Tuesday, 29 January 2013

RGS-IBG Young Geographer of the Year

Each year, the RGS-IBG run a competition in association with Geographical Magazine.
It's called the Young Geographer of the Year Award.

The details have just been announced of this year's competition.

The competition began in 2000 and has become a regular feature in many schools' calendars.
The question for Young Geographer of the Year 2013, run jointly with Geographical, is:

How does either the human or physical geography of your local area compare to the rest of the UK? 

Pupils should use different sources of geographical information and data to research their local area and compare it to the national picture in the UK. This might include using census or climate data, and examining urban change or flood risk. However, the choice is open to you to explore relevant data to your local area.
The competition has categories for Key Stage 2 (KS2), KS3, GCSE and A Level students. 

The Society encourages schools to run their own in-school competition before sending their top entries into the national competition.
We particularly welcome entries which:
  • Can demonstrate a good use of different and relevant data
  • Focus on and explain a small number of geographical features and information about them. We do not need to know everything about your local area and would prefer you to select some key data
  • May also involve first-hand observation in the local area
Entries for the Young Geographer of the Year competition must be received by 5.00pm on the 11 October 2013.

Rex Walford Award 2013 – for student teachers or teaching colleagues new to the classroom

The same question will also form the basis of the accompanying Rex Walford Award, which is for teachers in either their student training year (for example: PGCE, Schools Direct) or who have just started in the classroom (for example: NTQ, Teach First). Entries should include lesson notes or a scheme of work to cover two or three lessons exploring this issue and we particularly welcome entries which include opportunities for data handling and fieldwork. 
Entries for the Rex Walford Award must be received by 5.00pm on the 11 October 2013.

Go to the RGS-IBG website for further information and entry forms...

Friday, 11 January 2013

OS MapFinder App

A new app was launched on the iOS store today which a lot of people are going to find useful.
It's produced by the Ordnance Survey, and called OS MapFinder.

The app comes with a basic high level map of the whole country preloaded, as well as a sample map tile around Exeter - so the folks of Exeter get lucky :)
Further tiles can then be downloaded (for either 69p for 1:50 000 or £2.49 for 1:25 000) as an in-app purchase.

Map tiles can be explored, and routes can be added on and plotted. The app will also store routes which have been walked or cycled.
Places can be found using a search by postcode, name or grid reference.

If you want to see more about the app, there's a YouTube video below which shows you a lot more.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Oxford Geography Teachers Day

I have attended this event several times in the past, and it has always been a splendid occasion.

This year's event is now available to book and there are some good options for GA members to have reduced price bookings. It's a fairly stellar list of presenters.... and me....
Open to state schools as well as Independent schools.

(Organised by the Oxford Branch of the Geographical Association and supported by the GA Independent Schools Special Interest Group)


10.00 Coffee/Tea/Refreshments on arrival

10.15 Introduction by Dr Garrett Nagle   President of the Oxford GA Branch

10.20   Opening Lecture
Bob Digby – President of the Geographical Association

‘Geographers and some Contemporary Health Issues’

 11.00 to 1pm
Choose TWO workshops to attend (each workshop will be 55 minutes) with exception of workshop 6 for Prep school and KS3 teachers which will last the whole 2 hours 

Seminar/ Workshop 1
Professor Sarah Harper - Oxford University
Population and Old Age updates – update for teaching GCSE and Post 16 Geography students

      Workshop 2
      Peter Price   Head of Geography from Charterhouse and Ewan Laurie
      Head of Geography, King’s School, Wimbledon
      Teaching the new Post 16 Exams – Practical Workshop linking Fieldwork    
      with the new A Levels, Pre  U and IB Curriculum .

      Workshop 3
      Lead by Dr Gareth Hughes – Head of Geography at Radley College with
      Rob Morris (Geography Teacher at Shrewsbury School)- Practical   
      Fieldwork Ideas for the new International GCSE
      (This hopefully will take place outside in the school Grounds –
       weather permitting!)

