL Management.
Published by the National Trust, and takes a look at the next 100 years of coastal change.
Click to download as a PDF - update of 2005 report pictured below

Thursday, 10 April 2014

GA Conference Missions

A first look at the special Mission:Explore missions that we have prepared for delegates at the GA Conference.
See you there...

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

ISSIG CPD at Charterhouse

A useful CPD update day for colleagues teaching iGCSE / 'A' level

GCSE and Post-16 Geography Cluster group

Charterhouse, Godalming. Surrey

Wednesday 25th June 2014 9.30am –3.45pm

Presenters: Peter Price (host), Dr Gareth Hughes, Kieron Young, Ewan Laurie, Dr Garrett Nagle, Iain Palot, Steve Brace, Paul Baker

Morning: GCSE Cluster - updates and planning for all exams

09.30 Arrive for coffee, tea and pastries

10.00 Opening Lecture: Dr Gareth Hughes: ‘Is natural gas all it is fracked up to be’

11.00 Coffee

11.15 Kieron Young: ‘ GPS and Geocaching for GCSE‘

12.15 Two Workshops – make your choice

1. Peter Price and Gareth Hughes: ‘Where are we with IGCSE’

2. Paul Baker and Steve Brace ‘GCSE – the new GCSE syllabi and how to resource it.

13.15 Lunch

Afternoon: Post 16 Cluster - updates and Planning for all Post-16 exams

14.00 Future Post 16 exam updates Ian Palot ( Chair of GA Post 16 Committee) and Steve Brace (RGS)

14.45 Workshops looking at relevant resources, past examinations and exploring strategies to manage courses effectively:

Workshop 1 - IB (Ewan Laurie and Garrett Nagle)

Workshop 2 - A Level (Iain Palot and Dr Gareth Hughes)

Workshop 3 - Pre-U (Peter Price)

16.00 Close and depart

Cost £60 for the day

Reserve your place now by emailing Paul Baker and asking for a booking form or more information.

I spoke at this event last year, and it's a really useful day to update your practice and knowledge.

New GCSE Geography Subject Content

Published today by the DfE - new guidance on Subject Content for GCSE Geography.
Click here for PDF download.

Some interesting clarification on content, use of GIS, nature of FIELDWORK etc.

This includes the loss of Controlled Assessment as fieldwork is assessed 'through examination only'

There is mention of GIS to be used for certain tasks, and also guidance on the use of statistical techniques.
Some interesting physical and human geography also emerging.
I quite like the focus on urban challenges, something I've written about before...

Download the document and have a look yourself...

It's what you'll be teaching in a few years' time...

From statement by Michael Gove:

In geography, the balance between physical and human geography has been improved - developing students’ locational and contextual knowledge of the world’s continents, countries and regions and their physical, environmental and human features - alongside a requirement that all students study the geography of the UK in depth. Students will also need to use a wide range of investigative skills and approaches, including mathematics and statistics, and we have introduced a requirement for at least 2 examples of fieldwork outside school.

And this is important as it's the guidance to those who will be writing the new GCSE specifications:

When designing specifications, awarding organisations should note the following ways in which curriculum emphases should progress from KS3 and ensure that specifications facilitate this: 
 broadening and deepening understanding of locational contexts, including greater awareness of the importance of scale and the concept of global 
 a greater emphasis given to process studies that lead to an understanding of change 
 a greater stress on the multivariate nature of 'human-physical' relationships and interactions 
 a stronger focus on forming generalisations and/or abstractions, including some awareness of theoretical perspectives and of the subject’s conceptual frameworks 
 an increased involvement of students in planning and undertaking independent enquiry in which skills and knowledge are applied to investigate geographical questions 
 enhancing competence in a range of intellectual and communication skills, including the formulation of arguments, that include elements of synthesis and evaluation of material

Thought for the Day

A lot of our geography is in the mind
Doreen Massey

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Preparing for GA Conference - next week !

Spent part of today finalising one of my many and varied contributions to the GA Conference 2014.

I'll be talking about literacy with respect to the work we did in my department around the Scholastic edition of the book 'Touching the Void'.

Here's the description of the workshop which it forms part of, which is being led by Gary Dawson, a fine teacher and colleague on the GA's Secondary committee.

Thanks to Tony Cassidy for some contributions that he's made, and various other folks on Twitter who I'll thank in full when I write-up the outcomes from the workshop at the end of next week. I shall be sharing all the resources, including the presentation once it has been presented.

Also don't forget to pick up a copy of our special MISSION:EXPLORE missions for the conference if you are coming along.

See you at the Conference - come and say hi if you see me around...
And don't forger the BEERMEET on the Tuesday evening

Ten Pound Poms

Updating an old resource for a project that I'll be sharing with you next week...
A nice archive ad attracting people from the UK to live in Australia...

Yorkshire Film and TV Map

Locations in Yorkshire for Film and TV
Related to a 'Game of Thrones' resource that I'm working on...

Idea Zone at GA Conference

Come to the Idea Zone at the GA Conference next week to see Follow the Things' own Lego Maker challenge, and also Top Trumps games.

A chance to recreate one of the scenes from the FOLLOW THE THINGS website, for which I've created some teaching materials.

Also a chance to take part in some special MISSION:EXPLORE challenges for conference time.
Keep an eye out for a new look to our website coming soon as well...

As a starter, we've recreated a scene from one of Professor Iain Stewart's TV shows... Come and see him at the Public Lecture on the Monday evening...

Monday, 7 April 2014

Books in Geography lessons...

Just preparing for one of my contributions at the GA Conference, which is next week.
If you have used a book in a Geography lesson recently, let me know which book, which year group and how you used it...
What I mean by this is not a textbook, but a fiction or fact book used as a resource, or for reading by the students.
I'll be talking about my work with TOUCHING THE VOID along with colleagues from the GA Secondary Phase Committee.

Will be sharing all the responses after the conference...
Thanks in advance for all contributions


21st Century Challenges - resources

New resource to go along with the RGS-IBG's 21st Century Challenges website.
This has a range of posters that you can print off for classroom display purposes, and then links to a set of resources around some of the themes that the project has considered.
Well worth exploring, particular for those teaching GCSE and 'A' level.

Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities

A useful resource, which I came across today.
Ideas for improving the resilience of cities, and a useful blog which has case studies of particular cities.
Good for units exploring futures of cities, and also changes in existing ones. Interesting idea to ask residents to suggest why their city needs to improve its resilience, and how to go about doing it.

Dan Ellison steps up to his next challenge...

Back in the original Mission:Explore book we had this mission...

This summer, Dan Ellison is going to do this for real, and he needs your help to reach the height of Mount Everest.

Check out Dan's blog for the details and a form that you can fill in, or direct people to that you know who have a building in the centre of London that Dan can use for his challenge.

Ruin Lust

Quite interested to go to see this exhibition at Tate Britain