Wednesday, 16 June 2010

New OFSTED guidance

New guidance from OFSTED has been released on the OFSTED website.

The guidance is available for a range of subjects, including GEOGRAPHY.

It is intended for those who inspect subjects, and includes some thoughts on generic grade descriptors as well as some draft supplementary guidance on areas such as the curriculum and the effectiveness of subject leadership.

The guidance is for consultation. You have until the end of July to provide your feedback...

As my concern (well, one of many things my job concerns) is with Curriculum Development, I was particularly interested in the statements relating to the assessment of the curriculum in geography.
The imaginative and stimulating geography curriculum is skilfully designed to match to the full range of pupils’ needs and to ensure highly effective continuity and progression in their learning

I also liked the comment on teaching:

Teachers communicate enthusiasm and passion about geography to pupils.

Good to see the importance of GIS, fieldwork and knowledge of current initiatives mentioned...
Well worth reading and adding your thoughts on...

A nice day at NAACE

It was over to Nottingham today for a meeting of representatives from many of the Subject Associations at the new headquarters of NAACE.
For those who don't know, NAACE is the ICT Association, and is the professional association for those concerned with advancing education through the appropriate use of ICT. It also has a key role in the ICT Mark for schools.

Quite a few familiar faces from work that I did last year to produce a booklet for the teaching of Functional Skills - you can download if from HERE by the way - it's great !

NAACE have also produced a range of FREE CPD courses which although they might sound like they are just for ICT teachers, would probably be of value to geography teachers too. They can be found by following this link: ICT CPD 4 FREE

Met Peter Twining from VITAL, who offer a range of CPD options too. Their website describes Vital as:
a professional development programme that aims to revitalise the teaching of IT and the use of ICT across the broader curriculum. It is aimed at anyone teaching or working in state-funded education in England.

Courses are delivered by the Open University, and funded by the DfE.

The day involved a series of discussions on the use of ICT to support / deliver CPD, the use that subject specialists were making of ICT to support their pedagogy, and how the impact of its use was being evaluated. I contributed some thoughts, and talked about the various projects that the GA has been involved in in this area, including the one on GEOGRAPHY AND CAREERS that has just gone live.

Coincidentally, I got back home to find details (via Twitter) of a very useful GUARDIAN article, which talked about the sad demise of BECTa, and celebrated the impact that it was having in supporting teachers. The article featured the results of a survey of teachers, and also a quote from Bernadette Brooks of NAACE:

"Technology has moved on dramatically so training has to match that pace of change. I don't see that there will be a reduction in that. ICT training isn't done. We will keep needing to invest in training for ICT teaching and learning. It is not just about using the kit but about finding innovative ways to use the technology available to us in the classroom."

The trend was towards more informal forms of training, mixing face-to-face and online. "Teachers increasingly feel more comfortable with 'bite-sized' training. They don't necessarily want something incredibly formal."

Saturday, 12 June 2010

New Geography and Careers resource

A new section of the GA website went live this morning.
It's designed to support teachers who want to stress the vocational value of the subject by teaching a 'normal' geography lesson with a careers twist...
There are various types of resource in the series of sessions that have been planned for you, and then annotated by a careers "expert"... I'm certainly not one of those it seems ;)

However, I did produce the geography elements, and I hope you like the range of activities, and creative opportunities for student work.
There's a particular focus on the PEAK DISTRICT.
Image by Alan Parkinson: near Strines, Peak District

Please get in touch and let me know what you produce as a result of using it