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Friday, February 29, 2008

Picture: David Rayner

CfBT Conference for Geography for new KS3 Curriculum

Thanks to the 70+ Heads of Geography and other colleagues in various capacities who attended the CfBT Eastern Region Conference at the Holiday Inn in Norwich yesterday.
It was hard work (especially as I followed it up with 2 hours plus at a parents evening...) but enjoyable, and good to talk to people and get their ideas for how they were going to be "creatively subversive...."

Particular thanks to David Rayner and Ruth Totterdell, the National Subject Leads, my RSA colleagues John Harrison and Katharine Hutchinson, John Lyon from the GA, and Jon Wolton from the RGS, and of course all the delegates, particularly Lucy and Clare.

A few images below, taken by me:
What to ditch / add ?Katharine's 'significance' workshop
Importance statement John Harrison getting "funky"
Ruth in the morning...The venue...
GA welcome banner...

If you were present and want any other copies of the documents I referred to, get in touch via the website.
If you've got anything to share, fling it my way !

And here's a reminder of the wonder that was Georgie's Landscape in a Box....

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Source: Market Rasen Today website

Earthquake !
The strongest earthquake for almost 25 years hit the UK this morning. (BBC News article link)

It apparently had its hypocentre about 9 miles beneath Market Rasen in Lincolnshire (used to go through there on the way to Skegness when I was a kid....)
Some descriptions are here...

HERE is the USGS's description of the earthquake.Picture credit: USGS

I was awake as my daughter had just woken up, and the shaking started. First few seconds thought someone had fallen out of bed, then the walls and windows and items on top of the chest of drawers started rattling.
Got my daughter out of bed as her room is next to the chimney with a large chimney stack above, and then after about 10 - 15 seconds the shaking stopped.
Went out into the street into my dressing gown - very clear night - no-one else had any lights on and up and down the street was silent...
So went back to bed...

If you felt it, fill in the FORM ON THE WEBSITE. My intensity estimate was III.

Thanks to Ewan Laurie for the link to an article on the GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY's website, which discusses the methods used to measure the size / intensity of the shaking in an earthquake.
Here's one SLN Forum member's experience in Sheffield:

A few bricks have crumbled on our Chimney stack leaving next door's TV Aerial at a jaunty angle.....Here in Sheffield. Do i qualify for disaster relief?

Didnt get time to send the wife to stand under the door frame (she is 8 1/2 months pregnant though) but we have bottled water, a torch etc....no smell of gas.

Seriously I can empathise a little more with victims of something far more serious. My wife was a little shocked to find cds all over the floor.

A colleague was wondering whether to claim on the insurance for the crack in their chimney stack - even though it's been there for years...
Another one thought it was all the Chablis they'd drunk...

Market Rasen Today had a good headline (probably had more visitors today than for some considerable time)


Did you feel the earthquake ?
Add a comment below...

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Do something different for a day.
National Trust workers in Northern Ireland are being given a day off, and asked to spend the day doing something to save the planet.

What would you do ?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Is it time to move house ?
This BBC NEWS article is a bit worrying..

Won this ! Very excited...

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Looking forward to this album, which is released just as we start the Summer Term. Colin Meloy's MySpace page has some more tracks to get a flavour...

A super picture by Flickr user LuneValleySnapper
This shows the Bawtry Road and is taken from the pedestrian bridge I used to cross each day when I was in Years 7-9 (ish) to get to Wickersley Comprehensive back in the 1980s...
Don't remember the light being that very often...

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's official !Image from Guinness World Records website:http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/archive.aspx

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

500th Post.
I was going to do something special, but I haven't got the time...
Keep reading.
Hope you're enjoying the blog...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jumper is a new film which has the premise that the lead character can teleport himself to anywhere in the world. This is obviously an intoxicating idea, and instantly appealing to Geographers. Where would YOU go if you could go anywhere right now ?

YouTube user JoeBeacher has produced a rather nice Geography response to this idea, which is well worth watching. Click the link below (sadly this will not be displayed in school as the site is blocked...)

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Fantastic news. Well done Mark !
More later...

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

5 Hours of Culture per week for students announced today....

...and some of it can be in their GEOGRAPHY LESSONS of course...

Try the CULTURE QUIZ on the BBC website.

And here's the story...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7241460.stm



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This week is half term, and I'm being bombarded with cultural stuff...
Most of this is also directly relevant to the Pilot GCSE stuff.

First of all, just been reading about Martin Parr's new edition of his book: "Small World"
Small World is about tourism, and shows the difference between the mythology of a place and the reality when you get there - about what you think a place will be like and then forgetting that there'll be hundreds of other people there too... Got a flavour of that on Holkham Beach earlier in the week...
I love Martin Parr's approach to photography.
His themes of leisure, consumption and communication are a perfect counterpoint to the geography that we have been developing.
There are also plenty of homages to his work on Flickr.

