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Looking forward to the Geographical Association’s Annual Conference #gaconf14

2012-04-13 19.04.22

It’s almost two years ago that I enjoyed the selection of poppadum condiments above whist at the 2012 Geographical Association's Annual Conference in Manchester.  It was a great event, which you can read about here.  At the time, I was leading Priory Geography and took the whole team to the event.  I place that much value.  Last year I was leading trips to Iceland so missed out on Derby but, seven years after the camping barn adventures, I’ll be heading to Guildford on the 11th April.  I like the GA Conference as it has the mix between the cutting edge, academic university stuff and the grass roots teacher-led stuff.  I always try to seek out new speakers as they often offer a different perspective. Here are a few things I’m looking forward to / involved with.  If you’re there, come and say hello!

The full programme can be viewed here.  My session is a Tuesday lecture on the new curriculum and I plan to test the conference theme of ‘Crossing Boundaries.’ I plan to explore the opportunities offered by the new national curriculum and suggest some ways in which it offers a revitalisation of geography in schools.  Do come along, even if it is to heckle or throw some killer questions at me at the end.

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I’m also looking forward to the awards ceremony on the Monday to see Jo Debens pick up the Centre of Excellence accreditation. I’m also hoping that Professor Iain Stewart is able to give a talk that I haven’t heard before.  I have enjoyed his previous talks on the relationship between where people live and natural hazards.  I then plan to partake in some wine and networking with a few faces.

This year, I’m interested to see if the conference theme runs coherently through a variety of sessions. I’m planning on skipping the presidential lecture to have a look at work in the early years.  Having a four year old, I’m really interested in this and am coming to the conclusion (through my role to close the attainment gap for Pupil Premium students) that early years and primary education is where solid learning foundations are built and where a love of geography can be encouraged.  I’ve never really understood why sessions run during the Keynote sessions.  I’m then going to explore some of the Teacher-to-Teachers sessions, especially one to do with KS2 an Google Earth.

It’s great to see so many PGCE students running Teacher-to-Teacher sessions during the lunch, and I commend the GA for this.  I’m going to try and pop in to some.  I’m not sure where I’ll be then until the #beermeet

It’s well worth coming along to this event, it’s not all about the ale, but meeting like minded people and having a chat.  Come and say hello Smile

By the end of the Conference, I may have even (re)joined the GA and may try to (re)engage with the Association. 

If you’re going to the event for the first time, do say hello and grab a coffee / chat.  Also, it’s well worth checking out the Secondary Phase Committee’s tips.

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