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Messages - kevincooper777

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General Discussion / Re: GCSE geography subject content published
« on: April 20, 2014, 04:50:31 PM »
Assume at least some Specs will continue to include plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes. I'll be signing up for one that does. If iGCSE keeps tectonics as it is not tied to this, and others take it out, then iGCSE here I come! :)

"Geomorphic processes" includes these topics I guess - though perhaps not so much, with the emphasis in that section seeming to be on the UK...

The headline stuff from Gove (why do they have to include that picture of his inane smug grin on the page? - not very good p.r.) says "In geography, the balance between physical and human geography has been improved" - but I can't see that from the subject criteria - seems to me that physical geography processes and landforms etc. constitute 1/6th of the content (plus climate as another 1/6th, despite initial rumblings that it would be missed out altogether) - unless he means by "improved" that the physical content is to be reduced?

Obviously the most important aspect of all this, as others have said, is how it is interpreted by the exam boards... I'm actually of the view that schools should be free to choose different balances of physical geography at GCSE - as long as there is SOME physical geography in there - I know many schools who would prefer to restrict physical geography as much as possible as it puts their students off, etc. [and grade boundaries are generally lower on physical papers than human papers] - but there are others where the physical geography is the real draw... I know there needs to be some degree of consistency, and all geography students should have a grounding in physical processes - but as I say I'd be happy with a fair degree of variation in the amount of physical geography different Specs include.

Are you working there then? I'm interested... Could you e-mail me on so I can ask you questions, check if my career profile might be of interest to Caxton etc?? Best wishes, Kevin.

General Discussion / Re: Students Progress
« on: February 13, 2014, 09:34:25 PM »
Phil, I have a Y7/8/9 levels to GCSE grade conversion chart if you want to e-mail me at my SLN username at
Just after a bit of advice.  All students and all subjects at our school have been given 'flightpath' targets of expected progress.  Some of these for geography are based on the big 3 subjects and not on anything geography related.  Have any of you had to produce targets for students and expected progress in geography??  In my experience most of the progress levels wise takes place in year 8 and 9 and only some progress is made in year 9- all being exponential-  I've started but if you have experience can you share

I have to produce a flightpath target for students looking something like this
                    Year 7                    year 8                  year 9                    GCSE
                     5b                         6a                       7a                           A*
                     5c                         6b                        7b                          A

Excellent :-)

2nd can more interesting - but also I was mesmerised by the lava... will def use in lessons.

General Discussion / Re: Geology A-level resource
« on: January 13, 2014, 08:39:38 AM »
That's great,  t y

General Discussion / Re: New KS3 Curriculum
« on: January 13, 2014, 08:37:41 AM »
Couldn't agree more  :)
You really should not worry about this too much (I know that is hard):

Design your KS3 around a few things:

1. What geographies are important/engaging to your students?
2. What geographies best prepare them for GCSE study?
3. What do you and you colleagues think the students need to know about?

Do that, and your probably be following the NC, have engaged learners, good GCSE results happy SMT, staff and OFSTED.

Best wishes,


General Discussion / Re: Geology A-level resource
« on: January 07, 2014, 07:06:04 PM »
Have updated rock identification to include granodiorite, and added another interactive ppt covering all the igneous terms in the OCR Spec (assume similar to WJEC) - to get the interactivity / reveal the answers etc., you have to download...

General Discussion / Re: Greenland mining-a country divided.
« on: January 06, 2014, 09:47:39 AM »
Excellent for Edexcel B Extreme Cimates option - thank you  :)

General Discussion / You've heard of the BRICs - what about the MINTs??
« on: January 06, 2014, 09:29:00 AM »

Can you guess which 4 countries make up the MINT acronym??

NICs BRICs and MINTs, love it, good memorable acronyms.

Fascinating thought-provoking article, with relevance to so many topics - not only development, but population (advantages of a youthful population), globalisation, energy, etc. - there's even a titbit about a sinking slum in Indonesia due to over-abstraction...

Not sure about Mexico and Turkey having nearly £50K average incomes by 2050, but who knows??

I do love the way that the tired bi-polar LEDCs v MEDCs has developed (hope the new GCSE and A-level Specs reflect this!!!) - more complex now, but so much more dynamic and interesting :-)

I do wonder how much impact research / news stories like this have - i.e. will the mere suggestion that these countries are the likely places for fastest future growth lead to much greater investment and thus economic growth...?

General Discussion / Re: Old School Video Presenter Makes a Comeback ....
« on: December 12, 2013, 11:18:47 PM »
and the real one! -

seems he was at Latymer Upper, HMC school in West London

General Discussion / Re: Old School Video Presenter Makes a Comeback ....
« on: December 12, 2013, 11:04:55 PM »
question is, do you recognise him?

Excellent... good old Eliot... I always suspected he was the producer's son (producer was Len Brown) - does anyone know if that's right? Honest truth is that I and my students felt he sounded like a pompous public school boy and found that mildly irritating... not that presenting professional geography videos as a sixth former was likely very easy...

General Discussion / Re: Rasing the A* % in results
« on: December 11, 2013, 11:37:55 PM »
"I feel the able students are strong on researching case studies & retaining up to date geographies from tv, radio & other media feeds, it can give them an A edge, but only if examiners are up to speed."

For me one of the biggest sins is failing to award very able students for very sophisticated responses that accurately and appropriately go way beyond GCSE. Sometimes they not have stated the basic L1 point but have answered to AS/A level standard yet don't get out of level 1. Such answers often display an amazing level of knowledge and application of detail that in an AS/A level would have been an A grade and which more than hits the 3 required statements at level 3 for the top level at GCSE.

Nothing worse than telling able students that they need to water down their answers as they are too sophisticated to score well at GCSE.

Can't believe this happens!! - on the GCSE papers I have been involved with (Edexcel B) there is always the caveat that clearly excellent answers get top marks even if they don't jump through the particular hoops laid down as guidance for Level 3 (same with Controlled Assessment - though teachers sometimes don't seem to realise this and I have to moderate up as a result...)

General Discussion / Re: WJEC ning for GCSE - What's occurring?
« on: December 08, 2013, 12:03:28 PM »
No idea, but love the Gavin and Stacey quote  ;D

General Discussion / Re: Rasing the A* % in results
« on: December 08, 2013, 12:02:31 PM »
Kevin I am intrigued what on earth is STD?!!!
Specifics, terms, detail/development :-)

PS having just marked my students' mock, definitely agree with Stuart's comments re actually answering the question on longer/case study answers - I've obviously emphasised terms and specifics so much they forgot to actually answer the question being asked...

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