January 2008 marked the beginning of the most challenging professional years of my life. Looking back, it’s hard to believe how we got through the Ofsted Subject Inspection that occurred just four weeks after taking up the post.
The outcome was inadequate.
The challenge was set.
We are not fans of badges and hoops. There are enough in education without volunteering for more. However, we felt that we needed some closure. This has partly been provided by an improvement in results. Geography is now on par with History in the school, however, there is still improvement to be made an our focus this year is to improve student achievement. Not because we have to, but because we have the responsibility to help our students achieve what they want and need.
It is in this context that the award of the GA’s Secondary Quality Geography Mark has been made to reflect the excellence in teaching and learning in the department. This is great news for us and marks the end of one journey and the beginning of the next.
I’d like to pay tribute to some truly wonderful people. I know that my expectations can sometimes be a little challenging…..
- Jo Debens – for always accepting the challenge with grace.
- Alec Weaver – for being reliable, caring. Your passion for working with young people is evident.
- Lisa Whiting – for your perseverance. We really couldn’t have done it without you.
- Samuel Atkins – for reigniting the spark and reminding us why we should be doing what we do.
We have a great geography team. However, the award feels a little bittersweet as one of the most brilliant teachers, who was there to start the journey, sadly passed away last week. Mo Baren was always open to change. Indeed, she was often the driving force. We’d like to dedicate the award to her memory.