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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Part 1 of the outcomes from Flood Management 09 at the Barbican earlier this week...

Many of the speakers referred to the latest climate projections which had been released on the DEFRA website earlier that week, and had been reported in many of newspapers.

Hilary Benn introduces the projections as being very 'sobering'.

5 things that need doing:

1. to protect people from the immediate risks
2. to plan (e.g. motorway drainage, emergency plans) for the future - the adaptation report is currently being consulted on until September (one for 6th formers perhaps to get involved with
3. to work internationally on a climate agreement

Also refers to importance of Copenhagen 2009 - the website is well worth visiting - has plenty of useful resources for teachers and students

4. to play our part - reduction targets need to be met - working towards a LOW CARBON UK
5. supporting individuals e.g. through the Act on CO2 campaign.

The models can be seen by following the links from DEFRA site above.

A Met Office introduction to the projections here:

Delve into the projections page to find all sorts of maps, graphics and information on the likely changes between now and 2080 on a range of climate indicators.

Explore these with students...

Also head over to the UNEP Seal the Deal site.

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Friday, June 26, 2009


Image Alan Parkinson

Poppies are a glorious temporary part of our landcape...

We have also attached additional cultural resonance to them with their association with remembrance day...

What other examples of these temporary landscape aspects can you identify, or your students record ?

Why not use the NORFOLK WILDLIFE TRUST's poppy field sighting record cards (link goes to PDF download - survey was carried out originally in 2006)

Poppies are the county flower of Norfolk, and there are certainly plenty in the fields around my village.

North Norfolk (particularly the area around Cromer and Overstrand) is known as 'poppyland' and there are many fields full of these flowers at the moment.

The local Eastern Daily Press reported that the particularly impressive blooms of poppies that can be seen at the moment are the result of changing farming practices...

Farmers growing rape in particular are keen to keep the growth of poppies to a minimum as the plants compete for the available soil moisture and nutrient.
A weedkiller was also taken off the market at the end of 2007, and it was apparently a windy spraying season which means that application would not have been as thorough as it would have been in more ideal conditions.

Interestingly, an article in the Times from last year suggested we may see fewer poppies in the future.

Also noticed fields full of poppies on the approach to Cambridge from the train yesterday evening.

‘Neath the blue of the sky in the green of the corn,
It is here that the regal red poppies are born!’
Clement Scott

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Image by Flickr user snarkypuss under Creative Commons
Tens of thousands of festival goers are converging on Glastonbury again this weekend, among them Dan Ellison and URBAN EARTH.
There has been some wonderful work done using the LATITUDE festival in Suffolk by a local Centre of Excellence school.
Also, on the Geography Teaching Today website is a unit based on GLASTONBURY. Plenty of resources for those wanting to use this as a context for teaching about sustainability, consumption, decision making etc...
Why not have a FESTIVAL SEASON in your KS3 curriculum...
The Daily Mail website has a very useful picture-laden item on Glastonbury.
There will obviously no doubt be plenty of FLICKR images and videos appearing, and this will be the first year that TWITTER will be big at Glastonbury too.
So should be able to create an IMMERSIVE experience for students to consider some questions about the geographical impact of these large temporary gatherings...


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Geography in education
Lost in the post?David Lambert
Inaugural Professorial Lecture
Institute of Education - 23rd June
Some say we live in postmodern times. In addition, many schools now seem to be embracing a post-disciplinary approach to the curriculum. And geography itself has fragmented, struggling for its identity and arguably lost - in the "post". But this lecture does not dwell for long on this argument. On the contrary, it argues that contemporary geography is a school subject of great significance and has a lot to offer children and young people growing up in a confusing, rapidly changing and dangerous world. Well prepared teachers can use this subject in a way that contributes to both their own and their students' "capabilities".Geography is re-emerging as a subject discipline for its times, both in academia and in the public realm. In the context of our collective need more fully to understand the human occupancy of the Earth, geography in schools has a new role to play. Geography in education explores this, and the importance of a "capability" approach. It draws critically on the Geographical Association's recently published 'manifesto' for school geography: A Different View.