      Workshop 5 

      Alan Parkinson (Geography Consultant)

      Connecting teachers - connecting classrooms
A look at how social media and smartphone apps can help teachers to  

      connect with other colleagues, and open up possibilities for authentic  

      and collaborative learning, and prepare learners for the future workplace.

Workshop 6 for CE and KS 3 Teachers on next page
         Workshop 6   NB Double Workshop– lasts the whole 120 minutes-
for Prep School and KS 3 Teachers only
Gyles Morris  – CE/ KS3 Fieldwork ideas though ‘the Lens of a Camera
with support on how to use the skills in CE Fieldwork from Simon Lewis (ISEB Lead Setter) and Dr Andrew Lee (SATIPS Geography Broadsheet Editor)
This is aimed at giving you new ideas for inspiring your pupils to use photographs and small areas to produce excellent Fieldwork enquiry skills. 
Ideal for Prep School teachers wanting new ideas for the revised CE Fieldwork Enquiry.
(Will be outside along the Canal ) (Restricted to 12 teachers)

1.10 pm  A chance to talk with some Publishers  and look at resources over a glass of wine and a chance to browse all the latest publications.

1.45  A sit down Lunch followed by 10 minutes from Steve Brace of the Royal Geographical Society (with the IBG)

2.45 pm-  3.45pm:  Lecture and Question session
Alan Kinder (Chief Executive of the Geographical Association)
Geography and the GA in a time of curriculum change. Where are we, where are we going and how we can support you.’

A chance to hear what Alan Kinder has to say and to question him and to let him know what support you think the GA can give to teachers and the pupils you teach.

3.45 pm Finish

You can attend for £60 if a GA member (£160 if not) and two teachers can attend from the same GA member school for just £75

Let me know if you'd like a copy of the booking form sending to you....

Friday, 4 January 2013

KS3 Bitesize Geography

Thanks to Helen Young from Geography Geek for letting me know about the launch of a new project she's been working on.

KS3 Bitesize Geography contains a lot of new content, including animations by Aardman. Check the ACTIVITY option for each section to play fun interactive games. Explore the patterns of Crime in Noseyford, or the coastal processes at Sleepton Regis...

There are 6 sections to the new site.
Antarctica, Awesome areas, Extreme environments, Geography of Europe, Contrasts within a continent
Rural areas and farming, Settlement in urban areas, Geography of crime
Population and migration, Globalisation and global trade, Development
Physical processes 
Glaciation, Plate tectonics, Rivers and flooding, Coasts, Weather and climate
Human processes 
Changing shopping patterns, Sustainable futures, Tourism, Geography of sport
Geographical enquiry 
Geographical skills
Well worth checking out. 
Why not set your students the task of reviewing a section, and selecting their favourite(s) ?

Thursday, 3 January 2013

OSIRIS - new CPD courses

I have another new strand in my activities starting this year.

I have previously led hundreds of CPD events all over the country for the GA, and beyond the UK for digitalearth, but I will be doing some events for OSIRIS for the first time.

OSIRIS offer a range of courses for different subjects.

I will be leading two different courses, which will be put on several times at several different locations.

The first is a course called 'All Pupils pass GCSE Geography' 
This will be held twice during March, in London and Birmingham.
Details of this course can be read HERE.
This will draw on some of the ideas from the book that I wrote for Badger last year, and which you can read about in the book's accompanying blog HERE.

The second is a course on the 'Future of Secondary Geography', which will look at all the coming changes and equip you with strategies and resources to prepare for, and implement the coming changes at KS3 and 'A' level, and the introduction of the EBC....
This is a new course, which will be put on in London, Birmingham and Manchester in July - dates are still to be confirmed. It will draw on a new book that was published by Routledge in December 2012, and which I contributed a chapter too. Details can be read HERE.
I shall let you know when details are added to the website - we are finalising the details of the course, which will involve all new exciting  materials.

