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Messages - kevincooper777

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General Discussion / Re: Glaciers
« on: July 09, 2015, 07:19:15 AM »
Glaciers dull??? I LOVE glaciers and everything glacial!! Still remember showing my (Middlesbrough) students a photo of a glacier with moraine strips and asking them what it was, to get the most popular reply "some sort of motorway". Depends on your clientele, obviously, but for many it is a chance to show them things beyond their 'everyday' - a real "awe and wonder" opportunity. And unless you are in London or Southern England, where you are was covered in 1km+ of ice as recently as 15,000 years ago (depending on where you are) - which, compared to dinosaur extinction 65Mya or age of Earth at 4,600Mya, is basically yesterday [another awe and wonder opportunity].

General Discussion / Re: Short course GCSE
« on: July 02, 2015, 08:03:24 PM »
Thanks for replying Graham! - it's not happening now for various reasons, but if it comes up again I think as you say I would go for the full course.

General Discussion / Short course GCSE
« on: May 22, 2015, 08:29:16 PM »
Normally we offer an option block of short-course RE or an Outdoor Ed qualification - but this year several students have suggested they would like to do a short course Geography qualification instead. They range in ability - some for whom C at GCSE would be a massive achievement, some EAL students who struggle with the English but are intelligent and interested, and some who would be aiming for A/B at GCSE level. We are an independent school so league table points etc isn't a factor - I just want a course which is do-able in 2 x 55 mins per week over 2 years and is accessible and useful... Can anyone advise?? - it looks like OCR do a short-course GCSE, so that's favourite at the moment. There is also an ASDAN course, but that looks too simple. There is an 'Edexcel Certificate' which appears to be an international qualification (no problem with that), but at a glance it seems to have some complex 9-mark questions which would stretch most of them quite a lot...

Any advice / ideas gratefully received...

General Discussion / Re: The Causes of Global Warming
« on: February 14, 2015, 12:36:50 AM »
Great, thanks Simon, good find :)
I'm lucky enough to be able to basically talk through the issues with my Y9 - though I have also made a powerpoint which goes through many misconceptions students have about global warming and they just have to say 'true', 'maybe' or 'false'...

General Discussion / Re: IB Geography Exam
« on: January 13, 2015, 01:52:51 AM »
I'm a Team Leader on P3, and although diagrams are encouraged in the blurb, there certainly isn't a requirement - I'd say 10% max include a map or diagram, and 70% of them are fairly pointless and don't add anything to the essay (eg three 'globes' of decreasing size from left to right to show 'shrinking world' idea...). In the November exam I did see one two-part map showing changing economic flows from mainly 'core' to 'periphery' countries to more two-way and also more flows between emerging economies... 

General Discussion / Re: new spec for sept
« on: January 09, 2015, 07:28:39 AM »
I do 3-year GCSE. I am hoping that at least there is some indication from boards as to what might be relevant to study in September 2015 with Year 9... Jon Wolton at Edexcel has been asking teachers about this, but not heard anything for a while...

General Discussion / Drinking bat blood in the desert to survive
« on: January 09, 2015, 07:26:09 AM »
Brilliant account of desert marathon runner and how he survived for 10 days in the desert - fascinating story relevant to Specs with Deserts / Extreme Climates topic -

General Discussion / Re: Ofsted inspections - clarifications for schools
« on: November 10, 2014, 01:30:56 PM »
Interesting, thank you Kate - relevant to other thread re workload as well... hope the message is getting through re lack of lesson / teacher grading, evidence required (ie lesson plans not needed etc.). Enlightening in view of the other thread re workload.

General Discussion / Re: workload
« on: November 10, 2014, 11:15:28 AM »
This whole area I feel passionate about. I have a few quick suggestions:
(1) Appraisal / PM targets must include at least one which is focused on self-care
(2) Ofsted inspections (and ISI) include a proper investigation of workload [if appraisal included this, would be relatively easy to do as there should be records of what each teacher has done / been supported with...], with schools which give only tokenistic support for sensible work-life balance / self care etc criticised accordingly
(3) A senior manager with heart for this stuff (guess there might be some somewhere???? - eg Graham!!) to have this whole area in their job description etc.

My wife is an alternative health therapist (ex English teacher), and has begun doing INSET with schools, partly with a view to getting clients amongst the exhausted teachers, which she can then show how to look after themselves better [having witnessed at close hand not only me, but many other teachers struggling like crazy with their mental, physical and spiritual health, she has a passion for this]. One enlightened local primary school is paying for ALL their teachers to have a 10-week programme of 'teacher self-care', part one-to-one and part group work - because the Head, having been 'treated' by my wife, has seen the benefits not only for her own well-being, but the positive modelling for the children too.

The other thing I would add to this is that in my experience many senior managers are if anything MORE run off their feet than those at the chalk face, hence the s**t gets passed down rather than intercepted... it should at least become a bit of stemflow and leafdrip rather than the full whammy... :D

General Discussion / Re: Rising numbers for geography at AS and A2
« on: August 03, 2014, 05:58:45 PM »
Perhaps people already know, but highest increase of all subjects at GCSE too (19%) - see

General Discussion / Re: Census quiz thing
« on: July 23, 2014, 06:00:16 AM »
Keep getting miles out on the home owner thing - but I think I've realised why - it says "owned with a mortgage" - so presumably doesn't count those who have paid their mortgage off... RTQ...   :D

General Discussion / Re: Census quiz thing
« on: July 23, 2014, 05:54:10 AM »
Saw this on Alan P's blog, was going to post a link here - I think it's a really good tool - what I wrote on Alan's blog:
That's brill, thanks Alan - been looking for a long time for an accessible way into looking at census data that doesn't take ages but actually says something of worth... Useful for AQA AS Population - and I see the draft A-level stuff has something about comparing the local to the regional to the national to the global (little bit like the OCR A 'My Place' thing) - this will be great for that too.
I got 69% on my local area - but it's very harsh if you mess up on just one question! - for me it was the owner-occupied one... which I put at about 80% but was 22%!!... which was interesting to reflect on - I'm assuming that more people than I thought live in rented cottages on country estates - as we do! - but even that doesn't really explain it... I'm wondering if maybe there's a bit of a glitch and when it says "number of households" it counts care homes etc (which we have a few of) as more than one "household"... I can imagine some good discussions like this coming up when I do this with relevant classes next year.

Thanks Gazz - enjoyed teaching re Detroit until Edexcel B Spec changed and no longer relevant - hopefully will be relevant again come GCSE changes...

If anyone teaches Detroit I have a few good things I can share, including

General Discussion / Amazon "real" case study
« on: June 14, 2014, 07:40:32 PM »
Came across this, three guys going up remote tributary of the Amazon, doing crowd-funding, I've pledged £10 and means I'll get the HD film they are making... see - but you can pledge any amount - they still need a fair bit and have only 10 days to go...

General Discussion / Re: Mr Poo
« on: May 06, 2014, 07:05:48 AM »

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