GEOGRAPHY NEWS - September - October 2016

Princes Teaching Institute Mark

We are delighted to have been awarded the Princes Teaching Institute Mark for the third year running. As well as focusing on developing teaching and learning, including challenge for all initiatives, we have continued to work extensively beyond the curriculum, sharing ideas and resources with other Geography departments across the country, launching our new online portal in September last year and organising and leading training for Geography teachers across the county on the use of ICT and GIS. Some of our other new-initiatives have included the “Great Geography Breakfast” (as part of fair-trade fortnight) and establishing a well received A level Geography Ambassadors scheme. We look forward to continuing our work with the PTI through the 2016-2017 academic year as we continue to strive for excellence and endeavour to enthuse and spur on the next generation of geographers.

Open Evening

The department would like to thank the Year 12 and 13 Geography Ambassadors who helped out at the successful October Open Evening. The department was buzzing with Year 6 and 11 students and parent/carers. Some of our Geography Ambassadors also supported our Fairtrade initiative by serving Fairtrade tea and coffee. We would also like to thank Costa in St Ives for kindly donating cups to support us with this. The Year 6 students took part in a number of practical geography activities including the use of OS maps and many entered a competition to win a brand new Atlas which was won by Gracie from Westfield Primary School!

Year 8 Grafham Trip

137 of our Year 8 students took part in a fun filled trip to support their 'Rivers' topic work back in September run by the Grafham Water Centre. The outdoor classroom is the best way to bring geography to life and it provided students with a unique and valuable experience to consolidate what they have been learning about in the classroom. The day started at Brampton Mill, canoeing on the Great River Ouse. A variety of river landforms were on the check list to view, including a flood plain, river cliff and slip-off slope and students learnt other key terms related to their rivers topic. The afternoon involved a team building challenge at Grafham water followed by an orienteering activity and an opportunity to build on and develop their mapskills. Students thoroughly enjoyed

their learning adventure!


Royal Geographical Society's Geographer of the Year competition

A number of our Year 13 students have taken part in the RGS's 'Geographer of the Year' competition, submitting essays exploring the question "How is Britain Changing?" giving them an opportunity to research and develop their own ideas and opinions on the implications of a range of changes in both the physical and human geography of Britain.

Stretch and Challenge

We have recently started a 'stretch and challenge' library in the department for our sixth form geographers with an emphasis on reading around the subject from a range of different perspectives. As well as topic specific books such as Geopolitics and Climate Change there are texts which explore the evolution of societies around the world and human geography as we know it, such as "Prisoners of Geography" and "Guns, Germs and Steel".  Students are welcome to borrow any of the books and we encourage it as part of developing students ability to 'think like a geographer' and the development of 'flair' two important aspects to reach the highest grades at A level. (a small selection shown in the picture). Our A level Geographers also have a dedicated twitter feed in which relevant news stories are frequently shared. These are also shared via our Facebook page.

Geography at University

The department have been looking at how best we can support our Year 13 students who are applying to study Geography at University and we have now published some resources to support these students on our online portal here

We were also delighted to welcome Dr Iris Moeller from the University of Cambridge Geography Department  (a coastal geomorphologist and Deputy Director of the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit) into the department back in September. Dr Moeller met with 7 of our Year 13 geography students to discuss Geography at University and answered many questions they had on applying for university courses. We would like to extend our grateful thanks to Dr Moeller from the Year 13 students who attended the session - they found it extremely informative and useful in their preparations for applying for university.

Local Geographical Association

Staff and one of our sixth formers recently attended a lecture of the Cambridge Geographical Association branch on the geography of disease " Bumpy road to zero - tackling Ebola in Sierra Leone" given by John Raine (OBE), father of our very own Miss Raine. A fascinating account of the helping Sierra Leone cope with the devastating impact of the Ebola crisis and the geography underpinning the challenges and response. This is just one of a programme of evening lectures held in Cambridge during the year and these events will continue to be advertised as optional extras for our sixth form students.

Geography Club
We are delighted to have re-launched Geography Club for this year. More than 20 students from Year 7 and 8 attended our first meeting and the club will meet every Thursday lunchtime in N15 with Miss Raine and Miss Booth. All those interested are very welcome - students should see their Geography teachers if they have any questions or would like further information!

Newsletter Archive:

September-October 2015 - Geography Newsletter
October-December 2015 - Geography Newsletter
January-February 2016 - Geography Newsletter
February-March 2016 - Geography Newsletter
May 2016 - Geography Newsletter
July 2016 - Geography Newsletter
September-October 2016 -Geography Newsletter
December 2016 - Geography Newsletter
February 2017 - Geography Newsletter
March 2017 - Geography Newsletter
July 2017 - Geography Newsletter

Well done to our Year 13 on having handed in their NEAs!               Year 9 Options - please do visit our Options page under KS4 "Choosing GCSE Geography" for our booklet and video                             

 St Ivo Geography Department Online Portal
     “Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future” - Michael Palin

Head of Department - Mr R Chambers

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