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Showing posts from March, 2009

BBC School Report

Pupils at Marwell Zoo interview the keepers about animal welfare and the protection of endangered species

Pupils make themselves at home in the South Today studios

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/school_report/7965393.stm - Huw Edwards interview
http://www.school-portal.co.uk/GroupHomepage.asp?GroupID=622644 - school page

The Geography department led the way in the BBC School Report this year. I would like to thank Jo for leading the group of pupils. Highlights included:

A live radio interview with Huw Edwards. Listen hereVisiting the BBC South Today studios to record the linksVisiting Marwell Zoo to investigate animal welfareConducting a chicken taste test to see what chicken tastes best. (I got very involved in this one!)Having their report shown on the main BBC South Today regional news programe last nightYou can get to our school page here. There are a selection of videos, stories and photos. The final piece will be uploaded soon - the BBC forgot to give us the USB lead for the (very nice) …

Twitter in the classroom

Have been burning a lot of brain juice thinking of ways in which to get Twitter used in the classroom easily and effectively. Any use of the programme must be able to be used across the department (and school). Therefore it has to be accessible to the IT not-so-literate. Also, any use has to add value to the learning.

So this week Year 10 have started lesson with this:

stephenfryBorneo is so gorgeous. But what a pity the monoculture of palm oil blights so much of the countryside. X

What a mystery! What on earth is this bloke on about? Led to interesting debates and all sorts of connections between Year 10 the rainforest and exploitation. Where is Borneo? What is Palm Oil? What's a monoculture? Why is it blighting te landscape? Cue Google Maps, photo layer, terrain, photos and lots of research

The quote was a tweet from Stephen Fry saved as a favorite. A good example of how geography is going on everywhere, everyday. Also brought the textbook and my ramblings up-to-date. The lesson h…

Back to basics

Back to basics is more than an ill fated Conservative policy. Over the past year many changes have taken place in the department, and I am now having some time to reflect. There was no curriculum and GCSE standards were way below standard (33% compared with 59% school average).

We are now on track to see a major jump this summer. So what have we done differently? The main focus has been using exam style questions each and every lesson and using the reports and mark schemes produced by the Chief Examiners. These hold a wealth of information. An example of a lesson is this

Rainforest Exploitation, Sustainable Development And ConservationView more presentations from geogrocks.
The starter gets pupils to apply what they know to an exam question. As a class we write a 'perfect' answer.I share the mark scheme. In this case we focused on Level Marking. Pupils often have trouble in getting their head around this aspect.Pupils then mark an example question. I get these from within the exa…

Rewarding a new way

For the last few months I have been working on updating our school's reward system to the 21st century. We are almost ready to go!

I will post more about this in a future post, however here is a link to a local news story about the scheme: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/newshome/Schools-budget-24k-rewards-for.5052263.jp

Would be great if people could add comments about the article. The 3 responses so far are positive.

The scheme will mainly reward good attendance, effort and academic achievement (in line with individual targets: not penalizing the less ale) and is closely linked into the school's existing data capture systems.

A viral advertising campaign is underway that includes the Vivo logo being displayed on the network desktop.

On-site filedwork part 2

These 3 items were used in a bit of on-site fieldwork. We are lucky to have access to the main building roof which is a good 30m above the ground. Thermometers were left at strategic points.

Before venturing on to the rood the pupils undertook their own risk assessment. Classes wee asked to identify risks and then develop a rule to reduce the risk. This is far better than talking through a list of rules and developed pupils understanding of risk management. For example - Risk: we could fall off, Rule: don't climb on the wall surrounding the roof.

The risk assessment was reinforced with a virtual tour in Google Earth.

Pupils were then given a statement 'Priory School has no effect on its micoclimate.' The slate was used to record the temperature at each sample point - nice a quick for a demonstration. The enquiry process was concluded back in the classroom.

Each class now has to upscale the enquiry to incude the whole school site. However, they are not allowed to use any scien…