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Showing posts from February, 2009


I'm always weary of Wikipedia - I often challenge its use with pupils. The main issue is that the site can be altered and changed. A great example is this BBC News Story

Ofsted questions

The photo above is me during a show at Disney Land Paris. The pupils I was accompanying had the great idea that I would love to be in the show. Why put it here? Well, it's another example of when I've really been in the spotlight! Ofsted puts similar pressure on departments. Here is a list of questions that I've been asked at a Curriculum Leader of Geography by Ofsted inspectors. The questions were asked in one-to-one and group interviews. Hopefully they will be of help to others.: 1. Where are the opportunities for independent enquiry in your curriculum? 2. Why do pupils make good progress in your subject but not in others? 3. What have you done to raise standards in your subject and what evidence have you got that it is making a difference? 4. What have you learnt from other departments that are doing well? 5. Where are the literacy opportunities in your curriculum? 6. How do you know that all staff in the department know what a Level 6 is? 7. What have you done to ens


Last week my school hosted 5 inspectors. I've always seen inspection as a positive opportunity. Day 1 The inspection team spoke to the whole staff. I was seen by the lead inspector for half a lesson. Very pleased. At least one teacher was seen in each Humanities subject area. I then attended a meeting for Curriculum Leaders. I was called because of the inadequate geography report last year. (I must attract Ofsted!!!!) The meeting focused upon the support networks and whole school initiatives. There was a clear concentration on how the senior team dealt with under performing staff and we got the impression that the team were looking for evidence of the schools vision and communication systems. One clear point to metion is that the inspectors liked seeing plans and future stategies. However, dispite this their judgements were based upon the past and not the future. Day 2 The second day was uneventful. The lead inspector mentioned that he couldn't belive that he was visiti

Snow Day 2.... well almost

Made it into work today, no thanks to the weather conditions! A27 was solid ice between Chichester and Emsworth. Really tested my ice driving skills and many were less fortunate than myself. In school now getting Year 8 to investigate 'Why on earth has a tiny bit of snow ground the South to a halt?'. Lots of great comments especially thanks to the Sun, Portsmouth News. 2/5ths of the school are not in today, so tempers are running high. Should have stayed at home as I;m not sure whether I'll get home!

Causes of climate change

Wrote this post yesterday, but slideshare was taking a while. Maybe coping with all of Alan's presentations? ;-) Ofsted lesson for Year 9. Bit of citizenship at the end of the lesson with considering rights, responsibilities. Also allowing pupils to decide who should be responsible for reducing climate change. Pupils will move around the room and then have the chance to convince others to join them. Are individuals, the Government or companies responsible for reducing carbon emissions? I don't think that we can teach climate change without considering the citizenship implications of our choices. What Is Causing Our Climate To Change View more presentations from geogrocks . (tags: ofsted geography ) As Ofsted are on their way, the lesson plan can also be found here Youtube videos are these: and,

Snow Day

Attempted to get to work today. I even cleared the car. Got to the A27 and didn't like going sideways, so turned around and got home. Spent the morning creating a Year 8 lesson about tourism. Based upon ideas on the Geography Teaching Today website. We think one of the foci will be how SEN pupils progress in lessons, hence there is an extra column on the lesson plans. Will be passing the whole package to staff via email. I hear that the kids are bonkers at work, so while my colleagues tie them down I've put together the lessons. Should Thailand Ban Tourism View more presentations from geogrocks . (tags: ofsted geography ) Here is the PPT that ties the lesson together. To make this lesson 'living geography' staff will draw on the experiences of young people on holiday. For example, the homework will ask pupils to investigate Portsmouth. The other resources can be found here , including the lesson plan and handouts.

Living Geography - Geography Detectives

Attended a great workshop by Jeff Stanfield during last week's conference. I work closely with Jeff and love his passion and knowledge. Jeff argues that pupils should be "geography detectives'. I agree. We took part in a couple of taster activities during the workshop. One of which challenged us to match census data to photographs in Southampton. I've used this idea with Portsmouth. It is vital that we continue to explore census data. This lesson will be part of my Ofsted preparation for this Wednesday and Thursday. This is the PPT that holds the lesson together: How Well Do You Know Portsmouth View more presentations from geogrocks . The starter asks pupils to explore their feelings about Portsmouth. Can they put tangible data and evidence together with these feelings. Thanks to Dan and Alan for the 'feelings' slide. Next is the challenge. A series of photos, census and deprivation data. Pupils have to explore the data in order to match the place. In te

Got the call!

Ofsted this week - Wednesday and Thursday. So far I have: Prepared my lessons so that I can focus on helping out the rest of the team. We will know further details of the inspection tomorrow. Re-written the first page of the department's SEF - the bit covering standards and results Re drafted the department development plan Tomorrow I will cobble together the latest KS3 and 4 data, comparing our progress to this time last year. It was around this time that the department was visited as part of a 'Subject Inspection' . I had only been is post for 4 weeks, as the outcome was inadequate. This time we have made huge strides forward. This will be my 3rd Ofsted inspection in 5 and a half years of teaching. I found the first 2 occasions very positive and am therefore looking forward to the inspection. I'll be blogging and tweeting updates through the week as I prepare for the inspection!