The Geography department at Talbot Heath school in Bournemouth has been awarded both the Secondary Geography Quality Mark (SGQM) and the coveted Centre of Excellence by the GA. Nationally only 7 schools have received this joint award this year and the Geography department are delighted to have their work recognised in this way. The application wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment of all three teaching staff: Liz Atkins, Karen McDonald and Head of Faculty, Helen Chapleo, who submitted a detailed, 80 page application that took 50 hours to complete. It was evidenced with students’ work, schemes of work and lesson extracts which ultimately met the rigorous scrutiny of the SGQM National Moderation Team, who recognise excellence in teaching and learning in geography. The team of assessors were hugely impressed by the manner in which the department continue to embrace new and innovative approaches to teaching geography.
Now into its ninth year, the SGQM recognises student attainment, progress and achievement in areas such as geographical knowledge, understanding, values, skills and concepts, and sets expectations about the quality of teaching in geography. It aims to promote effective subject leadership and management, helping subject leaders raise the standards of geography in their schools. Talbot Heath school has also gained a Centre for Excellence status which is pivotal to the GA’s desire to spread good practice through the development of local networks of teachers. The Centre of Excellence award recognises a school’s contribution to disseminating quality approaches to the teaching of geography. In these schools geography is managed by enthusiastic curriculum leaders who are able to inspire their colleagues.
Mrs Chapleo said, ‘It is great to finally see the contribution of Geography acknowledged in this way and I hope this will help to inspire more young people to study it in the future.’ The Secondary Geography Quality Mark awardees will be acknowledged at the 2016 GA Annual Conference held at the University of Derby from Thursday 7–Saturday 9 April 2016. Congratulations go to the Geography department.
Pictured Above: Icelandic Adventure - The Geography department regularly organises field trips both locally and internationally.
Alan Kinder, Chief Executive of the GA, says: ‘There has never been a more important time for all children and young people to study geography. Growing up in the 21st century means living in an increasingly interconnected world, one facing a growing number of global challenges such as climate change and the need to live our lives sustainably. Geography not only fascinates and inspires young people, it provides them with the knowledge and understanding they need to live in the modern world. Geography is, as we say in the GA’s Manifesto, “fundamental to everyone” and I am delighted that a growing number of primary schools are teaching their students to fully engage with the subject.’