Available to purchase from the IoE online shop

June 2009 978-0-85473-857-1 30 pages £5.00

There was an audience of around 150 people at Jeffery Hall for the lecture on a warm and humid night in London
David was introduced by Professor Geoff Whitty, director of the Institute of Education.

A few notes on some key points that David made during the lecture, which was split into 5 sections
  • Why Geography ? - how geography represents the world - based on a question asked at a Harris Federation event
  • The importance of relationships: with the children and learning, with each other and teaching, with the subject discipline (CPD)
  • The difference between 'teaching by sat nav' and mapping out a direction for the subject - teachers need to be confident in the direction they are taking
  • A philosophical 'map' for the subject: motivation, significance and creativity - what we do with students needs to be capable of changing the way they see the world
  • All education is "self education" - possible to have learning without teaching and teaching without learning...
  • Discussion on the 1970s and the 'great debate' - was the purpose of education to prepare people for work ? (link to arguments in 'Shift Happens')
  • Comparison between a 'Vibrant City', which leaves us no time to think, and a 'Garden of Peace'
  • QCA 'Futures agenda': skills removed from human context - re-asserting the creative power of teachers as curriculum makers
  • Capability as a way of considering what is learnt - value-laden rather than value-free...
  • Living Geography and 'A Different View' - the manifesto 'animoto' was shown (Director's Cut version)
  • Conclusion: "subject disciplines such as geography are rich resources to be used by capable teachers in a rapidly changing world..."

A vote of thanks was given by Professor Michael Reiss, Dean of Research at the Institute of Edication.
A wine reception followed...

Any further thoughts from people who attended the lecture ?

Images on slides: Flickr users / Creative Commons - Cheddar, Today is a good day, Premasagar
Wordle produced by http://wordle.net
Geography happens with apologies to Karl Fisch


Sunday, June 21, 2009


June 22nd onwards

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Monday, June 15, 2009

The second tranche of Primary Geography Champions will be appointed later this month: a further 11 will be added to the current list, to further support Primary Geographers.

Please contact Paula Owens for further details, and for the ONLINE APPLICATION FORM.

Tomorrow sees the Primary National Conference in London - best wishes to all of those who are attending the event...

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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Powered by Google Earth Hacks | More info about this file

“They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

Friday, June 05, 2009

Check out the free CPD event to be held on Saturday the 20th of June at

Workshops for secondary geography teachers, School of Geography,
University of Leeds
This annual, one-day event comprises a group of workshops for secondary geography teachers, providing new material and ideas based on current research. Sessions comprise presentations on aspects of both physical and human geography, as well as discussions, and practical sessions. Participants will learn about new directions in geographical research and leave with ideas that they can take back to inspire young geographers in the classroom.

Visit the website to book a place...

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Geography training has a new face: well, two "new faces" actually...

From 1st June 2009, a new geography CPD provider is available.

Launching today is a new CPD training opportunity for colleagues in the UK, and beyond...
GEOGRAPHY TRAINING joins together the Geographical Association's own Alan Parkinson, with International Baccalaureate specialist, and creator of Geography all the Way: Richard Allaway.
In addition to the existing face-to-face and online CPD opportunities available from the Geographical Association, we offer a tailored service, with training to match your needs, at a venue to suit you.

Areas of speciality:

  • Creative approaches for the teaching of Geography
  • The use of Information and Communication Technology in Geography teaching
  • Recent changes to the Key Stage 3 and GCSE programmes
  • International Baccalaureate Geography - including the 2009 syllabus change
  • IGCSE Geography
  • Training focused upon application such as Google Earth, GIS applications, web2 tools etc

If you are interested please get in touch to discuss our availability and the necessary fees.

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