Stunning light on the beach earlier. As part of my final round of CPD before heading back into the classroom I've come almost as far as I've been before in the UK...
Lovely hotel room and a stroll on the beach to blow away the cobwebs of 8 hours on trains...
Down to the beach earlier... was closed earlier in the year.

Image by Alan Parkinson - click for biggery...

In the footsteps of Gabriel...

Earlier today, I travelled down to Charterhouse.

I was doing a session for the GA's Independent School's network, along with other colleagues. It was good to finally meet several people I'd e-mailed and tweeted for some years.

One of Charterhouse's claim to fame is that it was where Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford formed a group with others which became Genesis. I tried to get some Genesis song titles into my talk.... managed to get about 10 in there from a list of 20 odd that I'd written down...

Slides are here:

EU-funded DigitalEarth courses

For the last year or two I've been running courses at the University of Salzburg.
They are five day courses in the use of digitalearth technology.

The funding pays for the course fee and travel as well as expenses for things like food.

This is a great opportunity to explore the wonderful city of Salzburg and surrounding area, as well as meet with delegates from all over Europe and swap ideas. Two of the UK delegates from a course that was run at the start of the year have since gained promotions within their department too. No guarantees that attending will do the same for you, but you never know :)

Get more information and download the details you need to start the application process here.

Course will run in January and March 2014

Panorama from Salzburg fortress: Alan Parkinson


Over the next few days, well over 150 000 people will be heading down to Pilton, Somerset for the 2013 Glastonbury Festival.
At my new school, I may be teaching a unit on Music Festivals and this is the biggest, and offers a nice context for many geographical themes. The festival becomes a temporary city, most of which are strangers to it...

These are the pictures I took when visiting the festival in 2010 for the first (and possibly last) time to work for Mission:Explore / The Geography Collective for the duration. It was a long and hot five days meeting hundreds of people and spending the early hours of the morning (as the dance stage near my tend pounded away) wandering the extremes of the site taking many pictures and soaking up the unique atmosphere.

I have to admit to not being that bothered about this year's line-up: not a fan of the Rolling Stones, and Mumford and Sons bored me when I saw them...
I'd rather be at LATITUDE to see KRAFTWERK, and coincidentally, you'll find MISSION:EXPLORE in the Kids' Field this year ! Come and say hello....

A useful app if you're going to Glastonbury is the GlastoMap - this is shown below. There's also a Twitter feed @GlastoMap. You can apparently use it to locate friends... It usefully shows the huge scale of the Glastonbury site.

If you're going, enjoy it !

Ten thousand images...

Earlier today posted the ten thousandth picture up on my Flickr page.
Check the sets for plenty of themed sets of images.
Images available under Creative Commons non-commercial / attribution license.

ArcGIS Online - a useful guide...

On Thursday last week, I was down in London working with a splendid group of colleagues on a GA course on Google Earth and other free 'GIS' options. I started by explaining the difference between visualisation tools like Google Earth and the additional features that a GIS has: querying, data analysis, attribute tables and editing and so on...

Google Earth

For Google Earth there are various extra things which I didn't have time to tell everyone about - even a whole day is not enough to cover all the things in Google Earth...

This set of 10 tips from Mashable is really useful.
Also check out GEarthBlog's ideas for how to access the TOOLS window to change settings so that Google Earth is optimised for you.

Digimap for Schools
I also introduced delegates to Digimap for Schools, and the free resources that are available, as well as the WMS service offered by Edina MapStream, for which I also wrote the resources.
A webinar was recently held by EDINA to introduce people to the tool, and a useful Q & A page is here.

ArcGIS Online
A useful guide has been created by ESRI and is available to download from the link (PDF download)

Also check out the useful help feature on the ESRI website.

I showed the ESRI COLLECTOR app to a few delegates too, which can be used in the field to collect data.

The next generation

Spent a morning last week at Homerton College, Cambridge with the PGCE cohort in the final week of their course to train as new geography teachers.

There were some interesting conversations to be had, and we also had the chance to do a little bit of Mission:Explore in the grounds of the college, and explore the strange hollow textures and worlds of the bark on this tree, as well as find the best place to sleep rough for the night, and create some miniature national parks.

