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Showing posts from November, 2013

The Geography Collective Camp is 2 months away–#GCCamp

This post is also over at the Geography Collective’s blog here . We’ve been beavering away in the background and have started to put the programme together for our Camp focused on the Curriculum.  The exact programme will respond to the needs of attendees.  This isn’t a conference, but there will be a wealth of ideas and experience as well as Guerrilla Geography ideas.  We will be located in the Surrey Hills, so will have Box Hill on the doorstep. Sessions confirmed are: Curriculum Creation sessions – focused on the new National Curriculum; On and off-site fieldwork, including a geocaching practical; Informal ‘TeachMeet’ style evening sessions; How to assess geographical progress without levels. This is a grass-roots, non-profit making venture and all fees cover accommodation, board and activities.  This isn’t a traditional conference, and you won’t be spoken to much.  There will be loads of collaboration and personalisation.  The weekend is being put together

#SLTCamp reflections and implications

This time last week I was travelling to Brighton to take part in a 10km race after a weekend in the woods.  SLTCamp took place in a YHA hostel, nestled in the Surrey Hills.  No wifi, no signal, no outdoor lighting and a bunch of strangers.  In this age of twitter and hashtags, it may sound like a nightmare, but in fact it was refreshing not to be connected.  I’ve been lucky to have taken part in high number of excellent conferences and #SLTCamp is right up there.  A massive thank you to Stephen, Sarah, the sponsors and all those that turned up to take part.  For the session notes, visit the SLT Camp site here . There are a number of aspects of SLTCamp that could be scaled to fit into the school environment at the appropriate time. 1. Personalised and no agenda From the moment of arrival, , Stephen and Sarah made it clear that it was our agenda. The rules were simple: no egos and no shrinking violets.  In practice this meant that participants were able to opt in and out of discu

TeachMeet HMS Pompey is back on March 6th 2014 #TMPompey

Boom! TeachMeet Pompey is back in 2014.  The location with be on board a Royal Naval Ship, that’s right, one with an ‘HMS’ in front of the name.  There will be further exciting announcements, including our sponsors, prizes and keynote chat speaker.  There’ll be the usual Laser Quest and we are also beavering away to sort out food too. One of the prizes will be free place on a teacher inspection trip to Iceland thanks to the top folks at Discover the World Education . There are lots of other exciting bits and bobs to come soon. We will also be asking young people to cover the event as part of the BBC’s School Report event. So, visit this page to sign up, and let everyone you know.  Naval Fancy dress is optional. See you there!

Simple lesson ideas: Getting maths into geography.

Weather Lesson Idea Idea from David Rogers Many people feel that it’s easy to link to literacy in their subject, but not maths.  Personally, I think that’s a bonkers position and to do with the misconceptions of what maths is.  Maths has a large problem solving  and puzzle element and a very diverse discipline, which makes it ripe for subverting into many lessons.  I also worry that many teachers may not tackle maths within class as their own confidence is lacking.  This mindset can rub off on young people which is a problem.  This isn't about Ofsted criteria but ensuring that our kids understand stuff like how much they'd get ripped off by  Of course, maths should only be linked to when it's appropriate and is no different from any other teaching and learning tool / strategy / method.  As my school has a whole-school maths focus this year, I am thinking about how to get more problem solving / puzzle maths into lessons more and more.  I also like talking a

So what does being an Assistant Headteacher for Teaching and Learning actually mean?

James T. Kirk : I have no idea what I'm supposed to do. I only know what I CAN do. I’ve been an Assistant Headteacher and part of the school’s teaching and learning team for 45 working days now.  I remember a few comments on being appointed back in May along the lines of ‘isn’t everyone responsible for teaching and learning, blah blah…’  Of course, that’s a no brainer as leadership extends right into the classroom (indeed, successful leadership’s roots are firmly in the classroom).  In addition, a few people have asked me what this job actually means. This will be useful for those who may be considering the move.  You can read the first and second posts about the SLT adventure if you like.  I don’t pretend to be any sort of SLT expert by any means, even when I’m growing half a beard for Movember .  Those reading this who are already in SLT may wish to reach out if we share common areas. I’m very lucky to be working in a school that places such a high value on developing tea

The start of the Microsoft Expert Educator adventure #msftpil @MicrosoftPIL #PiLNetwork

In 2009 I started an adventure with Microsoft’s Partners in Learning by submitting a Virtual Classroom Tour exploring the use of Twitter, Pirates and Somalia.  I really enjoy working with the Microsoft Education team as they are focused on learning and the opportunities have been excellent.  I’m very proud and humbled to be selected. Today, I received the news that I have been asked to become part of the first cohort of Expert Educators, one of ten in the UK.  The Expert Educator Program is Microsoft's exclusive one-year program created to recognize pioneer educators globally who are using technology to transform education. On a yearly basis the program celebrates renowned educators out of who some are selected to be part of this exclusive global community of visionary leaders who are paving the way for their peers by demonstrating the effective use of technology for better learning and student outcomes. 250 Expert Educators from around the world will come together in March i

First set of The Geography Collective Camp tickets on sale #GCCamp

Very pleased to announce that The Geography Collective have released some Early Bird Tickets for the 2014 Geography Collective Camp .  Head over to the blog for more details.  The event promises to be a creative blast as we get to grips with curriculum changes, fieldwork and other activities. It’s also time to announce that I’ll be looking after the ‘formal’ education side of things for the Collective, so will be helping to put the programme together.  Do get in touch if you could help to sponsor or run a workshop.

Introducing TeachMeet Discover Outside the Classroom #TMDOtC

I’ve been working with Discover the World’s Education team for a few years now and have run some excellent school trips to Iceland with them too.  Their approach is to support teachers with what they do in the classroom with free resources and CPD training events.  It’s therefore great that Dan and the team are giving up their offices for a TeachMeet event in Surrey on the 27th February 2013.  It’s also a great honour (and also more a little scary) that they’ve asked me to give a ‘keynote’ talk at the event. The theme is ‘Discover Outside the Classroom.’  Dan’s plan is to share ideas for using the school grounds for a wide variety of subjects, from Science experiments in the hall ways, mathematical explorations of the school site or geographical shelter building.  No need to think large scale in terms of overseas or grand field trips – simple and effective ideas are usually best!  Everyone is welcome so I hope to see you there!