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Showing posts from October, 2012

Running thanks

The photo above was taken as I waited to start the Great South Run in Portsmouth this morning.  There were 25,000 other runners and I managed to bimble over the line in 1 hour and 24 minutes which I was pleased with.  Back in January, I hadn’t run ever.  Thank you to all of those who have supported me so far.  There’s still time to sponsor my efforts .  It also means that I’m only four miles off meeting my goal for 2012. Next? The Brighton Marathon in April.

@DTW_Schools study aids pick up honours at SAGT

I travelled up to the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers Annual Conference in Glasgow on Saturday to man the stand for Discover the World.  While I was there, it was with great honour that I picked up three ‘Highly Commended’ awards for our on-line study aids . There are currently three study aids on the website that are free to teachers (after a simple sign up procedure).  There are plans afoot to add further titles.  All of the resources are available to download. I put together the Key Stage 3 resources for the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Solheimajökull Glacier and Hardanger Tourism packs.  Simon Ross, Stephen Schwab and Susan Schwab worked on the GCSE and A’Level links and the KS3 literacy lessons. I’m also looking forward to this trip when I head out to Iceland with the NQT / PGCE CPD visit in April, as well as my school’s Iceland epic.

Guest post by @Treagie : Pimp your lessons

I’ve always thought that leadership is about doing the right things as opposed to doing things right (not my saying).  In leadership, this often means empowering other people and taking a back seat and letting other develop and take the credit.  This approach has enabled Priory Geography to explore a wide range of projects and increase our headline A*-C by an average of 12% each year (although we still have work to do on achievement).  Sometimes, I wonder if this is a politically wise move, but I don’t really care. Part of my new role (leading teacher learning) is to provide an ‘Induction’ programme for new teachers and others who wise to pop along.  Traditionally, this has been delivered by the ‘experts’ who have been teaching a long time and as such talk from the perspective of ‘having already made it.’  So, to mix things up I’ve asked NQT+1 teachers to run some of the sessions.  This allows me to introduce Hannah , who is far more creative in her approach than I am.  Check out h

Introducing the Mobile@Priory Cookbook

The past two years have seen the development of a Mobile policy that has encouraged their use; the provision of student accessible WiFi and the co-planning of lessons that use a blend of students’ own devices and our own.  The next twelve months will see some further exciting developments, including some work with the fab people at the UK Partners in Learning.   In the meantime, here is our Mobile @ Priory Cookbook.  It documents the journey through this project so far and has been put together by the lovely people at Borbonesa who we worked with last year.  It’s embedded below and also available here .  It’s a cookbook instead of a manual or instruction book as it’s  designed to dip in and out of – to take what works and implement it in a different way by adding different ingredients at different institutions.  We’d welcome your feedback. Open publication - Free publishing - More cookbook

Discover the World ( @DTW_Schools ) news

I do like Discover the World and their approach to providing quality learning stuff for schools.  Two quick pieces of news regarding the travel company.  Firstly, the GA sponsored trip to Iceland for PGCE students and NQTs is filling up nicely.  I’ll be accompanying the trip in April next year to provide some advice on curriculum links and to give some workshops.  I may also provide a little guidance during the Reykjavik pub crawl also.  There are limited places left so visit here for details . Secondly, I’ll be traveling up to the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers Annual Conference in Glasgow on Friday night to represent the company at the exhibition. I hope to catch up with some of you there.

BETT 2013: Learn Live session

BETT has changed location but is sure to be a whirlwind of activity as always.  Priory Geography and myself are involved in a number of exciting events at next year’s event, that starts at the end of January 2013.  I’ll be feeding in this news as and when details become available.  The first is that Priory Geography will be delivering a Learn Live session based upon the BYOD policy that has been operating at our school for the past 18 months. See you there ?

Simple but effective ideas: Iceland does not exist

I have to say that I’ve been struggling this week with fatigue and a little loss of inspiration.  There’s also a shed load going on so I hadn’t really had a huge amount of time to put too much planning into my Year 7 lessons this week.  So with a little inspiration from Daniel from my friends at the Geography Collective and the words of some bloke I met at a GSMA meeting ringing in my ears (It’s about the device not the behaviour… #whatever ). The lesson started by a classic map detectives activity.  Students had to consider the map below taken from the Icelandic Met Office website .  I asked them to tell me what the map showed. I banned them from answering with ‘Iceland’ or ‘the earthquakes in Iceland in the past 48 hours’ and hinted toward some mapping work from a previous lesson where we considered the positioning of the tectonic plates. This allowed me to get around the room and help those who needed it.  Answers ranged, but most got to the main thrust: Earthquakes

Stuff that makes life easier: @Fotobabble

As geographers, Priory Geography love heading out into the field.  It;s the time of year when we run our mock controlled fieldwork assessment with Year 10, heading down to Barton on Sea, Highcliffe and Hurst Castle Spit.  One key way of capturing and presenting data from the field is the good old photograph.  These are often worked up in the classroom into annotated photographs / diagrams and field sketches.  The problem though, especially with lower ability students, is capturing the relevant information in the field.  Of course, voice recorders (Dictaphones) have been around for a good while now, and these have been used effectively in the past.  However, Fotobabble allows students to annotate images in the field using one of the department’s iPhones or one of their own mobile devices. I like Fotobabble as it doesn't require an internet connection to capture data.  Although the sharing has proven a little tricky, we have been able to capture images.  We have three more t