A privilege to work with the next generation of geography teachers.

Image: Alan Parkinson


An excellent New York Times article with movie on China's great uprooting.

Very useful for exploring the impact of rural-urban migration, particularly when it becomes part of a national policy rather than through personal choice.

Critics call the plan 'warehousing': as if people are commodities themselves...
Natural processes are being accelerated, potentially at a catastrophic rate...
If farmers are relocating, where will the food supply for these millions of people come from ??
Some big questions that students could grapple with...
Definitely a future geography issue...

Summer Camp is open !

Over at Explorer HQ, which is the new company that we've created from Mission:Explore, we're working on some exciting projects.

We've kicked off our SUMMER CAMP, which takes place in the 100 days from June 1st...

You've missed the first few challenges but there's plenty of time to catch up !

Head over now and sign up...
The perfect way to spend your summer !

Oh, and come and say hello to us if you're going to the LATITUDE FESTIVAL.... we'll be in the Kid's Field...

No more holding the line...

I recently went to use a resource I'd written a while back and realised that it was out of date. It referred to the policy of 'setaside' which used to be part of the Common Agricultural Policy: farmers were paid to 'set aside' an area of their land and not grow crops. This policy has been removed as part of reforms to the policy. Other subsidies still exist, but not this particular one.

Another change in policy is taking place in the area of coastal management.
Except for small areas and in extreme cases, one of the options for coastal management seems to be becoming less likely to be chosen, because of the expense of holding the line.
More schemes involve managed realignment (the word 'retreat' used to be used, but that sounded a bit like the engineers had been defeated)

This useful Essex based resource shows how farmers are helping themselves to explore alternative management practices.

A useful area for students to explore if they are carrying out coastal fieldwork...

New Cloud Spotter App

I'm a proud member of the Cloud Appreciation Society (No. 719)
A new app has been launched called the CloudSpotter.

Here's the introductory video for the app, which costs £1.99

The World of Clouds – Intro for CloudSpotter app from CloudSpotter on Vimeo.

icon The 'Cloud Library' features 40 unique cloud formations and optical effects, from the common rainbow to the rare and beautiful asperatus cloud, all illustrated with stunning photographs, many from CAS members around the world.
icon CloudSpotter helps you identify and photograph the clouds and light effects you spot in the sky, and our special team of cloud experts will confirm whether you have got them right – yes, there are real people at the other end verifying your cloudspotting.
icon If you are not sure of the cloud or optical effect you're spotting, answer a few questions in the 'Cloud Identifier' and the app will tell you the most likely one.
icon You collect CloudSpotter stars for each type you correctly spot – the rarer the cloud, the more you earn. Achievement badges are also awarded when you complete certain cloudspotting challenges. Compare your progress with others on the Rankings page.
icon Learn from others as you browse the 'CloudStream', a live feed of verified CloudSpotter photographs coming in from around the world.
icon As you use CloudSpotter, you'll be helping scientists better understand the complex and crucial role clouds play in regulating global temperatures. The anonymous data of the observations gathered by the app will be used by NASA to refine their satellite cloud observations, improving scientists' ability to better model our changing climate.

2011 Census Open Atlas

Produced by Alex Singleton from the University of Liverpool.

Downloadable PDFs for every area of the country.

Thanks to Max for the tipoff...

Follow the Ball....

I'm currently involved in preparing a range of new materials for the Follow the Things website.

We've got some excellent new materials which are in preparation, and I'm also going down to the University of Exeter before the summer break to work on some other ideas and bring them to conclusion. There are inputs from other colleagues who have used the website too, such as the University of Nottingham PGCE group.

A new CLASSROOM area for the website is planned for launch over the summer, ready for the Autumn term.

I'm also writing some Follow the Things Shorts: shorter investigations for students to follow up and develop.
One of them is based on a blog being written by Will Kellegher: a student at the University of Exeter.

He's researching the story behind his Gilbert Rugby Ball...

