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Showing posts from January, 2007

Slideshare and Shanty Settlements

The first batch of PowerPoint presentations have been posted on Slideshare . I have already viewed each one and provided feedback. I hope that students will value having feedback on their research as sometimes in the past it has not been possible to view all PPT's. I am hoping that students will now view each others' work and leave comments relating to the quality of geography and the presentation itself. The final stage will be to review these comments in a future lesson. I would be great if readers of this blog could also add their comments. The technique I have used is to set up an account exclusively for this use. Slideshare does allow multiple logins so it is possible for a whole class to upload to the same account within a lesson. An issue has been the lack of Flash on our school network. This is an annoying situation that I hope will be resolved soon! In the meantime, I am expecting students to view the presentations as homework. Do any other people have this problem

How well do we know our pupils?

I've just got back from a refresher first aid course run by Calshot Activities Centre . The course was excellent, and I'm pleased to say that I am qualified for another 3 years. The course threw up a couple of questions though. Firstly, I very much doubt that in a few months, given the same scenarios, I would be able to perform as well as I did today after two days of training. How do we keep a first aid qualification current? Of course I need to practise - although I don't (thank goodness) encounter many genuine first aid incidents even with the many outdoor trips and activities. The instructor suggested that every now and again I need to run some incidents around in my head, or even write them down. This would have the effect of keeping the information fresh in my mind. I think this is excellent advice. Secondly, the instructor emphasised the importance of knowing the kids in the groups we encounter. I know I always make a conscious effort to familiarise myself with any

CDG Inset at Cams Hill - An exciting time to be a Geographer!

A big hello to those of you who are reading this after this mornings Inset. I hope that you find what's here useful, and please follow some of the links to the right. These are the people where I have got the inspiration from. The copies of the PowerPoint used today and Handout can be found by following the links in yesterdays post below - just scroll down the page and look for 'KS3 Support Meeting'. Also, please feel free to add a comment - I appreciate any feedback whether it's positive or negative. I hope that my message of positive action was clear. Thank you to those who gave me some feedback at the end of the meeting - I really appreciate the positive comments and look forward to working with the new contacts created! Two issues were considered today: the 14-19 agenda and the future of Key Stage 3. I feel uneasy over the 14-19 curriculum plans. The wording 'all pupils will choose one of the pathways / diplomas' concerned me. The immediate questions to me

Hampshire KS3 Support Meeting

Welcome to all those who attended the KS3 Support Meeting this evening. I felt that the mood was positive tonight and I enjoyed talking about the practicalities of implementing a compressed Key Stage 3. You can find extra copies of the meeting notes here . The survey site I mentioned is surveymonkey . I've found that this is a great tool for collecting pupil responses. An example can be found here . As mentioned, Blogs are used to communicate with pupils. More importantly they allow pupils to communicate their findings and report progress. My attempts at using this method are at an early stage but the initial signs are promising. Don't forget that you can also leave a comment on this blog. GCSE Blog , KS3 Blog Finally, I mentioned a site called slideshare . I think that this has great potential for speeding up AfL, and providing a genuine opportunity for peer assessment. If you'd like to follow how pupils are using this facility, keep visiting as I hope to update pro

Time to get back into the sky

As a teenager I was lucky enough to be awarded a RAF Flying Scholarship which allowed me to develop my powered flying skills. I've been missing flying since leaving Bristol University Air Squadron , and have been planning to get back into this past time for quite some time. Finally I've found a nearby gliding school so I'm planning to check it out sometime soon! Check back to see how it all goes....

Snowdon Summit Cafe

I've been following this story on and off for a while now. The new Snowdon summit cafe plans are coming along, and the image above is a model of what the new structure will contain. I've always been against having a cafe at the highest point of Wales and England not least because of the safety issues related to members of the pubic walking back down the Llanberis path without the experience, skills and equipment needed. However, the plans are going ahead and the mountain is going to be maintained as a honeypot in the National Park. The brief given to the Architects Furneaux Stewart aims to reduce the costs, environmental and visual impacts of the building. I'll reserve judgement until the project is completed and I see it for myself.

