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Showing posts from July, 2008

Cairngorms expedition

These photos were taken the last time I had the pleasure of walking in the Cairngorms. I'm hoping that the weather will be a little different this time around! The objective is to summit all 18 Munro's in the range over a 4ish (flexibility being the key). Can't wait for a little bit of wilderness! The expedition will be a warm up before heading to Skye and then taking on the 3 Peaks Challenge. There will also be a couple of teaching outcomes. I have (for the first time) planned my route using Anquet mapping software. Our actual track will be recorded using a GPS during the trip. The resulting comparison will be used to teach some map skills. I intend to explore the decision making process along the expedition route. The other projects are very much in progress. Using GPS information to make a GE file showing signs of human use in on of the most remote areas of Scotland. We should not come across a settlement for the length of the expedition. We'll be taking along

Three Peaks Challenge

As part of the Geography on Tour project exploring participatory geography (supported by an RGS (IBG) Innovative Geography Teaching Award ) I'm taking on the three peaks challenge. At the same time I'll be raising money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance , and thanks to Alex and the team for agreeing for me to come along! You can sponsor me here. Looking down at Y Lliwedd on a rather wet Snowdon decent I last took part in the challenge a few ( ;-) ) years ago at the tender age of 18. The plan is to also gather local views about the impact of charity challenges and find out about the impact on the landscape. We are going to be a small team with one driver and intend on contributing to the local econmoy of each place (even if it is just a sneaky pint or two...) The summit of Ben Nevis last time I was there. This will link to participatory geography as I plan to produce a GE based resource where pupils can take the decision whether or not to allow the challenge to cont

Getting the start right

Have been working on the first unit of Year 7 quite a bit lately. Part of our school set up requires a baseline level after the first week. This means that in geography we have to get a level for each pupil by the end of the first lesson. So the challenge was to create an engaging lesson that also provides an opportunity for a baseline assessment. One of the problems in the department is setting expectations too low using a simple 'marks-out-of-ten' test. This model just tests pupils' knowledge rather than their geographical ability. From working with KS2 through induction lessons and primary projects, it had become clear to me that most primary pupils (at least in our catchment) are very capable geographers. Indeed, many primary schools seem to end Year 6 with a big geography project after the SAT examinations. The existing baselines available don't seem to be tied too tightly into the levels of attainment (yes I know that they are for assessing the end of the key sta

On the move

Have decided to start catching the train to work. rather than turning an eco -leaf it's for financial reasons: my other half pointed out that I'd be paying less than half the cost of driving the 80 miles round trip each day. Billy bargain ! Now I have nearly 2 hours of sitting on a train - extra reading and planning time. So I've also invested in mobile broadband from Vodaphone which is really working out well. I went for the mega speed version. Why don't I move closer to the school? I would if there where any first time buyers able to purchase the current chez Rogers! Image from Flickr user Armel * (back from India ) under Creative Commons

Mad, bad and dangerous to know

My current read has been around for a while now but just published in paperback. Am planning to include some famous geographers in as many schemes of work as possible as well as a display around the GGiP blank world map - mug shots of the people who helped to fill in the map. Have just got up to the part of Transglobe where he journeyed around the globe including getting across Antarctica and the Arctic. Now that's an expedition!


A couple of scans of the coasts book (with permission from Folens) and click here for an example lesson plan. Apologies for the rather poor quality, but you should get the idea! The series as a whole has some great feedback from teachers which is good news. I'll also be putting together a workshop for the GA's 2009 conference . The working title is 'Textbooks: everyone's guilty pleasure' and will aim to demonstrate how textbooks can be used in innovative ways in order to support geographical enquiry and investigation instead of comprehension......

Year 6 Induction

It seems that at this time of year I hardly do any teaching. So it's great when there is some to do! | View | Upload your own In the lesson I used the key concept of place to explore geography. Started by a little 'Geography or not?' quiz asking pupils for why it would be Geog. Then used the 'Where the hell is Matt' videos to get across the message of asking questions. Also asked pupils to count the number of places visited to encourage tactics for learning (much better sounding then learning to learn!). For example some pupils used a simple tally to keep track. This led into a maps from memory exercise (idea from a poster on SLN). Lovely! The gap at the bottom left of the slide is for a great image from Flickr but I'm still waiting for permission to use it. (in case you were wondering - it's the sort of thing I would spot)

KS3 Curriculum - almost there!

Spent an excellent day at New Place with the geography team last week. We managed to hammer out the KS3 curriculum map and plan up until Christmas. Regular readers may be aware of the unique situation at my school: the geography department had no Schemes of Work. At all. Ever. Therefore I have had the rather onerous task of not only creating a curriculum from scratch but having to ensure that it is implemented for September 2008. In Year's 7, 8 and 9. | View | Upload your own The show above outlines the new curriculum. The presentation will change a little as I'm still playing around with the format. I've tried to use the 'dartboard' to visualize the curriculum, linking to some of the Key Concepts around the outside. I'd welcome feedback as I don;t think this is 100% successful at the moment. The dartboard also has to show the sequence of units so that staff can easily see progression. It's my intention for this to sit on the school's (a my own) w


Geography@Work is a new textbook series published by Folens. My contribution is 'How sustainable is our coastline. Will we be ready for a rise in sea level?' The process of writing a text book has been a real eye opener. But why use textbooks? Surely they inhibit creativity? For a few reasons. The first is to support non specialists in my department. The second is that I believe that textbooks aren't the reason why the curriculum of the geography department I started at in January (the SoW where all based on the Key Geog...). The reason is how the textbooks where used. Anyhow, I'm fairly pleased with the result and I hope that some departments will find the book useful.....

Mission: Explore

One of my interests is being a member of the Geography Collective . One of our goals is to encourage young (and young-minded) people out into the outdoors in order to explore places. A huge list of possible missions has been created and a starter list can be found here. You can also find the collective on facebook. How many can you complete?