Sunday, August 26, 2018

Fortnite in Geography

May be of interest to some of you :)

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Dan Raven Ellison's new film premiere...

You can order your ticket here. Some excellent speakers as well as the chance to be provoked by Dan.

It’s difficult to get a picture of what the United Kingdom really looks like. Imaginations and assumptions can distort decisions that affect our lives. We often hear the idea that there is simply no more room in the country. In reality, just six per cent of the UK is built on.

The UK in 100 Seconds is a provocative and thought provoking film that rearranges the United Kingdom's land into 32 categories and divides them over 100 seconds. Each second equates to 1% of what the country looks like from the air.

Made by guerrilla geographer Daniel Raven-Ellison and filmmaker Jack Smith, the film was made by travelling from Tongue in the north of Scotland to the New Forest in the south of England. Each second of the film covers roughly one metre of Raven-Ellison's walk through moorland and peat bogs, down a runway and over a dump.

Made in collaboration with Friends of the Earth, the film gives an honest reflection of what land looks like and how it is used in the United Kingdom and raises some challenging questions. A major inspiration for Raven-Ellison making the film is the amount of space that is used for feeding livestock and the question - what if we made more space for nature?

Following the screening, there will be a Q&A with the filmmakers and a series of six micro-talks and a forum with the audience. We'll be discussing what the UK could look like in the future and what the effects would be if we made more space for nature.

Confirmed panellists include:
Alasdair Rae, a geographer and expert on land use at Sheffield University
Andrew Simms, author of the books Cancel the Apocalypse and Ecological Debt
Beth Collier, a nature-based psychotherapist

More panellists to be announced.

Join the discussion using the hashtags #UKin100Seconds and #MoreSpaceForNature.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Edible Histories

Thanks to Justin Woolliscroft for the tipoff to this site, which has the stories of some of the things we eat (and drink)

Thy include fish and chips...

The sandwich...

And the curry...

This will go into the list of resources for my 'You are what you eat' topic...

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tony Walsh on the Lake District

Via Val Vannet
Working out a way to make use of this...
Poetry by Tony Walsh 

We have collaborated with northern poet Tony Walsh to create this unique short film, ‘Reflecting On The Lakes’. The unique film and poem celebrates what it’s like to live, work and love the National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, and will inspire viewers to help us protect and care for this truly special place. The film sets out to shine a light on the real Lake District; celebrating all there is to love about the National Park, and declares: ‘it’s where farming shaped the landscape and where landscape shaped our lives, it’s now honoured by UNESCO with a badge we’ll wear with pride'. ‘Reflecting On The Lakes’, features scenes from across the Lake District which form the backdrop to a passionate piece of poetry written and performed by leading spoken word poet, Tony Walsh.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A is for Angel of the North

The first in a new series of coins has been released by the Royal Mint. They represent the letters A-Z.

There is a collection card, and you can buy the coins as they are released or hope they turn up in your change...
It's called the Great British Coin Hunt.

A is the Angel of the North.

What landmarks or cultural icons would you choose for your UK A-Z of places and objects?

I've used this idea before, and showed some of the designs that are put onto 50p coins, and then provided a blank 50p outline for students to design a coin which represents the landscape of 'The Fens', having spent some time exploring it.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Meet the Better World Detectives

For the last few months I've been working with Tui on some education resources.

This has involved some work at KS2 and KS3 level, but my focus has been on the KS2 materials.

These have now been made available as an updated suite of resources for KS2 pupils, which involves 6 fully resourced sessions. 

There is an accent on sustainability, which connects with the company's approach of promoting sustainable tourism.
An e-mail is required to download the resource pack, which you should know runs to 274Mb as it includes a range of assets including videos and multimedia, as well as teacher resources to print off. These are fun, and well packaged materials, with nods to social media use, and themes which will be familiar to many young people.
The lessons introduce students to a fictional island first, before exploring plastic in the oceans, coral reefs, and the impact of tourism on local communities and people.

Say hello to the Better World Detectives, and you may find a use for some of these resources within your KS2 curriculum. There are also ideas that are transferrable upwards into KS3.

I worked on these with Emma Espley and Daniel Smith, along with designer Lisa Jo Robinson, and Maddie Duggan, who led the project for TUI.

a different view

‘... to be educated is not to have arrived at a destination, it is to travel with a different view’ (Peters, 1965)

Ten years ago, I started working for the Geographical Association, and worked on the team which delivered on the promises in the Action Plan for Geography.
One of the outcomes from this was the GA's 'manifesto' for school geography, which remains influential, and some of the ideas in there are still an important part of shaping the thinking of teachers. It was called 'a different view'.

One of the resources that went alongside the pamphlet was a video. There were two versions: long and short, and I made them over a period of months using the Animoto Pro video editing tool. It got its premiere at the GA Conference in 2009.

You can still watch the video here:

A Different View: Promoting Geography from The Geographical Association on Vimeo.

Follow this link to visit the page on the GA's website, which has a whole range of supporting resources.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Caiti's new blog and the Geography Litter Pick

A new blog from Caiti Walter, has launched with an invitation to get involved in a Big Geog Litter Pick.

There are some additional tools for the Litter Pick project, which all teachers are invited to get involved with during August.

Open up the Survey123 Form that Katie Hall has completed, and you can enter your own findings.

Caiti's blog will share some ideas for sustainable teaching. As she says:

I was once told in my PGCE year, “Don’t sit with the moaners in the staff room, find the ‘yes’ people”. This blog aims to be that ‘yes’ person, not by patronising and pretending that all in teaching is rosy, but by simply highlighting the useful, inspirational, creative and funny outputs of a life in teaching.

Thursday, August 2, 2018


As geographers, we know the value of geography of course, but we need to let more people know this...

The Royal Geographical Society has launched a campaign to encourage students to #choosegeography and we can all get involved in supporting it as we move into a new academic year.

As it says on the RGS website:
There’s no denying it: geographers hold the building blocks to our collective future. That’s why you should choose geography.