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Showing posts from February, 2007

South Africa Day 6 15th Feb 2007

Now - I know that a travel journal usually starts at the beginning but seeing as I started at the end by posting yesterday I'm going to write about my final day in South Africa. To say that the day was a Geographers dream would be an understatement! Myself and colleague Jamie German were given a tour of the Franschhoek area by one of its residents Julian. Franschhoek being the area around one of the partner schools. The highlights of the day were standing at the base of a dam which will be under 90m of water by this time next year; being given a tour of a water filtration plant and tasting wine from the fermentation tanks with the wine maker. I have to give our thanks to Julian who accompanied us around the area! Julian our guide. The area he is standing on and behind will be flooded once the Berg River Dam is complete The Berg River Dam As this article suggests the Berg River Dam is an important development for the Western Cape. The dam will supply Cape Town with addition

South Africa: A Geographers Playground

Well I'm sat in another airport (this time Cape Town International) wondering where the time went - again! I have spent a fantastic 6 days in the country, although I will need to come back and spend a lot more time. I have been struck by the similarities between our education systems. There are also differences. One Geography Teaching in a township school summed it up nicely: 'Our teaching resources are in print and the imagination of the learner'. I hope I have made some firm contacts and life-long friends. After half term there will be contact between learners from a school in the suburbs of Cape Town and my own. My one frustration is that I did not have enough time to spend with the teachers here due to a packed schedule. Having said this I did do my best to slow down to 'African Time!' My advice to SLT's planning on this kind of venture is to ensure that the teachers travelling have accurate and detailed information about the schools. Also, our culture of

At Heathrow wondering where the time has gone!

Ok, so I'm off to Cape Town to work on a school link, then skiing to the French Alps so may not be able to post for a while. At the moment I'm sat in Heathrow feeling anxious. I hope that all will go well, and I'm really looking forward to working with the school and pupils. I'll be keeping a paper diary until I can update this soon - in the meantime I hope you're well!

Tick tock tick tock!

Where is the time going? I've not been able to post much this week as there is so much going on! However, I am off to South Africa on Friday to work on setting up curriculum links with a school out there. I hope to post more detail about our objectives later today. While away I am going to try using the PCS Blogs ( GCSE and KS3 ) to set cover work and monitor how well the classes are doing by getting them to post a comment at the end of each class - I feel a headache coming on! The picture is of me getting hands-on with a fire hose as part of the Fire Safety Course run by Firefighters at Portchester Fir Station. The course is coming to its conclusion and I must say a huge thank you to Andy Earl and Geoff Baker for their excellent instruction! Apart from that there's then the skiing to look forward to (a holiday at last - one day I'm actually going to just sit on a beach!). Together with getting job applications together it's been crazy. My Carbon Footprint this

The great water experiement

Regular readers will know that I've been experimenting with ways to encourage students to use and, more importantly, interact with blogging. My first real attempt is a project that challenged Year 10 students to reduce the amount of water the consume . I am pleased that there are now 41 comments on the post! I especially appreciate those of you who have added your own comments. These have made Year 10 feel like they are writing to a real audience! I am pleased that the classes have posted again afetr the two week period to report on any reduction. However, as I left the task fairly open ended, most comments don't go into how difficult (or easy!) reducing their water use was. This is something that I will need to improve, especially as the next attempt (the carbon project over on the KS3 blog ) will be with Year 7. I'll need to come up with some sort of guidance sheet. I'll end with an example of what I want to achieve. This comment was left by a pupil: 'I thi

Climate Change

I've been watching the BBC's Breakfast coverage of Climate Change this morning with great interest. The programme has provided a wealth of information and potential resources, including a nice explanation of the mechanism by school pupils. What caught my attention though was the plans that the government have to teach climate change in schools. The lessons will cover how global warming works and introduce ways in which students can cut their own car bon emissions. Now, as a Geography teacher I'm sure we have all been teaching these issues for many years! I have emailed the programme explaining this and inviting them to examine a SoW . It would be great if other Geographers could email the BBC ( ) - maybe this is a thread they will pick up. I think that this is just one more example of the way in which g overnment interference in the curriculum has devalued the work the geography already does - just like the whole of citizenship .