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Friday, October 12, 2007

Image by Flickr User Innes Keighren
My Big Day at the RGS

AS / A2 Study Day

Event was chaired by Andy Yarrow, Headteacher of Hornsey School for Girls.

The first part of the day was presented by Helen Young, who used to present the weather for the BBC Weather Centre and also worked for the Met Office in Exeter.

She talked through some of the ‘myths of climate change’ and explained some of the natural and forced (?) variability of climate over the last 400 000 years and the accuracy of computer models today compared with earlier models.

She was followed by Simon Oakes, a principal examiner for Edexcel , who delivered a high octane run through of impacts of globalisation using Armenian heavy metal and contemporary examples to produce a different angle on the well-worn topic which will form part of all new A level specifications.

A session on applying for Geography at university followed, with Dr. Alastair Owens from Queen Mary University.

Meanwhile I was enjoying the hospitality. Into the Ondaatje theatre with nice leather seats and had a quick technical run through: speak here, press here. Also a chance to speak with Judy and Jon from the RGS. Good to be back with the Shackleton statues, ancient floorboards and paintings and big floppy settees.

After lunch, Dr Stuart Downward presented a session on river management (and the specific tools that make geographers good managers) – this put me in mind of Tim Bradford’s book on the underground rivers of London which I have mentioned in an earlier posting.

There were plenty of signs that geography lectures travel the world which would perhaps have supplied some further incentive for applying to do a geography degree (or one related to World Development, Sustainability etc.)

Kate Amis went through some options for careers using Geography.

Then it was on with the radio mike and I was up, where Michael Palin had been just 3 days earlier. Huge presentation screen was very clear, and the sound was good too. Ran through my much rehearsed (well, I ran through it once with some teachers on Tuesday) presentation on Blogs, Casting and Nings complete with bad jokes…

Introduced a few people to the idea of a social learning network, which could be set up, as it was in my school, to support study. Also invited them to seek out the website. Gave away a few pens for audience participation, and

Had to leave before the end to get back for a Year 10 evening at school.

Spoke to Sarah Jordan before the start of the second half of the day. She explained how to tackle coursework and fieldwork write-ups.

Had lunch with Chris Martin, principal examiner from OCR, who then had ‘the graveyard shift’, talking about extended writing in exams – some very useful details for my 6th form groups, and made my escape back up to Norfolk just before the end of the day.

Update: E-mail on Monday from Programmes Officer at RGS-IBG:

We have analysed the feedback forms and your talk was very well received by the students and teachers, thank you!

Good to hear. If you were in the audience and have started a blog since, please let me know...



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