Could your students follow the story of one of the objects they use, or wear, or eat in an average day ?

Also, login to the MISSION:EXPLORE website and check out the FOLLOW THE THINGS missions under the CHALLENGERS tab.
Can you earn your Champion Shopper badge ?

Teach Primary.... useful for secondary too !

The latest issue of Teach Primary has some useful content for all key stages.
Useful articles from Stephen Pickering, Hywel Roberts and Ollie Bray to name a few...

Pink Floyd catalogue now on Spotify...

This will keep me going for a few days...

EDINA MapStream

Several months ago I finished a project for EDINA: a set of materials for users of their MapStream service, or those who were thinking of subscribing to the service.

Refugee Week: Different Pasts Shared Future

It's important to try to tie in with relevant events when teaching.
One of the most important issues to consider with students is the impact of migration.

This week is Refugee Week, which explores the lives of those who have been forced to move.
Not all migration is forced, and quite a few schools in the UK will have students on roll who are refugees, or whose parents were. I taught a few students who fell into that category over the years. They had a different perspective on their time in the classroom.
One thing to remember when teaching about migration is that it is nothing news.

As part of Refugee Week a very useful pictorial timeline of events over the centuries has been produced. A reminder that this is not a new issue... and is one that affects large numbers of people.

The tagline for the week: Different Pasts, Shared Future would also make a good title for a unit on migration.

The Future of Secondary Geography #geogfuture

 Many thanks for any and all contributions. Please fill in if you have a spare moment... The responses will be used in a future event and shared back here...


Exemplification of Standards in Geography

Assessing Pupil Progress in Geography was a project which started with subjects like English, but despite the months that were spent creating the materials
Exemplifying Pupil Progress was the project which eventually made it as far as the internet.

A series of statements and portfolios of work with examples of student work and teacher commentary on why they were at a particular level.

They were then removed from the web, but are still available on TEACHFIND. (Also home for Teachers TV videos for example)

Level 3 statements

Level 4 statements

Level 5 statements

Level 6 statements

Level 7 statements

Level 8 statements

This is part of the resources that I shall be sharing on the 'Future of Secondary Geography' course that I will be leading in July.
It will be part of a discussion on Future assessments...
Thanks also to David Drake for blogging his ideas on the change in levels...

See previous post on geographical futures - please share your ideas, thoughts and concerns about the future of secondary geography...

Share an idea...

Coke's new bottles have names on, which are apparently the 150 most popular names in each of the countries where they are produced.
You can mock up one on the Coca Cola website here. A kind person found my name and sent me the label..

So what to do with these labels or bottles ?
Your thoughts would be nice.
I'd perhaps give bottles out, and ask students to research hurricanes / tropical storms which had those names...
Or perhaps the name of someone whose life has been changed by globalisation in some way.

Crazy Paving

I've spent part of this week working on some materials for a project that I've been doing for the last few months on and off.
It's some materials for schools across London, working with Mission:Explore to look at water and drainage.
One of the strands is to explore the development of Sustainable Drainage systems in cities (SuDs)

I'm working with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) and there are a few sites in particular which we're looking at.

The WWT have a range of sites which would make good places to visit.

One area that I've focussed on is the importance of decisions made by individual householders as to whether to pave their front gardens. This is often something that is done for convenience, or to reduce car insurance premiums.
Collectively, however, it is removing many thousands of acres of land which was previously capable of absorbing rainfall, and turning it into impermeable surfaces which increase surface water drainage. At the same time, vegetation is removed, which changes the nature of streets, and increases the amount of noise and other environmental problems.
Should there be prohibitions against changes being made to front gardens, or is an English person's home still their castle ?

The 'Crazy Paving' report was published in 2005 and is one of a series of reports which focussed on the impact of changes to front gardens.

Download the report from the link here (PDF download)

It connects with an activity that I have created for EDINA's MapStream service.

More to come as the project comes to a conclusion.

Dylan Wiliam resource - ready for the future ?