Both courses are, at heart, opportunities to get together and learn from the practice of others, as well as take time out of the daily stream of demands to plot a steady course through some of the changes ahead, and prepare students effectively for formal assessments.

Head over to the OSIRIS website to find out more about their courses in a range of subject areas.

I look forward to perhaps seeing some of you at these courses.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Year, New Geography

Happy New Year everyone - after 10 days away, I'm now firmly back in the room....

Join me on the 8th of January at 7pm for a VITAL CPD Teachshare, the first of the new year...
New Year New Geography

It's a chance to look ahead to what you have planned, and what might happen in the world of Geography.

I'll be previewing 13 of the things that I'm planning to get up to in 2013, and some opportunities for everyone to get involved...

1. Why not start a 365 project (if you're reading this before the first few weeks of the year are over you have chance to catch up...
I'll talk about my 365 projects past and future...
This year, I'm going to carry on Blipping, and also do a literacy blog at GeoLibrary 2013
I'm also going to be opening the archives (see previous blog post on that ) and have also created some new Pinterest boards to hold those images.

2. Blogging
I'm going to be hopefully breaking through the 5000 post barrier on LivingGeography.... and heading towards a million viewers....

3. Project 1
I USE Stats in Education is underway, and I will be going to Europe at least twice this year, and also spending time creating resources and sharing them as widely as possible. The theme is statistical literacy, which is of great relevance to geography, although this is a project that has relevance across the curriculum.
I'll also continue to be involved in another EU project called digitalearth. The first course, in Salzburg at the end of February is confirmed, and I am also going to Stockholm and Helsinki at the start of February too.

4. The Geography Collective
We're going to have a fairly big year this year. Watch this blog for more details as they emerge...

5. Writing
I am going to be writing another couple of books (at least) this year for a number of publishers, including Collins. I'm looking forward to it... More details here as they emerge - I still have a few contracts to sign. You still have chance to spend your Christmas book tokens on the books I wrote last year. I've also got an idea for another book that I'm writing a proposal for at the moment...

6. CPD
I am going to be working with OSIRIS for the first time, and also leading several courses for the GA as always. I'll be visiting various universities, CPD courses, schools (including Charterhouse) and doing the Independent Schools' conference in Oxford in March. I'm also heading for several cities. I still have plenty of space in my diary (at the moment) so get in touch If you'd like me to work with you...

7. Still High and Dry
Since I was asked to do my GA lecture on flooding last year it hasn't stopped raining and there's certainly few subjects that are more topical at the moment. If you have a good flood story, get in touch and I can squeeze it in there...

8. VITAL Work continues...
I shall be creating materials for the VITAL Geography portal until at least the end of March. The portals are continuing beyond then, but looking forward to continuing this strand of support for colleagues. There were some special codes tweeted by Peter Twining over the Christmas and New Year period for free access. These might still be live....

9. Discovering the World
I have been working on a booklet for Discover the World with John Sayers, Helen Steer and Tom Morgan Jones. It's coming soon....

10. Personal Development
This is the 6th year I will have been a Chartered Geographer. This is coordinated by the Royal Geographical Society. As part of the deal, I have to submit a CPD log which means I need to evidence my involvement in CPD: my own as well other people's. To that end, there are a few things I've got pencilled in to develop my own practice...

11. Photography
As well as my Blipoto album, I'm going to try and reach a total of 10 000 pictures shared on my Flickr account this year.

12. I'm going to get out more, and do more cycling....

13. Winds of Change
Fingers crossed that we won't be unlucky in bidding for a big project that could see me working (almost) full time for a year on a major science-based project involving real-world data.... I'll let you know if and when that happens...There's also a big project bid in

Join me over on Living Geography to read it all - don't forget to subscribe to / follow the blog... or follow me on Twitter: @GeoBlogs