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General Discussion / Re: Year 5 Baseline Assessment (Middle School)
« Last post by Andoca on September 01, 2014, 10:00:54 PM »
Never really found a solution to this but I have used a combination of maths and Sci as well as English then dropped back a sub level (as many have never studied geography before).  Not 100% accurate...but what is?
General Discussion / Year 5 Baseline Assessment (Middle School)
« Last post by mltimberlake on September 01, 2014, 08:50:36 PM »
Hello All!

I am looking for some help and advice. I am a non-specialist who is leading the Geography department in my school. I would like to put in a baseline assessment for Geography in Year 5 rather than use English target levels (as has been the norm). Does anyone have any ideas as to what I could implement to gain a true indication of the pupil's skills/knowledge.

Thank you in advance!

General Discussion / Re: Desperately needing to promote A-level Geography
« Last post by simon1faulkner on September 01, 2014, 10:40:27 AM »

My name is Simon Faulkner and I coordinate the Geography Ambassador Scheme at the RGS-IBG.

I'm really sorry to hear that your previous experience with having Ambassadors in to your school hasn't seemed to have an impact.

If you'd like to give it another go I'd be delighted to help organise this for you and tailor an Ambassador visit(s) to your specific needs of increasing uptake into AS/A-Level.

Please do get in touch on / 020 7591 3050

Thanks so much

General Discussion / Re: Geography Career Day
« Last post by simon1faulkner on September 01, 2014, 10:33:06 AM »

My name is Simon Faulkner and I coordinate the Geography Ambassador Scheme here at the RGS-IBG. So hello!

I'd be delighted to help get some Ambassadors to come in and visit your school, as well as give you details of upcoming events (such as our Going Places with Geography careers event in the summer and workshop days for year 9s). If you'd like to get in touch please do email me on

with any questions or queries.

Thanks so much

General Discussion / Desperately needing to promote A-level Geography
« Last post by geog2312 on September 01, 2014, 08:29:35 AM »

For the first time in 10 years we have no Year 12 stduents taking Geography, which is really disappointing and the Head of Sixth Form wants to know why as we always add value and get good results.

We have always had a class size of 12 (as we have a small sixth Form) & I do not want the slippery slope of decline to happen where this countiues next year.

We have had RGS Ambassadors in to speak to students, but this seems to have had little impact.

I am in a school in SE Londin and want to establish links with Univeristes or industry but am finding it really hard. Does anyone out there have any ideas or had any luck doing this as I am worrying already for our cohort for next year.

Thank You
General Discussion / Re: Cruise of the Betsey
« Last post by GB geographer on August 31, 2014, 07:24:43 PM »
Indeed. It's been too long since I explored that part of Scotland - used to go several times a year for many years when I was younger...
General Discussion / No more OfSTED grading of lessons
« Last post by edge on August 31, 2014, 03:44:23 PM »

I wonder what the implications in school will be in terms of performance appraisal?  Could lead to some really interesting and healthy discussions about strengths and areas for development. The language used during feedback will be telling in terms of an overall judgement I imagine.
General Discussion / Re: Maps of southern Africa
« Last post by Graham on August 31, 2014, 09:42:12 AM »

You might have to try Stanfords in London?
General Discussion / Re: Cruise of the Betsey
« Last post by Graham on August 31, 2014, 09:39:51 AM »

Sounds a really exciting project Alan- great shame that you can't be on board. Was in Oban and Fort William last week!
General Discussion / Cruise of the Betsey
« Last post by GB geographer on August 30, 2014, 08:11:35 PM »
Details of a project I'm involved in which starts this coming weekend.

Hugh Miller from Cromarty was a highly influential figure in the second quarter of the 19th century. He was a self-taught geologist, writer and editor of a key Edinburgh newspaper in the lead up to the tectonic changes in the Scottish church that culminated in the Disruption of 1843. Miller was one of Scotland’s outstanding geologists, one of the first of many Scottish ‘citizen scientists’ and stands beside the greats of Hutton, Lyell and Murchison.

The Cruise of the Betsey took place the year after the Disruption, when 450 ministers broke away from the Established Church. Miller joined his boyhood friend the Rev Swanson, a keen supporter of the Disruption, who had been removed from his Small Isles parish and his manse on Eigg. Swanson used the Betsey as his ‘floating manse’ so that he was still able to serve his parishioners. The cruise was to visit Tobermory, Eigg, Rum, Glenelg and Isle Ornsay on Skye. Miller’s accounts record much about the social circumstances they came across as well as detailed descriptions of the geology, palaeontology and landscapes encountered. During the Cruise of the Betsey, Miller made many ground-breaking scientific discoveries. He wrote about his journey on the Betsey, and other travels through Scotland.

The Cruise of the Betsey voyage will take place between the 6th – 12th of September 2014, beginning at the North Pier in Oban. It is going to 'recreate' the voyage, 170 years after the original, and connect with community events on several islands.
It's led by the RSGS and the Friends of Hugh Miller, and supported by other organisations (see website)

Our sailing boat for the voyage is Leader – a gaff-rigged ketch, built in Brixham, Devon in 1892. Leader was one of the largest of the Brixham sailing trawlers, known, despite their Ketch rig, as the ‘Big Sloops’. For more information about Leader see She has a GPS tracker, so the journey can be followed.

The exact route taken will depend on weather and tidal conditions, but the intention will be to call in at some of the locations which Hugh Miller visited, and to connect with planned community events on Eigg and Rum.

I've created a set of educational materials for the project, which will be used in Scottish schools. Let me know if you fancy trialling them and I'll put you in touch with Joyce Gilbert from the RSGS.

I've also worked to help create the website:

I was also invited to go along on the voyage in person, but 'sadly' will be back at school in the 2nd week of the new term so will be following from afar and running the social media.
Follow us on @BetseyCruise14 on Twitter: or Like the Facebook page:

It's going to be a great journey, with multi-disciplinary discussions and stories emerging from it....
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