The role of formative assessment in effective learning environments | OECD Free preview | Powered by Keepeek Digital Asset Management Solution
Click the cover here to go to an article on the role of formative assessment.
It's one of a range of articles that I shall post here in advance of two courses that I am running in July. They are intended to provide additional background reading for delegates who are particularly keen.

There are a large number of delegates on both of the courses, and I'm hoping that the delegates are up for sharing and discussion on many of the topics that we are going to discuss.
The theme is on FUTURES in Geography - which is a difficult thing to identify... as things keep changing by the day...

What will the future geography curriculum be like ? 
How will it be assessed ? 
How will we mark work ? 
What will future geography teachers need to know when they are training ? 
What will future geography fieldwork be like ?

I also liked this Alex Quigley piece, directed to me by Noel Jenkins which explores the ideas of marking.
Also some of Zoe Elder's recent posts on FULL ON LEARNING - I have a copy of her book.

We'll still have marking in the future... or should we turn it into a feedback policy ?
What will students be creating ?
We'll still be studying countries outside the UK

Do we need to change schools ? Or change learning ?

What will geography departments look like in five or ten years time... or will we recognise them quite easily...
Will there be corporate logos relating to the companies who are providing most of the services in education ?

Read this piece by Sugata Mitra

What are your thoughts on the future of secondary geography ?
Are you optimistic ? concerned ? happy ? enthusiastic ?
What are the areas where your concerns lie ?
What are you looking forward to ?
Please share them here, e-mail or DM me, or on Twitter with the hashtag #geogfuture

Song for today...

Professor Iain Stewart MBE

Congratulations to Iain Stewart on the MBE that he received in today's Queen's Birthday Honours List. Iain is a Vice President of the Geographical Association and also a Primary Geography champion.

You'll be able to see Iain speak at the SAGT conference in October, and also see a seminar that I'm leading on the Scottish landscape while you're at it...

Image copyright: Bryan Ledgard / Geographical Association - used with permission

It's only a matter of time before I get mine :)


  • Make a creative photo of paired opposites.
  • Make a photograph that features a circle today.
  • Take a picture that reminds you of your childhood
  • Make a photo of a thing that is not like the other two in the picture (e.g. 2 dogs and a cat)
  • Take a picture of fire or something that represents fire.
  • Let's play around with contrast. Make a photo that has contrasting colours.
  • Turn your food into the shape of a face. Then take a photo of it
These are the challenges I've just been set for the next 20 minutes on the Photoblitzer website.
Created by John Johnston

Read the instructions and have a go yourself...

Signal to noise

I live in a rural part of Norfolk.
My mobile provider is EE...
I can't use my mobile in my village as there's no signal. Only Vodafone users get a signal in the village. If I walk up the 'hill' out of the village I get a few bars...

The Countryside Alliance has started a campaign to ask people to map their mobile signal to identify 'not-spots'.
Of course, one way to improve the mobile signal would be to have more masts - but they are not popular in the landscape either...

To join in, there's an app called Root Metrics which you can put on your smartphone. This will do a test of the strength of your call signal and data connection.
A bit of citizen science.

Are there connections with the topography of the area and signal strength ?

OECD Migration interactive

Thanks to Judith Roberts for the tip-off to this.

Mystery of the Falling Man

A sad and powerful story.

Follow it up here with a BBC World Service Assignment programme.

The importance of technology in helping identify him is mentioned here.

Dan in the Metro... or is a Toyota...

Dan Raven Ellison and Seb featured on p.55 of the Metro today.

Check out the hashtag and visit the special TOYOTA website...

There's an A-Z list here with links to YouTube videos...

Check out the blog in particular for a cool illustrated blog showing some of the adventures that Dan and Seb have been having.

Space in the city...

A nice infographic to visualise the personal space that people have in some of the world's major cities,  based on their population density.

Thought for the end of the summer term...

Glancing over my shoulder at the past,
I realize the number of students I have taught
is enough to populate a small town.
I can see it nestled in a paper landscape,
chalk dust flurrying down in winter,
nights dark as a blackboard.
The population ages but never graduates.
On hot afternoons they sweat the final in the park
and when it's cold they shiver around stoves
reading disorganized essays out loud.
A bell rings on the hour and everybody zigzags
into the streets with their books.
In my first twenty years of teaching, as the poem says, I must have taught enough people to populate a small town... called King's Lynn...
This is a time of year when students leave to move onto the next stage of their lives, and many teachers start clearing their rooms as they are retiring, or moving to a new school.
Good luck to everyone leaving a school, or preparing to start a new one in September...

