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Messages - Victoria

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General Discussion / Re: edexcel A Sophisticated presentation techniques
« on: January 21, 2017, 07:46:25 PM »
I'm not familiar with Edexcel, but AQA publish a list of techniques they deem to be 'basic' and 'complex'.  Might be worth getting in touch with the exam board directly (assuming Jon Wolton is still their geography man, he's very good at responding to queries) for clarification if you can't find anything on the website. 

General Discussion / Nick Crane - What makes us human?
« on: September 29, 2016, 04:49:34 PM »
In case you missed it (you probably did, seeing as you were probably teaching or marking, rather than driving up the beautiful Glen Nevis in the rain), it is well worth listening to (and saving, if there's still a way to do that) Nick Crane's essay and interview for the 'What makes us human?' slot on the Jeremy Vine show today.  Link here

General Discussion / Re: Presenting data from groyne surveys
« on: September 16, 2016, 06:24:17 PM »
I've done similar to Evlinda so that the two sides of the groyne can be compared, but inverted them so they're plotting bars down from the top of the groyne, if that makes sense.

General Discussion / Re: Making ends meet - ideas please?
« on: June 09, 2016, 11:30:01 PM »
I'm a little torn here between sympathising with you and thinking that it is admirable that you are trying to think of ways to deal with this situation and being really angry and frustrated that you are in this situation in the first place.  These changes to GCSE and A Level have been on the cards for some time; schools have known about them and really should have made plans to up departmental budgets to ensure that the new courses could be resourced properly.  I'd be speaking to SLT about this if I was you, but also worth thinking about ways of avoiding buying full sets of textbooks (e.g. using digital textbooks via classroom projectors, ebooks via Kerboodle or similar), rather than trying to sell resources.

If it really has to come to selling resources, then school should be providing you with a means to do that if you can't use eBay or similar.

I hope that your SLT come to their senses and that you manage to get something sorted.

General Discussion / Re: Homework
« on: June 09, 2016, 11:16:38 PM »
I'm not teaching any more, but have done this sort of thing in various guises at two different schools with (largely) success.

The first one was an 'Adopt-a-country' project with Year 9 in the summer term and was tied into lessons where we used resources such as Gapminder and Worldmapper, and I used a similar idea with Year 8 in our Africa unit (same thing, but African countries only). 

Also did a project style homework trial with Year 8 where they were given a sheet with a range of homework tasks tied in to our Landscapes unit, and they had to do a minimum of three over the term.  Were I to do it again, I might give each task a points value, and tell them that they had to do x number of points' worth of homework, rather than three tasks. 

Our first years at my last school did a cross-curricular homework project too.  The theme was Journeys, and their work, presented in whatever way they wished, had to include at least three of the six subjects involved.  This one was assessed in a similar fashion to the Extended Project - students completed a journal and had meetings with their mentor (their teacher from one of the six subjects involved).

All of these variations produced some incredible work (mainly, though not exclusively, from bright girls with good family support), a lot of mediocre work, and some pretty poor work.  How you get something like this to work for all students is something I never found an answer to, but I definitely think that it is a route worth pursuing.  The cross-curricular project I referred to above was instigated by an Assistant Head - having SLT support (along with a letter to parents and a 'launch' assembly) definitely helped to lend some gravitas, and there was a display of projects on Prizegiving Day.

General Discussion / Re: River study sites in NW England?
« on: April 20, 2016, 10:44:26 PM »
Not an area I know well, I'm afraid.  It might be worth checking out the websites of local field centres (and even local schools where there are geog dept pages) to find out which rivers they use?

General Discussion / Re: AQA A level ning
« on: April 15, 2016, 07:15:18 PM »
All pending membership requests have now been dealt with - if you've not been approved and think you should have, please request to join again...  :)

General Discussion / Re: Help with Purchasing Fieldwork Equipment
« on: April 15, 2016, 07:13:33 PM »
I've tended mainly to use Geopacks in the past:

The GA also have some basic fieldwork bits and pieces (discount for GA members):

Wildgoose might be worth a look too, depending what you're after:

General Discussion / Re: AQA A level ning
« on: March 24, 2016, 05:34:49 PM »
Sorry Fiona, that's my fault - not checked for quite a while.  I've just gone through and approved several Fionas and everyone with an obviously school email address, so hopefully you should have been accepted now - please let me know if not.  There are a lot of other requests from hotmail addresses and without proper names, and I've not got the time just now to go through each one individually just now.

If anyone else thinks they should have been approved and haven't been, again, please let me know. 

General Discussion / Re: Fieldwork help!
« on: March 21, 2016, 06:45:45 PM »
Digimap for Schools - you'll need to subscribe if you don't already, but it's well worth it.

General Discussion / Re: World Water Day
« on: February 23, 2016, 10:57:04 PM »
Do a search on here for water ideas.  People have done all sorts of things including getting students to carry buckets of water certain distances, water filtering activities, creative writing about a day without water...

Also check out WaterAid - loads of great education resources on their website.

General Discussion / Re: Work Experience Yr 11 Student
« on: February 23, 2016, 10:55:04 PM »
The RGS do a work experience programme, but may not fit with what you are looking for.  Local "branch" of Environment Agency?  National Park?  Local council (in planning/transport/environment departments...).  Do you have a school newsletter and/or Twitter - if so, worth putting out a plea to parents who may work in an appropriate field.

My old school in Derbyshire (but not far from Nottinghamshire or S. Yorkshire) used to offer various travel and tourism related courses.  I am not sure whether they still do, or who will be in charge of it now as the person who was doing a fantastic job of leading it very sadly died suddenly last year, but might be worth getting in touch with them if you don't find anyone else.  (It was all part of the vocational education offering and run separately from Geography/Humanities.)  enquiries AT

General Discussion / Re: Holderness fieldwork
« on: February 06, 2016, 06:32:39 PM »
We've done similar at Withernsea - beach profiles, exposed groyne height measurements, land use mapping.  And comparing right in front of the town where there is lots of management with a site slightly further south where there is none.

General Discussion / Re: ISI inspection
« on: January 13, 2016, 06:02:42 PM »
I didn't get any feedback from either lesson due to the timing of the observations and availability of the inspectors.  In terms of my actual experience, they came in (late in one case), sat down where I asked them to, looked bored (!), scribbled a few notes and left at the end.

I did have a copy of the observation form from the inset but that was a paper copy and I definitely haven't got that here, I'm afraid.  From what I remember though, it was rather more traditional than those I've seen used in state schools.  There aren't expectations about anything being done in a particular way - stretch and challenge and independence (or lack of!) did come up in our inspection, and the focus was more on the students than the teachers... are they interested, engaged, working hard, knowing/able to do things at the end of the lesson that they didn't/couldn't at the start?

Your school should have login details for the ISI website - worth a look in the documentation section on there.

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