Geography Teacher Summer Conference – June 2016

Report by Janet Neil, Redland High School, Bristol

The summer conference ran by Garry Atterton and Mark Jones is a great way to refresh and update your case study knowledge, meet colleagues and network to gain new knowledge yourself at a very reasonable cost to schools.

Lectures were varied and very relevant to the syllabuses that we are covering today, with common themes being focused upon. The concept of place, its changing nature and challenges was explored with Eleanor Rawlings of Oxford University. Rebecca Kitchener, responsible for the secondary curriculum support at the GA, spoke about geography in the changing curriculum landscape. Subject knowledge updates were delivered by Chris Parker on dealing with dynamic rivers and Andy Tallon on Urban China, both from UWE. Both provided practical and relevant knowledge on their individual topics. Simon Pinfield from the RGS, provided a very interesting and focused approach on data skills in Geography which left all of us wanting to learn and use the tools more widely.

The day was rounded off with a ‘teach meet’ session. These are 3 to 5 min sessions that deliver ideas that we can all use at the beginning or the end of a lesson. They ranged from using Kahoot and Socrates in class, drawing on school courtyard using chalk concepts and processes taught in class e.g. DTM, using GIS maps to build up layers such as physical and human features for a country, challenge boards can be created to encourage individual learning, numbers boards to provide analogies for pupils to understand e.g. how big an emergent tree is, goof for visual learners, Esri-online and ArcGIS used for teaching content , not just as an add on was also explored.

These were all great ideas shared to help, support and to continue making the learning of geography fun, relevant and interactive.

The whole conference was organised by Garry Atterton, Castle School, Thornbury together with Mark Jones UWE, to which we thank.

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