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Messages - keigs

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General Discussion / Re: A Level Geography
« on: September 10, 2010, 06:57:37 PM »
6 x 50 mins (5 hrs)  a week in Yr12 & 13.  Minimum number of students is 5.  Some subjects whose Yr 12 uptake falls below that have been asked to combine 1 of the 6 lessons a week with the Year 13 students - so effectively the students have 4hrs 25mins each week.

General Discussion / Re: Head of Year interview - any advice?
« on: June 29, 2010, 10:31:28 AM »
I've just had a successful interview for a KS3 Head of Year.  The key areas they were interested in were...

1.   Integrating more fully PLTS into Department SofW - and monitoring this.  They also wanted to see how I might use tutor time and whole year activity days to integrate skills and creativity work.

2.   Target setting with the students and the use of assertive mentoring.

3.   Monitoring of lessons and staff who have a teaching responsibility in my Year group

4.   Line managing staff

An explicit pastoral role had less significance - although one would hope that behaviour might improve if the second point was well addressed.

General Discussion / Re: Gentrification question
« on: June 17, 2010, 11:21:43 AM »
What about Notting Hill?  We use this with our A2 students.  Plenty of information on that and a good talking point with the Carnival and the conflict with the gentrification newcomers.

Is it possible to voluntary drop down the MPS to enable you to become 'cheaper'?

'...its all a bit of a nightmare and, in my opinion, is stunting geographical creativity, interest and enquiry'

I agree with this.  Also, if we're only allowing them to do it mostly as a  controlled class based piece of work, why not just do it as an exam and relieve staff of all the admin and planning.  We do this with our A Level AQA B course - students do the fieldtrip and then do an exam based on this.  Why can't this happen at GCSE? - it would be so much more simple and I think would have the same outcome as the CA.

BTW, does anyone have any experince of coping with students who are absent or students that require more time (as they might in other exams)?  We see this as one potential hurdle for our controlled assessment that we will be beginning later in the year.

General Discussion / Re: Latest "best" and "worst" places to live
« on: October 06, 2009, 01:55:15 PM »
There's a real wealth of info on the actual UN website...

... including the full table of countries...

Have a family of your own before becoming a teacher.  You'll develop hugely your skill of patience and you'll learn to (on the whole) always be calm and fair with children.   :)

General Discussion / Re: Student views on use of VLE's
« on: September 22, 2009, 01:40:32 PM »
I've used Moodle with some of my Geography A-Level students and whilst they found it a bit of a novelty at the start, they did find the navigation a bit of a challenge and they had to use passwords to get access.  I found it all too time consuming. 

It's much easier with the simple blog I have now ( a free one from  There's other sites that provide the same functions as Moodle.  For example, the students recently did a collaborative exercise on an exam question on one of the many wiki sites - that worked really well.

Others may disagree, but for the time I put into researching Moodle and faffing about with it, it just wasn't worth it.

General Discussion / Re: uploading photos onto quikmaps
« on: July 22, 2009, 01:39:23 PM »
Haven't seen quikmaps before.  What a great site.  Thanks for mentioning it - I'll share it with my department.

General Discussion / Re: KS3 Marking Policy
« on: July 11, 2009, 09:06:39 PM »
We don't use marks in our marking policy anymore - not in the exercise books anyway.  Instead, I select a piece or an aspect of a student's work that I think is really good and highlight it with a pink highlighter. Then a find a part of their work that I think is less good or could be improved upon and highlight that in green.  Then at the end of their work I put a blob of each colour and write a comment as to why I liked what they'd done (pink='tickled pink') or how I think they could have improved or do it better next time.  I find this is a fast way to 'mark' too  :)

This system seems to work well with my students and gets over the issue we'd identified as a department, where the students simply look at the mark you've given, but don't bother to read (or act on) the comment.

We do our main marking in the key levelled assessments which are done twice a term.

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