Everest timelapse...

This has been doing the rounds...
A lovely piece of work.


I'll be setting up this music to play just before I make my entrance into the classroom for lessons from September... ;)

SAGT Conference 2013

One of my favourite CPD events of the year is the SAGT conference. 

It's a one day conference held on a Saturday. I've been speaking there since 2005, when my public speaking was in its infancy and rare...
This year's theme is below:
My seminar is going to be on the Scottish Highlands.

Peak Practice – Exploring Scotland’s Upland Landscapes
This presentation will make use of EDINA's Digimap for Schools service. A new resource will be created for the conference and as always, there will plenty of ideas, and a sprinkling of technology.

‘For anyone that likes wild and beautiful scenery there is nothing in Britain to equal the grandeur of the Bens and glens of Scotland, and those peaks that frown upon the western seas have an elevation and individuality that makes every climber anxious to explore them’
(Poucher 1964)

Mountains are an important part of Scotland’s national identity. The 282 peaks in Munro’s list, and those that didn’t make it, have inspired generations of artists, writers and tourists. Mountains feature in the Geography curriculum at all levels. This session will provide a range of approaches for exploring, explaining, interpreting, and teaching enquiry
based lessons about Scottish mountain landscapes.
Mountains are features of the physical environment, but they are inevitably influenced by human decisions. The Cairngorm Funicular, GeoPark designations, new National Trails, growth of fieldsports and the speculative listing of the Cuillin Hills for sale are just a few of many possible contexts for learning.

‘There’ll be ideas Bheag and small - remember to keep Sgurr of how many. We’ll be on just before or after the mid-day Mheall.
If you’re ready, then Buachaille up. Hopefully you Cárn keep up. I’ll Stob if you can’t, and there’ll be no Bheinn diagrams...

It will leave you wanting Mhor...

Hope to see some of you there...

Awesome Iceland video...

This student-made video, from Tom of Dr. Challoner's Grammar School, sets a challenge to anyone who might be visiting Iceland (or other locations) on a school visit to do better...
Excellent editing and, of course, the awesome landscape of Iceland features prominently....

I can see quite a few schools borrowing this for their Iceland-trip parent meetings....

Rise of the Continents

First episode of Iain Stewart's new series was last night. Four episodes in the series.
Available to view on iPlayer for a good while yet.
Plenty of interest for geographers and earth scientists / geologists.
Impressive sequence at the top of Victoria Falls to begin the episode.


I'm not into the sixth month of the GeoLibrary project. I 'add' a book a day to the virtual shelves of the library and explain why I think geography educators would find it useful. Some other media have also been added to the shelves (as is the case with modern libraries)

Today has been a day for catching up as I'd got a bit behind...
Check out the shelves and browse through...

SPC Committee meeting

It was down to London earlier for a meeting of the GA's Secondary Phase Committee. I've served on this committee since 2004, apart from a brief hiatus when I was working for the GA.

You can find out what we're up to by checking out the SPC page on the GA website.

There were a few absent members, but we had a very productive meeting, and produced some guidance on colleagues about teaching a linear GCSE course, discussed plans for some forthcoming publications and teacher support from the GA, and planned the outlines of three conference workshops for the 2014 conference.
Good to see Fred Martin again too...

Image: Victoria Ellis

Food quiz

A useful food quiz from the Guardian.
Explores the largest producers of a range of commodities.

Tornado resources

I blogged a few weeks ago about some of the resources that had been created after the disastrous Moore tornado.

I had this message earlier from a teacher at Lex Middle School.

We wanted to say thank you for your page, http://www.geographypages.co.uk/a2met.htm , all the way from Nebraska! In light of all the tragic tornadoes that ripped through Tornado Alley this past month, our school is doing a weather safety seminar for the kids to help prepare them in the case of an emergency.  Your resources have been so helpful to the kids in aiding them through this learning process!