A good blog post here by James Lomax, who has also posted some rather nice pictures of his own as a counterpoint to Parr's.
I particularly liked this one:

Image copyright: James Lomax

Next up was Philippe Legrain's "Open World": particularly Chapter 12: "Culture Clash". This looks at the increasing homegeneity of global culture: an idea we are going to be developing after half term with my Year 11 Geographers. Philippe is also the author of another essential purchase for Geographers: "Immigrants". Click HERE to read an extract from this book.I looked up Philippe's blog and came across this comment on one of his posts by 'Nabila Kazi', who attended a lecture he gave on immigration at the Institute of Economic Affairs:
I am not an economist, but am studying geography and therefore I approach the subject of immigration in a different way. There was talk about wanting a reduction in Britain's population which I find very strange given that the country has an ageing population. Before the recent influx of immigrants, the country was subject to extremely low fertility rates which forecasted a dangerous future for the economic welfare of the country. Without immigrants, in a country where people are focusing more on career rather than family prospects, a decreasing population is exactly what is in store for the future. However it is not a beneficial decrease because low birth rates result in a decreased number of economically active people in the future, which in turn will increase the dependency ratio of the country. As the ratio increases, there is increased strain on the productive part of the population to support the upbringing/pensions etc of the economically dependent. In turn there are direct financial impacts on the social security of the UK: Taxes will rise, general stability and balance of the country will decrease. This is something that most people last night fail to understand. We need immigrants just as much as 'they need us'.

A very useful paragraph for our Year 12 Geographers to discuss, or even our Year 9s ?

I was also directed to a rather great article in YALE GLOBAL ONLINE also by Philippe which looks at the issue of global culture: and uses the phrase masala: one used in the Open World book too.
Scroll to the bottom of the article and not only can you print the article but there are links to lots of similar articles on themes of globalisation and immigration. This could keep you going for a long time...

Next up was a reminder of some Tony Cassidy classics on Coca Cola, which links with the Legrain book.
It can be downloaded from Tony's Radical Geography website.
This is a great introduction to GLOBALISATION using a PRODUCT as the way in..All representations of Coca Cola and their logo are trademark / copyright Coca Cola company and are reproduced here for educational / non-profit reasons to illustrate the role of these companies in the emergence or otherwise of a 'Global' culture. I'm drinking a can of Diet Coke as I type this blog post...

'Culture Clash' includes some very useful quotes, including one from Naomi Klein's "No Logo" which is another classic in this area.

Am also scouring the More4 listings for a repeat of Dave Gorman's "America Unchained" which I shamefully forgot to Sky+ the other day, and would have been perfect for this particular unit too...Also in 'Coast' magazine was the results of their 2007 Awards.
A lot of familiar places and people winning them.
Was interested in the Waveney Sunrise Scheme to regenerate Lowestoft Town Centre and seafront, and this gave me a thought about a possible fieldtrip. Might need to make my way over there...
Also the East Beach Cafe at Littlehampton in West Sussex...
More on this in a future post, but I'm off to have a lie down after this mammoth post !

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mark Beaumont is just a few days away from finishing his epic solo cycle around the world.
We have mentioned his trip in quite a few lessons this year.
Also a good article in this week's Sunday Times

The opening paragraph gives a good flavour for the effort that Mark has put in:

Imagine getting up tomorrow, climbing bleary-eyed onto your bike and cycling from Bath to London; or Birmingham to Liverpool; or Belfast to Dublin. Then imagine doing it again the next day. And the next day and the day after that. For six months.

Now picture doing the same thing, but in the mountains of the Indus Valley, the torrential rain of Thailand and the mind-melting heat of the Australian outback. Throw in a few nights in a police cell in Pakistan, a collision with a moped in India and a mugging in a Louisiana crack house, and you’ll have some idea of what it takes to cycle around the world in record-breaking time.

Val Vannet has continued to blog the journey daily, apart from a short Christmas break, and the next few days, where I will track Mark's progress through France, before Val brings him into the capital...
In her Geography department, Val has used a map which has a series of pins. These started out as yellow and have slowly been turning red...

There are now just 2 yellow pins remaining...
Log on to the blog for the final few days and you'll be able to see the last part of the journey...

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Egypt won the African cup of Nations for the second time in a row.
See the Slideshare toolbar opposite for a slideshow on this.

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Pitt Report
A useful summary of the lessons from the Summer floods of 2007
I am scheduled to do a lecture up in Manchester in September on this theme...

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Wednesday, February 06, 2008



A new, and very welcome, entry in the Geography website field is Helen Young's GEOGRAPHYGEEK website.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008


E Day
Looking forward to this on the 27th of February.
Switch things off and save energy.

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Geography Matters...

c/o GeoDave...

One for the Open Evenings perhaps...

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