Knowledge in the classroom

  When I joined in with twitter’s educational world a couple of years ago I was struck by how much discussion there was on the role of knowledge in the curriculum. We were still feeling the reverberations of Gove’s reforms to the national curriculum and the new GCSEs were being prepared ready for teaching. Whilst…

Sustainable Knowledge

  There are three main approaches to teaching the concept of sustainability in schools. Firstly, we can teach about sustainability, its definition, its history and its application. Secondly, we can teach through sustainability by using the concept as a way of seeing the world and understanding an issue. Finally, we can teach for sustainability by…

Curriculum Design (Part 1)

One of the first steps of curriculum design in geography is considering the relationship between thematic and regional geography. This is discussed in Alex Standish’s chapter in Debates in Geography Education (2nd Edition) edited by Mark Jones and David Lambeth. It has influenced by thinking when planning our curriculum at KS3 and beyond. What is…

Who trains the trainers?

‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? Your grace.’ ‘I know that one,’ said Vimes.  Who watches the watchmen?  Me, Mr Pessimal.’ ‘Ah, but who watches you, your grace?’ said the inspector, with a brief smile. ‘I do that too.  All the time,’ said Vimes Terry Pratchett, Thud.  An interesting report from the Wellcome Trust this week found that…

Great Explainers – The Met Office

At the heart of Geography is a desire to understand the world. In order to do so we need to make sure that we have a very good understanding of the complex processes that underpin the our dynamic planet. Many of these processes are hard for children to grasp and we often use a lot…

Building Independence 

At our school, we build our idea of excellent teaching and learning around four pillars. The first two, challenge and feedback, are fairly uncontroversial but the other two, engagement and independence, sometimes raises eyebrows. I think this is because the two terms get so misused in education out of a desire to make everything something…

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…