As a thank you for being such a big help, they wanted to 'pay it forward'  and share another resource with you!

"Tornado Preparedness"

They wanted to make a special request to add this to your page! I think it's a great idea since it's filled with a lot of valuable material.

Thank you again and please let me know if you include it...they would be delighted to see it up!

So here's the link to the resource, as I don't update GeographyPages any more, although it still gets 40000 or so visitors a month...

RGS-IBG Event on the Countryside

Thursday 27 June 2013 7.00 - 8.30pm

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR

Environmental risks and hazards like bovine TB, ash dieback and neonicotinoid pesticides are affecting our biodiversity and agriculture. With scientific uncertainty about the impact and scale of these risks, policy-makers face difficult decisions.

Badger culls have been implemented, neonicotinoid pesticides have been banned for their effect on the bee population, and the public are helping spot the early warning signs of Ash Dieback. How can all groups of society input into this decision-making process and is Government getting its policies right and striking a balance between maximising innovation and minimising harm?

The event will be chaired by Tom Heap from BBC Countryfile
Tickets – All welcome
£10 / Free for RGS-IBG Members, school members and Fellows / Book online or by phone 020 7591 3100

Interview lesson...

For my new teaching job I had to teach a lesson on the theme of Wind Farm Development.

Fortunately, the department has been using my GA KS3 toolkit 'Look at it this Way'
This book is still available to buy from the GA Shop.

I decided in the time that I had to prepare for my interview lesson, which was very short and ended up being in the early hours of the morning of the day itself, that I would adapt a lesson from the book. Some of the students had apparently been doing some of the activities already, so had a flavour of what to expect.
Here's an image of a wind farm that I took while on my way between home and Sheffield.
I discovered that in terms of the definition of a wind farm, then as few as two wind turbines could be classed as a wind farm for planning purposes, although some local authorities classed it as three. There was no overall definition in terms of numbers.

Wind Farm, Lincolnshire Fens, as seen from the A17
Image by Alan Parkinson

As I had a bit of advance notice of the lesson topic, I was able to ask some of my friends to tell me some words to describe wind turbines, and I was able to create a word cloud.
Word cloud created using Wordle.net

Thanks to those people who helped with the lesson in this way.
And here is the lesson itself.
I uploaded it to Slideshare...

Wind lesson from GeoBlogs

And here's the lesson plan....

Note that this is an interview lesson, so is not necessarily representative of normal practice...
I over-prepared and adapted some of the activities (of which there were too many)

Food Desert mapping...

A useful new FOOD DESERT map.

There is a useful article on the basis behind the idea, to explain what is meant by food deserts.

FOOD DESERTS are found in most countries. They are often linked to inequality: it is the poorest who generally have the worst access to healthy food at an affordable price.
Noel Jenkins has previously carried out some work on food deserts.

World Oceans Day - 8th June

In connection with Digital Explorer, I've created a few Oceans resources in the last year or so: the Frozen Oceans pack, which won a GA Silver Award, a resource on Sustainable Fishing, and also some ideas for the Catlin Seaview Survey of the Great Barrier Reef...

Tomorrow is World Oceans Day
You could check out Coral Reef Live at the moment.

I'm going to London tomorrow so unlikely to get to see the ocean for real... if you can, go for a paddle on Saturday...

Some news... and some thanks...

Back in July 2008, after over twenty years as a teacher, I stopped teaching.
I left the huge archive of resources which I'd built up over the years behind for my colleagues, as I was joining the Geographical Association as Secondary Curriculum Development leader.
I spent three years working with thousands of teachers and working on projects across the country....
And then it all stopped....

The job I'd worked towards for twenty years, and thousands of extra hours of writing, resource creation, website work and blogging had disappeared and I was redundant and unemployed.
I sent e-mails to many people, reminded people of what I'd created up to date, and crossed my fingers...
And work started to arrive.

I'd like to thank the following people and organisations who have supported me over the last 2 years...
These are in no particular order...

