We held the second of our 2010 Quality Geography Conferences in Sheffield yesterday. It was good to meet so many teachers, some of whom had travelled quite a way. There were quite a few teachers who had recently been given the role of geography coordinator by their schools and this day was not really aimed at them. I think very practical ideas for going out and `doing’ geography might have served them better but unfortunately this was never the intended purpose of this particular day. The real problem is that outside London there are not enough courses about `primary geography’ for teachers to choose from. Thinking about the needs of coordinators new to the role prompted me to put together a few ideas.
In the past I’ve shared the attached sheet on my new coordinators courses - Ten Tips for Effective Subject Co-ordination in the Humanities which is aimed at supporting new coordinators to think realistically about what they can achieve.
If you or your school are GA members you should be receiving the Primary Geography journal. I tend to have a pile of these magazines, which I’ve built up over the years, and flicking through them I can usually find something that sparks my interest. Sometimes I look online for back issues – you will need your school membership log-on to access these: http://www.geography.org.uk/Journals/Journals.asp?journalID=2 If you haven’t got it I guess someone in school should be able to help (if you are a GA member).
In terms of websites – I always recommend that people start with the Young Geographers project as these ideas were developed and implemented by practising teachers – there are lots of ideas for Early Years as well as others for KS2: http://www.geography.org.uk/projects/younggeographers/resources/
If you prefer something in book format then for Early Years and KS1 I’d highly recommend:
The Early Years Handbook (Foundation Stage) - http://www.geography.org.uk/shop/shop_detail.asp?ID=449§ion=2
And for KS1: http://www.geography.org.uk/search.asp?searchfor=Primary+Project+Box&searchin=shop This can now be bought at a much reduced price as a curriculum box for all of KS1 or as individual units.
I still like `a sense of place’ (BELAIR), by Barbara Hume, Frances James and Ann Kerr – though published in 2005 it is one of those books that has lots of really useful ideas in pictures and words. I’ve used it quite a lot in the past. It’s available from Amazon – New from £5.99 and second hand for approx. £3.00 with p.p.
The Primary Subjects leaflets have lots of ideas and can be accessed for free from the member’s only site of the GA: http://www.geography.org.uk/eyprimary/primarysubjects/ I’m attaching the latest one on Geography & Story.
You can find more about using `story/ picture books’ on this blog.