Oct 292019
 

On October 26th , the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers (SAGT) held its annual event at the fantastic location of Dollar Academy. This years theme was ‘making connections’ which resonated across the various keynotes and seminar events throughout the day.

Attended by over 100 delegates with around a dozen publishers in attendance, the event was both a useful networking, professional development and clarion call for improving the visibility and relevance of geography as an academic discipline in schools. The very real relevance of the subject was admirably highlighted by the two keynote addresses.

First up was Professor Lorna Dawson CBE , Head of Forensic Soil Science at the James Hutton Institute. A geography graduate, she went on to illustrate how place and location permeate all aspects of her post university professional career and provided a clear and inspirational exemplar of how geography matters in the real world. As a forensics soil scientist she illustrated how her work, founded in geography, is used to help prosecute criminal cases and how she assists fiction authors to improve the science behind their writings – from Val McDermid to Ian Rankin and Ann Cleeves. More soberly, she described a range of criminal prosecution cases in which soil science has been used to implicate or confirm the whereabouts of suspects. As an example of a career path to which geography can lead this was an immediately engaging and exciting one to entice the younger geographers of tomorrow and several delegates requested access to some of Lornas presentation in order to help engage students in the classroom!

In  a similar but very different vein, the second keynote speaker, Doug Allan FRGS, Wildlife and Documentary Cameraman whose work includes the award winning polar bear and penguin scenes seen in the David Attenborough documentaries, was also fantastically engaging. Using both stunning visuals from his work (including video footage of a near miss with a a collapsing glacier), and a humorous series of anecdotes of life in the wilderness (anyone keen to ‘mintify’ their peas for dinner  might not immediately think of adding toothpaste!), the talk was an impassioned plea to act now to stop climate change and preserve our planet for all its denizens. Geographers are ideally placed to lead the charge and in many ways today’s geography teachers can ride the crest of societal focus on the environment to better engage and enthuse tomorrows geography citizens.

A range of separate seminars in morning and afternoon sessions covered a variety of topics from school resources for learning and teaching to more introspective assessment of the current state of and the future of Scottish school geography and the Scottish curricula.

Finishing off the day was the annual SAGT AGM and a final round of thanks to all participants and delegates for making the day interactive, fun and informative.

 Posted by at 9:55 am
Oct 282019
 

Digimap for Schools uses the Ordnance Survey National Grid as part of our service.  The National Grid is a unique reference system made up of 100 kilometre grid squares identified by two letters which spans the whole of Great Britain. Grid Ref Map

The National Curriculum now specifics that 4 and 6 figure grid references are now to be undertaken in KS1 and KS2.

The Ordnance Survey have a fantastic webpage that gives very clear and simple instructions to help with conveying these concepts.  The website is available here:

https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/guides/beginners-guide-to-grid-references

It also has some magnificient YouTube videos which are very short on 4 and 6 figure grid reference.

Always remember this simple tip when learning or teaching Grid References! :

“Along the corridor, THEN up the stairs!”

 Posted by at 10:50 am
Oct 172019
 

Just a quick reminder that outdoor classroom day is on 7th of November!

Digimap for Schools has lots of free resources to help with outdoor learning as well.  That can be accessed from our free learning resources centre here: https://dfsresources.edina.ac.uk/resources/subject/outdoor-learning-97.

 

To find out more information click the image or link below:

https://outdoorclassroomday.org.uk/…

 Posted by at 2:53 pm
Oct 072019
 

Just came across this randomly…  This would be a fantastic way of kids learning map skills!

I notice theres a few maps included in the board game, but I’m pretty sure you could print out some Digimap for Schools A4 maps and ‘freshen up’ the game with some more local activities if needed 😉

After all it is only 79 days to Christmas… perhaps a good educational gift idea 🙂

https://www.oakabooks.co.uk/…/geogo-the-os-map-skills-board…

 Posted by at 8:52 am
Sep 262019
 

This Sunday (30th September) is Ordnance Survey ‘s #GetOutsideDay. This is the perfect opportunity to encourage your staff and students to get outside and enjoy the British countryside and fresh air.

Tehre are lots of walks and guides available on the OS website here: https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/

We just want to remind all our users (and any schools potentially thinking of subscribing) that we have ALL the Ordnance Survey maps for the UK… no matter the scale or the area, we have the map 😉 . ohh and you can print them in a nice A4 size as well…

 Posted by at 12:29 pm
Sep 252019
 

HI folks, I just wanted to share a link to some of the Geographical Association courses they are running over the next few months especially those that are related to the NEA.

https://bit.ly/2kWx7cu

We’ve been hearing whispers of discontent from teachers over the perceived difficultly in obtaining the higher marks in the NEA.  Many teachers are still unclear as to how the NEA is assessed by the exam boards with many teachers claiming that after external assessment their marks are being reduced and in some cases significantly.

We’d like to give ourselves a little pat on the back here as Digimap for Schools is fantastic for the data analysis and data presentation elements of the NEA.  Pupils can customise their maps with photo’s, graphs, text and secondary data to ensure they fulfil these elements of the NEA.  Even better is that its really user friendly and quick for students to do so!

 

Here’s a few examples of presenting data for NEA.

 

 Posted by at 9:59 am
Sep 052019
 

Its been a busy week already! Schools have started back and we are already seeing a big rise in the number of Primary Schools subscribing to Digimap for Schools!

We suspect this has a LOT to do with the new OFSTED framework that began on 1st September. (Apologies now as we aren’t teachers or OFSTED inspectors so our knowledge and understanding is limited!) .

We seem to be gathering from our users that this new framework focuses on a broader Primary curriculum delivery and has less focus on numeracy and literacy. I know this is bad news for many schools as these changes will have ripple effects around schools e.g. teachers now expected to deliver or develop a History or Geography curriculum from scratch.

We’ve received some feedback on the ways Digimap for Schools is helping schools with this transition but would love some concrete examples or lovely quotes to help us spread the word of Digimap!

Please do keep spreading the word to your fellow Primary teaching colleagues!

#NationalMapReadingWeek

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on #NationalMapReadingWeek
May 302019
 

This week the Ordnance Survey are facilitating National Map Reading Week.  There are a series of events and activities all based specifically around maps.

I came across this article which I think is particularly apt as it states “Millions of millennials have NEVER read a paper map”.

Have a read here: click here

 Posted by at 8:52 am

Primary Geography Specialist CPD in Leeds 13th June

 digimap for schools  Comments Off on Primary Geography Specialist CPD in Leeds 13th June
May 162019
 

This course will focus on the teaching and assessment of geography throughout the primary phase linked to the requirements of the new Ofsted Framework and the National Curriculum. We will investigate what key knowledge and skills children require to be successful geographers.

During the session we will consider:

  • Auditing, monitoring and evaluating geography provision in your school
  • Progression and assessment of geographical skills, knowledge and concepts
  • Developing the use of ICT and technology including digital mapping
  • Creative ideas for activities including fieldwork
  • Sharing of good practice and resource ideas

This course is suitable for those new to geography subject leadership or those who require a refresher linked to recent Ofsted developments.

This course will be run by:

Rowena Pryor, Teaching and Learning Consultant, Lancashire County Council

Supported by Peter O’Hare from Digimap for Schools and Darren Bailey from The Ordnance Survey Education team. 

For further details contact peter.ohare@ed.ac.uk

 

Book your place here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/primary-geography-subject-leaders-yorkshire-network-meeting-tickets-61146658301

 Posted by at 4:28 pm