- former colleagues at the GA, including Lucy Oxley for involving me in the CPD programme, and Bob Digby for getting me heavily involved in the 2013 conference programme, and Ruth Totterdell for involving me in editing 2 books which won SAGT awards, and co-authoring a book with John Widdowson which is coming out in September 2013
- Steve Brace at the RGS, who very kindly got me off and running with several writing jobs, which ended up in a contribution to a GA Silver Award winning resource 'From the Field'
- Richard Allaway for involving me in the development of materials for Geography all the Way, and also our e-book for IB Geography, and getting me out to Geneva for a memorable day up the Aiguille du Midi...
- Paula Owens for involving me in various projects over the last few years, and with plans for a few more to come in the future - we make a good cross-phase team - thanks for the tiny cakes too...
- the wonderful wonderful Dan, Tom and Helen from the Geography Collective / Mission:Explore / Explorer HQ for providing laughs, inspiration and awesome creativity, and getting me to Glastonbury - which was an experience...
- Karl Donert for involving me in several EU projects, and getting me out to exciting places like Helsinki, Salzburg University and Bruges, to name but a few - memories to last a lifetime... as well as contributing to the MEDEA award winning 'Historiana' portal
- the I-USE folks who I spent a splendid few days with in Bruges a few weeks ago, and also memories of Ghent...
- colleagues from Leeds, Scottish Borders, Suffolk, Cornwall, Wakefield, Justin Woolliscroft and Nick Gee et al who invited me to spend a day with them...
- Rob Lodge - who's always been supportive for decades... enjoy your retirement when it comes
- colleagues on the GA SPC for welcoming me back into the fold
- Graham Goldup and PTI folks
- the team at Priory Geography, particularly David Rogers
- Chris and the team at TeachIt Geography - I helped get the site up and running and it's going well
- Badger publishing for involving me in writing a book, particularly Maureen Gallagher for her editing work, and Cathy Martin and the team at Collins for help writing 'The Ice Man'.
- Jane Mann for signing me up for some possible future work - I hope we get the chance to work together
- Jason Sawle at ESRI for offering some consultancy work and support...
- the team at VITAL, particularly Kirsten Muirhead  - VITAL really kept me afloat when I first went freelance - I created a huge portal of resources at VITAL Geography and it's sad that it is now gathering dust....
- Anne Robertson and the team at Digimap for Schools / MapStream / EDINA - DIGIMAP has some great resources, and that project supported me through my first Christmas as a freelance...
- all the folks involved with Mission:Explore London and Lowestoft, particularly Sue from the WWT and Martin Crabbe, plus Jon Parker
- Jobina and all the team at TWIG and TIGTAG
- Elaine Owen, Ken Lacey and Darren Bailey at the OS Education team for support, chats, book ideas and freebies :)
- Ian Cook and colleagues at Follow the Things for involving me in a project which is ongoing and really creative...
- Jamie Buchanan Dunlop for involving me in three excellent projects which also won GA Silver Awards and were shortlisted for others - plenty more still to come from DigitalExplorer...
- Jon Wolton at Pearson, and other colleagues at Edexcel, for involvement in 'A' level consultancy, and many other things besides
- FSC folks such as Nick Lapthorn and David Holmes for humorous tweets
- Paul Baker for getting a few things booked in when things were looking bleak...
- Dan Stacey and folks at Discover the World for commissioning the Iceland resources - a pity I never got to go, or quite ended up in Norway as I'd hoped, but thanks to John Sayers for braving the gales...
- Daniel Edelson and all the team at National Geographic Education
- Diana Freeman at AEGIS
- Tony Cassidy for coming to the GA Conference and plenty more besides...
- Sylvia Knight for her patience - they'll be with you shortly...
- Val Vannet and the SAGT team, particularly Liz Crisp
- Collins blog team for paying me for some articles, and also the TES team...
- colleagues on Primary and Secondary Geography Quality Mark moderation teams
- the folks on a top secret project I can't announce yet, as we haven't got the press release out...
- the thousands of teachers I've worked with over the last few years - from PGCE colleagues to experienced teachers close to retirement...
- and anyone else I've missed out (and there are bound to be quite a few) - apologies... and thanks

And finally, thanks to Claire Kyndt, who teaches geography at King's Ely school.
Back in 2010, I read the wonderful application that the Geography department at the school had put together for the GA's Secondary Geography Quality Mark.

