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Subject Leadership: A Priory Geography Classroom

Over the past week, I have been reflecting upon some of the changes introduced at Priory Geography.  One of these was to introduce a consistent approach to the information displayed at the front of classrooms.   This information should be the stuff referred to on a daily basis.  Specific key terms can be displayed either through word mats or changing displays around the room.

The slideshare above is best viewed full screen.  What follows is a brief overview of each element, including a description of its use. Clockwise from top left corner:

Image of the week:

Taken mainly from the Guardian  but can be images from fieldwork or a major news story. Designed to provoke discussion or tie in to a current topic.  In practice, it's easy to forget to update this.  A way around this can be to assign one of your tutor group the task of sourcing and pinning up the work.

Core geographical terms:

These are the terms that students need most or struggle with.  The classification of countries (MEDC / LEDC) is consistent with our GCSE specification (OCR B) and are used from lesson one in Year 7.

Banned Words:

See this 2006 post. These are the core words, there are unit specific words to ban.  Great for improving literacy  especially in GCSE point marked questions.  Again, used from the first lesson in Year 7.

Teacher email address:

Not giving out your work email address so students (and parents) can contact you is bonkers.

Social media links:

Resources available for students: Facebook and Twitter.

Key Command Words:

Definitions from the GCSE specification and again used from Year 7.

Connectives and groups of people:

If you have Banned Words, you need something to support the literacy.  Connectives are important, especially for building geographical arguments.  Our students are weak at referring to specific groups of people, so this list helps them.  Both are used most lessons from Year 7.

Learning Objective board

If you're using learning objectives (and if you're not, why not?) then they should be displayed throughout the lesson.

Different maps

It's a geography classroom.....

More connectives

These use the hinges, bolts and sealers approach and are repeated around the room.

Grade mountains

Also used as laminated A3 mats, these are referred to every lesson.  Put together by Sam Atkins. These are also linked to the target sheets in front of exercise books and our marking feedback.

Priory Geography mantra

These are repeated around the class room. So what? - means explain, expand, link (and used in conjunction with PEED). Prove it mean use data.

Stevenson screen

Objects linked to a current unit, in this case Year 7 Weather and Climate.  Students had to explain why these were used after their microclimate investigation.

Pupil work on current unit

When Year 10 are going through a unit, it's an opportunity to revise and revisit with Year 11.  This is a great way to facilitate that. Also used with Year 9 in a linked unit - 'this time next year...' a la Del Boy.

Big whiteboard

In my opinion, IWBs are a waste of money.

Year 10 Controlled Assessment Tracker

A daily reminder of where they shold be.

The Priory Geography Team

We are a good looking lot.

Priory Geography enquiry flow chart

This is how we do enquiry.  We do enquiry every lesson. Used from Year 7.

A saying



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