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Messages - Blue Square Thing

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There are a few graph style things on my website - try the functional IT section as well as geography. They tend to use computers of course and may not always be 100% geography focussed but could be adapted easily enough I think.

General Discussion / Re: Old maps online
« on: September 24, 2014, 11:43:24 PM »
An interesting resource, although not as easy to use, imho, as the National Library of Scotland one...

General Discussion / Re: What do you want to see in new A level?
« on: September 23, 2014, 10:33:57 PM »
I'd *always* want to see an option to study Wildernesses. They were always my absolutely favourite module back in the day - a great shame when they seemed to pass out of courses. Used to fascinate the kids as well - the abstract idea of valuing somewhere for something like wilderness value and the range of places they could find out about.

Not that I'm anywhere near A level of any kind just now...

General Discussion / A positive view of global warming...
« on: September 16, 2014, 07:32:02 PM »

From the ever lovely Savage Chickens

General Discussion / Re: Help needed for Internet Safety (Facebook) assembly
« on: September 15, 2014, 07:05:35 PM »
I'd certainly be interested in seeing it - my e-mail can be found on my website which is probably linked from my profiley thingy I think. Ta.

General Discussion / Re: Minecrafting with OS OpenData
« on: September 14, 2014, 10:09:07 PM »
Denmark's also been built by the Danish OS - including I believe 3D buildings in Copenhagen and stuff. Haven't had a chance to look properly at either yet - but very much want to.

And, I think, the BGS have done something with underlying geology as well haven't they? Not exactly sure what...

General Discussion / Re: Help needed for Internet Safety (Facebook) assembly
« on: September 14, 2014, 10:07:59 PM »
Hmm - I don't know of anything video like on this. There are lots of worthwhile e-safety videos, although they might already have seen some of them so it'd be worth asking your computing department next time you do this (assuming they teach them e-safety stuff in class).

I do teach e-safety quite a lot though. Tbh I'm not sure how much of a hit you'll get in assemblies with this. It is well suited to some sort of pshe session though if it's not being done in computing. I did some stuff on oversharing last year using the Fakebook thing and being Henry VIII - imaging what sorts of things he'd have posted about Anne of Cleves (which they happened to have been doing in History at the same time...). I think I also have some mysteries and stuff, although whether it's on Facebook I'm not sure.

Good luck. A tough one for an assembly imho as it's pretty difficult to get past the "don't do it..." message in that time slot.

General Discussion / Re: Is it worth asking for some remarks?
« on: September 14, 2014, 10:02:46 PM »
If there's already been an adjustment up then the chances are that there might be some fluctuation in the marking for that paper. If it was hand marked by one examiner - is that the case with your board? I did hear a rumour that at least some specs might have returned to that. If it's marked on computer then I'm not sure why there'd be an adjustment (and certainly not a consistent adjustment across a centre as questions tend to be randomly dished out as far as I know - although that might depend on the paper and the board.

I have done remarks for one of the exam boards. Not for a few years, so the situation may have changed. This was certainly in the days of paper marking rather than using online systems.

The emphasis in the remark system (at the time and for that board) was always on making sure that the kids got a fair mark - but there was also a general desire to try and agree with the original marker if at all possible as well. If something was marked wrongly then you'd change the mark (well, I would anyway) but if it was a more subjective question and you were going for, say, either 4 or 5 and the original marks was a 4 then it probably wouldn't be changed.

So - is it worth it? With paper based stuff it might be if you target kids right at the grade boundaries. In my experience not many marks were changed by very much - although if there is already an adjustment then that will probably be based on an average variation - so you might get one or two go up a little more than the adjustment - so it might well be worthwhile. If the variation in the sample from that marker had been massive then the papers would probably have been remarked anyway (in my experience and a few years ago - that might not happen now).

If it's computer marked then I'd certainly go for remarks as the variation is, in my opinion, harder to adjust for and there's a fair chance that there might be some slightly off marking - which, in theory, might impact several questions from one candidate. But I am (probably) prejudiced against computer marking as well as I don't have a generally good feeling for it.

So - it sort of depends.

In terms of experiences from the other end? Another exam board that we used for one exam session; we paid for remarks for 15 or so kids. The remarks produced a whole pile of changes - one candidate +18 marks for example, others at +15, +10 etc... (out of 100 or so iirc). The exam board then refused to do anything about the reliability of marking across the centre and remark the other papers.

So, yeah - try it and you might get lucky :-)

General Discussion / Re: Trans-boundary water issue
« on: September 10, 2014, 08:28:39 AM »
Colorado's probably easy enough to source stuff on. There's also the whole issues with the different states wanting more water as well - I believe there's big issues with California just now given the whole drought thing.

General Discussion / Re: Only Connect
« on: September 06, 2014, 05:54:41 PM »

Cave, Arch, Stack, Stump was an actual question on the sequences round a couple of series ago.
Was it? I can't remember that one I must admit :-) The flags one on the pictures connections was a question last summer - I think it may have pretty much inspired me to get up and actually create the ppt :-)

General Discussion / Only Connect
« on: September 06, 2014, 03:27:02 PM »
So, back in July I spent a little time producing some resources that riff off of the ideas in Only Connect - now starting a new series on BBC2 (Monday 8.30 - well worth a watch imo - especially if you're a bit geeky).

I already had some missing vowel resources up - there are now resources for all of the rounds in the show (you're best to watch the show at least once to figure out how the rounds work).

All can be found at and are downloadable and adaptable to your hearts content.

General Discussion / Re: No more OfSTED grading of lessons
« on: September 03, 2014, 07:06:03 PM »
I imagine many schools, like my new one it seems, will retain internal grading of lessons. Because it's "useful"...

In an alternative universe there may be people who are able to deal with making a judgement without having a number to attach to it.

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.

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