The Alps Beckons

Yesterday myself and Alex finally started planning for our trip to Chamonix in the summer. As is our style, no real details have been put together yet apart from our ambition to climb at least one 4000m peak. We've built up quite a bit of Scottish Winter experience, so are hoping that we can achieve this ambition. I'd welcome any comments or advice from people who have been to the area over the summer season.

Back in the Saddle

I've been meaning to get active for a while now and today I finally got back on the bike and onto the South Downs Way. The conditions were quite challenging with a gusty, cold wind and very muddy tracks! It was a case of letting the bike steer itself - something that gets quite scary at over 25km/hr! Needless to say I ,managed to get very muddy. On the way, I stopped at a Trig Point and was surprised to see a plaque stating that the monument was part of the OS GPS Network. Having thought that with new mapping techniques Trig Points were redundant I looked this up when I got home. It seems that users can gain a wealth of information via the OS website and there is an interesting tutorial about using GPS in the outdoors. This is certainly something that I will explore in some detail at a later stage as I am still a relatively new user of GPS. I was also impressed to see that the OS is encouraging using the outdoors to get fit after the holiday excess! What a great idea! On get

I'm all Disney'd Out!

I've spent the last few days on a Media / Leisure and Tourism trip to Disneyland Paris. The trip, put together by Study Experiences, focused on the marketing of this huge organisation. I have to say that the photo above sums up the experience! The roller coasters of course were great fun, although having to go to McDonald's to find the only decent coffee was a low point! Of course, as a Geographer I was on the look out for useful resources and opportunities. The Disney organisation is a great example of a TNC The selection of Paris over Spain is an interesting case study in location decision making From the top of one of the roller coasters the new developments are clear alongside traditional farm buildings and building sites And finally, the eventful weather of Thursday made the journey back an adventure! I hope to get some of these resources together at various points over the year. As for the marketing, the trip offered a wealth of information linked to the assignments of

Slideshow use

After reading a few Blogs about slideshare I managed to use it in a class situation today. The circumstances came about as Hampshire County Council had blocked the ability to leave comments on blogspot blogs. Some quick thinking later (well for me anyway) I adjusted the water saving project outcome to a PowerPoint. This time I got pupils to sign up for their own account then use the 'share slideshow' feature to email them to me at I was pleased with the result, especially considering this was a rather crude use of the technology. All members of the class were able to send their work to me. This would be a great way to check that work has been done, especially as it is very difficult to check each computer in such a lesson. To develop the idea further I have set up an account using my school email address. All I have to do is investigate whether slideshare allows multiple logins to the same account. This would allow pupils to upload direc

Craghoppers go green!

Outdoor clothing company Craghoppers is the first in the outdoor sector to go carbon neutral. I've never used their products before, but maybe I should.

Year 7 Carbon Footprint Project

Well it's taken a fair while, but I've finally got together the beginning of a Year 7 Environment unit. I've got high expectations of the students and am going to start with a quick examination of global warming. This will lead onto a project where pupils have to reduce thier own carbon footprint. Many thanks to 'lidlest' on the SLN forum who really got me started on this with her Inconvenient Truth PowerPoint Also many thanks to the contributors to my SLN post searching for information. Finally I found this post , another from SLN useful too. The video on the first PowerPoint you will recognise as the one flagged up a while ago on various blogs. I haven't provided the link here though. This is also my first foray into slideshare . The main activity is based on a the water saving project on my GCSE Blog , and you can keep track of this project by viewing the KS3 version here . You can also download the PowerPoints here

South African Research

The research and preparation for the upcoming trip to South Africa is going well! I've found that a number of very nice wines come from the Stellenbosh region. In all seriousness, wine making is one of the regions main employers. I'm looking forward to getting out there now. So far the trip will include a couple of days in Cape Town. After that it will be time to work on developing the links between my school and our partner school. One of the activities I am looking forward to is experiencing the townships. Kayamandi is the large township in the area, although a small township (I'm told around 800 people) has developed on the school playing fields. I think this has been caused by migrant workers who have migrated to the area for a big dam building project in the area. So far lots of Geography!

