Thursday, 25 February 2010

Making Geography Happen

Some wonderful new materials were added to the GA website today, and went live...
We have been working on these for some time, co-ordinated by Ruth Totterdell, and with plenty of web support from Anne Greaves...


The idea behind the project, which is funded by the Action Plan for Geography is that we have been following students through units of work, and across key stages to try to identify and articulate moments when geography "happens": when an activity produces a recognisable change in geographical understanding....

From the website:

Making Geography Happen is an Action Plan funded project about good quality, innovative curriculum-making. It focuses on the work done by students in geography lessons and how this contributes to their wider understanding of the world.

Five schools participated in the project and their work is available on these web pages. In addition, King Edward VII School, Sheffield is being used for a longitudinal study, tracking four students through the whole of their Key Stage 3.

Five schools have participated in the project so far, each teaching a unit of work on place. In addition, King Edward VII School, Sheffield is being used for a longitudinal study, tracking four students through the whole of their Key Stage 3.

The teachers have supplied material for this website including student work, photos and videos of students in action, and student reflections. The teachers have also added their own reflections. For example:

'We were able to focus on the geographical learning and mental processes rather than the "production" of, for example, a poster or project, this helped increase the pace of learning and challenge of lessons'

'The students were given the opportunity to develop the ability to make informed decisions using geographical evidence'

Making Geography Happen Online

The Making Geography Happen area is divided into nine parts, represented by the jigsaw pieces on the main menu. These include three information pages and six sections for the participating schools.

School Materials

The five participating schools have supplied a variety of resources for these webpages, including samples of work, reflections from teachers and students and information about the curriculum-making process.

Materials from King Edward VII School will be added during the year.


A section called 'Thinking about progression in geography' has been written by Paul Weeden, Secretary of the GA Assessment & Examinations Working Group. Although much has been written about progression in general, this section looks at what it means for students to progress in their geographical thinking and move forward as geographers.

Detailed advice on assessment is provided in the GA publication Assessing Progress in your Key Stage 3 Geography Curriculum (Paul Weeden and Graham Butt, 2009).

Teacher Tips

The teachers involved in the project reflected on what they learnt about how to make geography happen in their classes. Some of these thoughts have been combined to form a 'Teacher Tips' page containing practical ideas of how to move children forward in their geographical thinking.

National Curriculum Levels

Making Geography Happen does not seek to emulate or replace the QCDA's exemplification of standards nor does it attempt to 'level' the work. We have been working closely with QCDA's exemplification team and encourage you to use the forthcoming files of students' work they have developed to exemplify standards across the current Key Stage 3.

Individual files of work for levels 3 to 8 will be published on the QCDA website during 2010. These files will include a wide range of evidence along with annotations and a commentary evaluating each student's overall performance.

Please take a look and let us know your thoughts so far....

No comments:

Post a Comment