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Showing posts from June, 2008


Have been thinking about wordle and its potential uses in the classroom. Thanks to Noel , Alan and Tony for initially pointing this out and the SLN thread with some examples. I've been thinking if this can be used as a tool for AfL. Can an A Grade piece of work be distinguished from a D? Below is the word cloud for my geography department. Although inadequate overall if I had shown this cloud in the feedback session there is a positive message as 'Good' and 'Satisfactory' come out more prominent than 'inadequate'. Got me thinking - without any electronic pupil work to hand I used the Ofsted reports for two random schools. Which one is better? The first cloud is from a 'Good' school while the second is from a 'satisfactory' (how I hate that term!) school. Could you spot that without reading the whole report? This application could also be a good way of prioritising action points for departments or in identifying key messages from


Some interesting stuff on Countryfile today- including a possible airport development in Snowdonia and the Pylon Appreciation Society. I particular like the second idea - maybe I'll get some pupils to create their own society - what would they appreciate? Why? Is it getting so close to the end of term that all of these ideas seem great? Mmmmmm!

The Innocents Abroad

What would happen if you were to follow the journey made by a writer many years ago? What changes would have occurred? What would be the same? Would the culture of each place still be distinctively different today? I'm hatching a plan based on this book by Mark Twain. . . . .

Changing places

I enjoyed watching Pixar's Cars the other day. Linked with Dave Gorman's 'America Unchained' I'm putting together a resource that explores the impact of highway creation on places. The film focuses on Radiator Springs - a small town that is in decline after a new highway cuts off the through traffic. Dave Gorman aims to travel across America without visiting any chain company's for food, fuel or accommodation. These ideas will form part of the 'Changing Places' unit in Year 7 next year. There are also some links to landscapes....

Wild swimming

A recent purchase. Heading to Snowdonia next weekend so may try a bit......

Where to go from inadequate?

I attended a fast track teaching meeting yesterday where I was asked to talk about my experiences post Ofsted. A copy of the summary can be found here . The word 'inadequate' bring out interesting reactions in people. As mentioned before, the reult wasn;t surprising. However, we are a full 4 months on now and progress in the department is going well. On reflection that key areas that are so important to any department are developing staff and developing the curriculum. Coupled to this, the relationship between the Curriculum Leader and Senior Leadership line manager is really important. There are excellent monitoring strategies in place in this school - but that didn't stop the department from failing. Staff relationships are vital. By trailing my ideas at this school before passing them onto the department I have proven that they work HERE. This has gained the respect and trust of colleagues and allowed me to iron out any issues. I'm also introduced a system of peer

Blogs and slideshare session

Gave 2 very short 'taster' session on the use of blogs, slideshare and 4shared during an inset day today. They seem to have been received warmly. If you have found your way here - use the links available on the left of this page to explore what other people are using blog for. And remember to think about how you'll use them before diving into it! I'm more than happy to chat some more if any colleagues want to peruse this method. Many thanks to some virtual geography colleagues who I have blatantly stolen ideas and phrases from! | View | Upload your own