A busy week ahead!

This week I'm taking the ferry to Euro Disney . We are taking 30 Media and Leisure and Tourism students there as part of a study trip. I thought this would be the ideal opportunity to try mobile blogging - I've read the information and it seems straight forward. Famous last words though! Has anyone else given this a go?

Geography is not a job. It's my passion.

I've decided to re-jig the title bar blurb after a comment from an English Teacher friend. This meant that I've been thinking about what to put up there. I've recently decided to put my name forward for the GGiP action committee and included the above phrase in the write up. It may not be original (although it did come out of my head) but I think it sums up how I feel about Geography. The photo is courtesy of Flickr . I've finally had some time to start exploring this site, and I'm impressed by what I've found. Apologies for the USA map, I just loved the lego man!

The view out of the window......

This was the view out of the flat window a couple of hours ago as the sun went down. At the time I was also flicking through this month's Trail magazine winter feature. Then it hit me! The thought that I'm not going to see snow or ice this year to actually climb or walk on. I am off to the France and the USA skiing this year, but I'm finding that the cost of being busy is not getting to the hills as often - especially with living on the South Coast. The feeling got worse as I realised that my next free weekend in sometime in April! That's a long time to wait (although I am in New Forest with DofE training). Time to do something! I'm going to make sure that May half term is spent in the Lakes on routes that I've wanted to complete for a while now (I'd be happy to receive any tips on good scrambling or climbing routes here). Also, it must be time to get into (or should that be onto) the water down here. I'll have to look into that one.......

Linvoy Primus Enterprise Challenge

Last term I got a small group of students together to enter the Linvoy Primus Enterprise Challenge. They formed the company S.O.N and have been using a blog to keep track of their progress. I'm very proud if the team who have really just got on with things on their own! During the meeting today the group tried to finalised their product - I'm looking forward to the final ceremony and celebrating their success. As a Geography teacher I was very lucky to get involved in this enterprise scheme and would recommend it to anyone!

The 'great' water reduction experiment!

I wanted Year 10 pupils to actually interact with the issues of water conservation before tackling a DME on the subject. I hope that personal experience will give them an insight into this important issue and some perspective when it comes to studying water resource issues in LEDC countries. I've decided to use the department blog in order to record the experiment. I've asked pupils to work out their personal daily consumption of water; then research ways in which to cut this down. The final stage the pupils have to put this into practise, using the blog to report on progress. I used this with the first class today, and it seemed to go down well, although I'll see how many pupils carry the whole project through! I'm hoping that some pupils will find it very difficult to cut down their use of water, allowing them to gain some perspective on this issue. The activity is based on this PowerPoint which guides the pupils through. Has anyone else tried this style of activi

Water Resources

I'm on a misison at the moment trying to gather as much information about Water Resources as possible for new KS3 and KS4 units. There is alot of great information out there. On my travels I have found the Wateraid site great, especially the fre video download that can be found here . The site also has excellent games and teaching resources aimed at all Key Stages. When I get home tonight I plan to create a list of online water resource sites, and hope to get the new learning material here soon! That is if I surviev the extra whole staff meeting tonight!

Time to get back in the habit!

I can’t believe it's almost been a month since my last post! I have been trying to find the time to get back into the habit of posting - and finally I've made it! This term is going to be a bit of a mental one as I have two overseas trips to fit in: South Africa and Euro Disney (both related to school) as well as skiing in the Alps! There's also my MA to finish, as well as a bit of teaching! Anyhow, last weekend I checked out Danywenallt Youth Hostel as I'm planning to take a Year 10 group there. I highly recommend this centre as a base for exploring the Beacons. It is sandwiched between the Talybont Reservoir and forest and gives a great sense of isolation. I spent the weekend checking out various waterfalls, one of which you can walk behind (Sgwd Yr Eira). The last time I was in this area was when I lived in Wales as a teenager, so it was good to refresh my memory. I'm hoping for slightly less water next time though! It is truly an interactive way to explore u