We will remember them...

Image Over to Ely Cathedral yesterday for another poignant Remembrance service. A reminder of my Great Grandfather's name on Tyne Cot, as taken for me by Paul Berry.


OS GetOutside Champions - a chance to join the initiative

Keep an eye out in the next few days for a chance for you to be part of the next group of people who will be championing the outdoors along with the Ordnance Survey.

I've really enjoyed my two years being part of the Champions group, and am debating whether I should apply to continue (which I'd really enjoy) or step down to allow a new face to join the GetOutside team. There will no doubt be a record number of applications for this oppportunity.

I'll share the details when they are launched.

Image result for getoutside champions

The Great Flood

If I were called in
To construct a religion
I should make use of water
Philip Larkin

This week, communities in South Yorkshire have once again been hit by flooding after torrential rainfall led to rivers overflowing and rainfall entering homes in Rotherham, Sheffield, Doncaster and other places.
I've been exploring images and stories from many familiar places in those towns and cities.

This book by Edward Platt explores our relationship with flooding. 
I started reading it the day before the flooding happened.

I've been storing some images from the most recent flood onto my Pinterest account in a folder.

A review from the New Statesman.

Some details of the book are here.

You can listen to five extracts from the book on the Radio 4 website, as it has been a recent Book of the Week.

Some thoughts from an interview with the author.

GA and DEFRA - new resources

A new set of resources produced by the GA in association with DEFRA is now available.

It's good to see that the GA and the DEFRA are still working together. One of the many jobs I had when I was with the GA was to attend meetings of a group of organisations, brought together by, and hosted at DEFRA HQ along from Tate Bankside

Here's a description of the resources for you.

Our natural environment is something we often take for granted, and its intrinsic and subtle values are often overlooked. The way we treat our environment has become a ‘hot topic’, especially amongst young people, who are rising up to have their voices heard and take action to secure the  environment’s future protection. To improve the natural environment at scale, many more people need to understand it and help protect it. As such, it is critical that the natural environment, and the way that humans interact with it, is studied across all key stages.
Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan (25YEP), published in January 2018, sets out the ambition to hand over our environment to the next generation in a better condition than when we inherited it. The 25YEP announced 2019 as a Year of Green Action to  make it easier for people to get involved in improving the natural world and spread the word about environmental issues. This is providing a focal point for organisations, individuals, communities and businesses to learn more about their environmental impact and take action to reduce it. The Year of Green Action is ‘an opportunity for everyone to get involved and enthused about restoring nature…with all having a part to play’.
The 25YEP put children and young people at the heart of the Year of Green Action, to help them play an active part in decision-making for their future. The #iwill campaign, of which government is a partner is encouraging more young people to take social action for the environment.
Schools and geography teaching play a vital role in engaging children and young people with the natural environment. At Key Stages 1-3, students are expected to make observations and experience fieldwork in human and physical environments in order to understand features, and how human activity is both reliant upon natural systems and influences these systems, processes and resources. Each of the reformed GCSE specifications have an expectation that students consider environmental services and ecosystem functioning, how resources are consumed, how humans change ecosystems, and sustainability. At Key Stage 5, students are required to understand how human activity influences landforms over time, changing places, environmental management, geopolitics of resources and global governance, and how natural cycles influence resource security.
The Resources
These GA resources, produced with support from Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), aim to encourage young people to explore, understand and spend time in the natural environment, both locally and further afield.

More Geography Teachers wanted...

We need more folks to consider joining the profession, partly as old folks like me come towards retirement but also as there are more young geographers who need inspiring. One option is to apply for the RGS-IBG Scholarship programme.

Details here:

Jersey SMP

Going to take a closer look at this. 

Useful as a nice little self-contained case study of coastal management on an island, which is a self contained unit - often we consider cells which are impacted by those updrift or downdrift of them, or where sea defences impact on the processes along a particular stretch.

Flooding in South Yorkshire

There were memories here of previous flooding that has affected these cities, such as in 2007.
Familiar locations flooded and water collecting in well known spots.
Been collecting images and stories this morning and filing them away on Pinterest and other places.

As it happens, I've also started reading this book this week.
Image result for platt flooding

Uncovering new lands

One phenomenon which was always going to happen as the ice retreated from the Arctic, was that areas that were assumed to be either all land or all sea were going to turn out to be ice covered archipelagos and new islands.

The Russians have announced the 'discovery' of five new islands in the Arctic.

There will be many more to come.
CNN has more on this story.

Image: Val Vannet - Greenland 'Iceberg Alley'

Booth's Poverty Maps

The LSE have put together an excellent new site to showcast the poverty maps of Charles Booth.

These were maps of London which mapped the state of the housing and residents across London.
The LSE has a strong connection with the GA, as many Presidents were linked with the LSE, including people who co-founded it. The GA Conference was also held at the LSE for many years, as you can read over on my GA Presidents blog.

The maps have also been turned into a book, which looks rather beautiful.

Italy - putting sustainability in education

Italy is making sustainability and climate crisis compulsory. 
This is an interesting move given debates at the moment about "putting climate change on the curriculum" - and also given that geographers explore climate change.

We have had 'compulsory' climate change in Geography for years of course, in those schools that follow the NC


A useful Tim Harford piece on the value of GPS.

Worth exploring this with students, once they know what GPS is of course....

One for the GI Pedagogy project as well perhaps.

Factfulness resources shared by Matt Podbury

Image may contain: 1 personGo over to GeographyPods for some excellent new Factfulness work which has been shared. Links in the post below....

Factfulness SOW - I have been trialing some KS3 mini units of work on the Factfulness work by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund.

Good news is that the kids seem to have really enjoyed them. The 25 copies of the books that were bought have also been taken away to be read by some of the younger students too!

Y7/G6 - http://www.geographypods.com/g6-factfulness.html - focusing on the authors, approaching bad news, how to read the bubble chart, the gap instinct, the four levels (including a ready to go card sort activity).

Y8/G7 - http://www.geographypods.com/g7-factfulness.html Are you smarter than a chimp?, Is the world getting worse?

Y9/G8 - http://www.geographypods.com/g8-factfulness.html Walking down Dollar Street (breaking development stereotypes).

I'm hoping that promoting this type of critical thinking will pay dividends at KS4 & KS5. I'll be refining and adding stuff to the units when I tackle them again next year.

Feel free to take anything within, adapt and try out with your students. It's all free to access.

PS - Blockposters works really well if you want to have a large classroom copy of the bubble chart (see second photo). File here: https://www.scribd.com/document/430632637/Gapminder-World-Health-Chart

Remember this?

Teachers of a certain age will remember this... We had a copy in the school where I taught.