Crossing the Threshold 

Research from Meyer & Land (2006] into undergraduate education helps us to understand why some pupils seem to get stuck with a particular topic when others have no difficulty. They identified what they termed “Threshold concepts”, ideas that are central to the understanding of a topic and without which pupils can’t progress. They showed that…

What makes the difference?

A few days ago, after getting our GCSE results, I wrote a quick post about some of the things we had done as a department that I felt had made a difference and helped us go from getting “quite good results” to “really quite excellent results”. Since then people have asked lots of further questions…

Where did it all go right… again?

This time last year my department got the best GCSE results of my time in teaching. We had made some changes and reaped the rewards (I wrote about it here) but I always knew it was going to be a hard act to follow. Well, we followed it and improved on it. When WJEC finally…

Planning Learning – A line in the sand

What do the following have in common? The human and physical causes of flooding The impact of free trade on Low Income Countries How to draw a climate graph Did you get it? Other than being pretty standard, and therefore awesome, pieces of a geographers education, they all take one hour to learn. Exactly one…

How do you design your curriculum?

Towards the end of last term, as we started to review our Expect Excellence action plan, my thoughts shifted towards our next goal. I have become increasingly concerned that over the years our focus has been on how we teach and that we have taken our eye off what we teach – and why we…

A Culture of Excellence – Excellent Geography 

What does excellence look like in your subject? That is the question that my department will be putting at the heart of all we do over the next year.  For the last two years we have focused on increasing aspiration and expecting excellence. I wanted to ensure that we had a culture where everyone wanted…