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Messages - Blue Square Thing

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General Discussion / Re: The best of London ?
« on: July 22, 2014, 06:24:11 PM »
St Katharine's Dock is always nice - just by the Tower. Slightly easier to get to than out by the Excel - and smaller and, imo, prettier.

I also very much like the Nordic Cafe and Scandinavian Kitchen, but I imagine cafes and food stores aren't exactly the sort of thing that you need :-)

General Discussion / Re: Census quiz thing
« on: July 22, 2014, 06:21:59 PM »
I got about 55% for my own one but 85% for my mothers and I've not been there for years :-)

General Discussion / Census quiz thing
« on: July 22, 2014, 06:48:36 AM »

Enter a postcode and it gives you questions about the area to guess at. Quite an interesting idea - might be a fun thing to do in class.

General Discussion / Re: The race to stop Las Vegas from running dry
« on: July 18, 2014, 01:58:15 PM »
Is there a point at which the dam would not function?

If the outlet pipe(s) is too high for the water to drain through then I imagine it wouldn't function to let water out - which would also, presumably, impact the electricity generation capability as well.

There are various groups in that part of the States who also want to variously create a 51st state (iirc this is primarily north eastern Colorado counties - a little loonspuddery in general up there) and to break California into six states. I can imagine the impact of either of those plans on the Colorado compact and the demands for water.

General Discussion / Re: bottom up visualisation map of time zones
« on: July 17, 2014, 06:34:08 PM »
The version on the xkcd page actually rotates properly so that the right place is in the right timezone (and the Business Hours/Rude to Call bit are right as well). It's very cleverly done - we looked at it to work out how Randal was doing it when it first appeared a while back: it falls under the simple but elegant and efficient category.

I'm not sure if the hotlink means it doesn't work when it's embedded - I thought it would do but these things can be flunky.

General Discussion / Re: Iceland fieldwork
« on: July 16, 2014, 08:06:02 PM »
A spot of Arnaldur Indriðason perhaps ?
Here's some pictures I took a few years back
Ooh, love the pictures Alan. The one of the petrol station is very Næturvaktin! And Spongebob!

Arnaldur, yes - also Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. Read one of her horror-style ones last summer in Denmark in this little wooden house miles from anywhere - scared me stupid!

I really must convince my wife she wants to go to Iceland...

General Discussion / Re: Iceland fieldwork
« on: July 16, 2014, 07:24:34 PM »
I'd love to see pictures of Iceland. I won't be taking children there, but I do like a bit of Icelandic crime novel...

General Discussion / Kite diagrams
« on: July 16, 2014, 12:57:26 PM »
So, I don't know if anyone's ever had much luck with producing Kite diagrams using Excel?

I was asked to work something up by a student towards the end of last year and, as I happened to be off ill at the time, I managed to get something working. I've uploaded it at - if anyone needs to produce this sort of thing then feel free to have a play.

It is quite complex to do - there are a couple of other solutions to this out there but there seemed to be major issues with all of them. I'm not suggesting mine would be any better to adapt to another situation, but there are some notes about how I did it at least!

I've also tried to solve the beach profile download problem (at and generally updated some stuff.

General Discussion / Re: The best of London ?
« on: July 16, 2014, 10:15:28 AM »
Postman's Park - just behind the old GPO near St Pauls and St Barts. A beautiful little spot that's an absolute oasis -'s_Park

British Museum - free and, well, wow

Borough Market - lunch!

An interesting question that made me think a bit :-)

I've tended to find kids have difficulties understanding coastal stuff - what their data actually shows about processes - whereas tourism is, imo, relatively more straight forward for them to get into their heads. And I've worked 2k from the coast for 20 years!

If you do go down the coasts route there's a way of doing beach profiles on computers at which might be helpful.

General Discussion / Re: Book monitoring
« on: July 15, 2014, 07:22:58 PM »
I would like to introduce book monitoring to my department and was just wondering how others do this?
Termly? Year group? Faculty? Whole school? Frequency?
Lots of questions!!
Is there nothing in the school's assessment policy on this sort of thing? It's the sort of thing I might expect to find there first off - although whether it will specify frequency is rather dependent on how intelligently it's been written in my experience: assistant heads who teach core subjects sometimes seem to think "every group every fortnight" is fine until someone tells them they only teach the kids once a fortnight and teach every child in the school...

I do think you need to look at books. Perhaps half termly is a good starting point, but it sort of depends what you want to look for (progress over time perhaps?) and the atmosphere and culture in your department.

I think it would be interesting to use time at one departmental meeting to bring all the books from the department along (yours included) and for people to randomly pull books out and look at them perhaps. It would inspire some confidence on my part that this wasn't just a tick box check (ironically...). And to get another HoD to look at your departments books?

General Discussion / Re: End of Year Quiz
« on: July 14, 2014, 10:27:36 PM »
Here is my quiz. I may have got some of the rounds from other people on here as some is recycled from previous quizzes, so thank you.

Also, song lyrics round has not been made yet.

How do I attach something? Am I being blind?!

I'm not sure if you can attach something or not - I think you probably need to upload it to the internets somewhere and then provide the link to it. I'm not sure what the best place to do that is - a google document would probably do (zipped up folder might be easiest I guess): I've not been around for ages and tend to upload all my stuff to a specific domain anyway :-)

Everyone you know knows about them. Assumptions are dangerous. :-)
I appreciate this entirely - my old  IT advisor has told me similar things many, many times. Moving schools is making me appreciate how right she (and you) are!

Morning all,

The slides and info contained here may be useful/of interest

For example, the two sessions were attended by over fifty geography teachers, none of whom were aware of the Ordnance Survey Map layer available for free through Bing maps.

Really! Blimey - I thought everyone knew about them? Been there years under the multi map guise - I'm astonished that 50 geographers didn't know them.

I wonder - do people know about the National Library of Scotland map thingummy then? Use the drop down on the left to change the map - I find I often have to refresh the page after going in to get the map overlay. Then use the slider and interesting things happen - interesting for coastal erosion stuffs or urban change for example.

General Discussion / Re: 'I can statements' for GCSE
« on: July 14, 2014, 07:39:54 PM »
I am sure the new exam specs will do this for you, rather than making them from Ofqual.

The descriptors have been at the back in the past.

From what I can see the grade descriptors in the exam specs are exactly the same as those that came from Ofqual aren't they?

I'd be really interested to see what sorts of stuff you came up with zcsaa44. I don't have to do the same sort of thing at all, but would still be interested in seeing them - I'm sure there are ideas people could get from them and ideas that people could throw in as well.

What would be helpful, though, would probably be the skills checklists from the specs. I don't know if the other boards have them, but I just looked at the AQA one (which I'm fairly certain will be common between the two specs). I recognised most of it straight away :-)

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