The department not only had an amazing scheme of work, and produced top quality work, but also based a lot of its thinking on the ideas behind Mission:Explore. There was no shortage of risk-taking and adventurous pedagogy, which was exciting to read. The department more than earned the SGQM. I was invited to run a day for primary and secondary colleagues at the school too.

A week or so ago, a day before half term started, I had an interview at King's Ely, and taught a lesson, and later that day, I was offered a job.
Which means...
From September 2013, I am returning to the classroom, to teach Geography at King's Ely. It's a wonderful school, apparently the 10th oldest in the world, and a privilege to be working with students and colleagues in such an inspiring setting, and with such a history and tradition...
I'll be teaching part-time, which means that for all of those of you who want to work with me that's still going to be possible...

I'm very much looking forward to September.

Biggest thanks of all to Sally, Ella and Sam, who have put up with so much over the last few years.

As I've said many times before, I stand on the shoulders of giants...

And finally, there's a new blog (of course) which will chart my new geographical journey....
The lesson resources I used will be posted later...

Dubai timelapse

Thanks to Richard Allaway for the lead to this resource.
Fits nicely with previous GTT work by Noel Jenkins on Dubai as an amazing place....

World Flight Path Map

A nice new WORLD FLIGHTS MAP that has been doing the rounds for the last week or so...

The idea of connections which this map includes makes it useful for discussions on the nature of, and geographical impact of, elements of globalisation.
More on this BBC page.

Free Commonwealth Class resource

A new free resource booklet from the BRITISH COUNCIL to tie in with next year's Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Glasgow in 2014.
(2 Mb PDF download)

Keep an eye out for a free resource to support the OS MapStream product which I also based on the games, and the plans for the athletes' village.

Awesome infographic from ONS on employment structure over 170 years...

170 years of industrial change Infographic
Infographic by Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Iceland CPD course at Discover the World HQ

An interesting CPD course for Geography teachers, with a focus on Iceland, is being put on by Discover the World at their HQ in Surrey in October.
More details over at the DTW website.

Did I mention that it's my favourite price....

Course Leader / Presenter Profiles
Ari Trausti is one of Iceland’s best known geologists and a former Icelandic Presidential candidate. With over 25 years’ experience as a freelance consultant, Ari has worked in a variety of fields, including TV hosting, teaching and writing.
Simon Ross is a Head of Geography and has written several mainstream geography textbooks, such as the AQA GCSE A text for Nelson Thornes, the Exploring Geography KS3 series for Hodder Education and the AQA A level series for OUP.
David Rogers is Curriculum Leader for Geography and Professional Tutor at Priory School in Portsmouth, and is a Chartered Geographer and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is a multi award winning teacher and leads a department awarded the GA's Centre of Excellence.
Hjörvar Sæberg Högnason is the UK General Manager for Iceland’s leading airline, Icelandair.

The Programme

For those considering a field trip with Discover the World this is also an excellent opportunity to organise an appointment with one of our educational travel specialists. Please contact us to reserve an appointment.

Please note that places are limited and will be allocated on first come first served basis.

You can also get to Norway and help develop future school trips....

Thought for the Day

"Time leaves an indelible stamp on everything. When you revisit your past you can no longer live inside it, but you can walk around it, open up old memories and occasionally catch the scent of some place in which you lived". 
Peter Gabriel

World Environment Day

June 5th is World Environment Day.
Each year the theme is one of the main themes impacting on the environment, and it is perhaps significant that this year's day is themed around the issue of FOOD WASTE.

A great deal of food is wasted in many countries, including the UK of course.
I have blogged numerous times about food waste on the blog....

An infographic produced by DEFRA UK for World Environment Day
A useful resource to start discussions on the issue of Food Waste.
Click for biggery