Virtual Primary Geography Subject Leader Network meeting

Consultancy

Whilst we were waiting for everyone to arrive and settle, I suggested that individuals may wish to access the latest Primary Newsbites on geography southwest’s website (https://www.geographysouthwest.co.uk/primary/primary-news/).  It contains numerous teaching ideas, plus links to new resources, useful websites, forthcoming events and CPD offerings, which are relevant to those throughout the UK, not just within the south west region of England.  I also promoted a few other events that are taking place during Term 6, which teachers/schools may wish to engage with, namely Wicked Weather Watch’s virtual multi-schools trips to the Arctic (https://wickedweatherwatch.org.uk/); Step into the Amazon’s next adventure (https://stepintotheamazon.co.uk/2023/05/12/so-what-makes-the-amazon-so-amazing-2/) and a couple of CPD sessions from GlosGeog (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/glosgeog-gloucestershires-local-ga-branch-tickets-589076813607 and https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/glosgeog-gloucestershires-local-ga-branch-tickets-593927201247).  I shall certainly be seizing the opportunity to attend!

As time was of the essence, we moved swiftly on to the main meeting.  Following a formal welcome and introductions, I displayed the aims and agenda for today’s meeting.

We began by looking at the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) through a geographical lens.  Alan Kinder and Paula Owens wrote a fantastic article about this, published in the Geographical Association’s (GA’s) Primary Geography journal back in September 2019 (https://portal.geography.org.uk/journal/view/J004735).  I picked out the key points and referred to Figure 3, which clearly exemplifies how curriculum intent, implementation and impact come together around the notion of curriculum making.  We used this as a stimulus for some small group work too; it is always good to have delegates interacting and involved in some discussion very early on.

The next part of the morning focused on monitoring.  I initiated the below activity, making use of the breakout room function within Zoom, to enable those attending virtually to have a similar experience to delegates experiencing the same content earlier on in the week in situ.  It required a little bit of patience, but worked well; I certainly witnessed some lively conversations when dropping into the various rooms.

Afterwards, I discussed monitoring in more depth, touching upon informal and formal conversations, learning walks, book scrutiny and lesson visits.  I also referred to the update in the School Inspection Handbook relating to Ofsted’s approach to evaluating the curriculum (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-inspection-handbook-eif/school-inspection-handbook).

Twenty minutes were set aside for participants to complete the following activity.  I ‘walked’ individuals through the activity, directing them and posing questions as we went along.  Many agreed that any subsequent book scrutiny that they carried out would certainly be more thorough and purposeful.

After a short comfort break, the meeting resumed to provide an overview of progression and assessment in geography at primary level.  Firstly, I referenced the recent support material released from Ofsted, highlighting the key takeaways and drawing delegates’ attention to relevant points within the hour or so YouTube clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3T8p-YYRvw).  We later explored what the Geographical Association (GA) have to say regarding assessing progress in geography.  There are three levels of assessment: short-term (day-to-day); medium-term (periodic) and long-term (transitional).  We looked at each one in turn and I signposted individuals to additional sources of support, e.g. a multi-media presentation (https://geography.org.uk/assessing-progress/); a Think Piece by Paul Weedon (https://geography.org.uk/wpcontent/uploads/2023/01/GA_TP_S_assessmentlearning.pdf).

Next, we ‘zoomed in’ on assessment in primary geography.  Alongside emphasising the key points, I projected Figure 1: A formative assessment suite (https://www.schooleducationgateway.eu/en/pub/teacher_academy/webinars/formative-assessment-webinar.htm) and suggested that attendees may wish to purchase the Geographical Association (GA)’s excellent Leading Primary Geography Handbook and dip into Chapter 7 in particular (https://portal.geography.org.uk/shop/view/P020695).

Lastly, we considered a progression framework for geography.  I shared a link to the Geographical Association (GA) and Rising Stars’ comprehensive resource that was produced a few years’ ago now, but is still referenced by many (https://www.risingstars-uk.com/subjects/historyandgeography/rising-stars-history/free-stuff/progression-frameworks-for-history-and-geogrpaphy).  Contemplating how we can support pupils to match the high expectations that we have, I proposed that teachers investigated the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)’s great toolkit, especially the content linked to ‘feedback’ and ‘metacognition and self-regulation’ (https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/education-evidence/teaching-learning-toolkit ).  The Geographical Association (GA) has updated its guidance on progression and assessment in geography this year, a copy of which can be downloaded for FREE by GA members or purchased for a very reasonable fee by others (https://portal.geography.org.uk/shop/view/P9781899085980).  A few minutes were set aside for delegates to explore the afore-mentioned web-links and resources independently and ask any questions that they had.

The event concluded with a period of reflection.  Individuals were asked to complete the following task and invited to share their thoughts thereafter.  They were also prompted to fill in a Google Form, providing feedback about today’s event and to aid my future planning.

Some of their ‘concluding comments’ can be viewed below:

Sum up today’s meeting in five words or a sentence or two:

I thought it was most beneficial.  It was nice to get some new ideas and to hear that my school is doing everything it should be in geography.

Informative and helpful.

Incredibly helpful and confidence building.

Insightful; useful; thought provoking.

Progression and assessment; book scrutiny.

Useful, particularly monitoring ideas.

Helpful; supportive; reassuring; thought-provoking.

Informative; interesting; supportive; engaging and developmental.

Informative; thought-provoking; resource-rich.

Very informative, organised and loads of ideas to take away and implement.

Informative; interesting.

Clear; immensely helpful; productive; promoting confidence.

Really useful.  Packed full of places and resources that are useful.

Informative and practical.

Informative; full of helpful hints and tips to ensure the geography curriculum is delivered effectively in my school.

I found it extremely helpful to support me in my new role as Geography Subject Leader.

Great insight into monitoring and assessment.

Practical advice that I can act upon immediately.

Useful; lots of resources.

Brilliant (as always!).  Thank you.

Informative; interesting; thought-provoking.

This was really informative with lots of great signposts to relevant documents.

Informative; interesting; helpful.

Informative.  Lots of very useful resources.

Beneficial in helping us to think of areas to improve upon within our school.

Helpful; informative; engaging; focused and friendly.  Thank you.

Informative; useful; thought-provoking; inspiring.

Very useful.

Informative and thought-provoking.

Helpful and reassuring that we are going along the right lines for some aspects of learning, assessment and monitoring, but it has helped to give ideas about how to do this better.

Informative; useful; practical; interesting and reflective.

Thoroughly enjoyed today.  Lots of information to take back and work on.  I’m new to the Geography Lead so it was good to hear that I’m on the right track for my new journey.

Very informative and valuable.

Informative and thought-provoking.

Informative and helpful resources, which can now be fed into our early and ongoing curriculum – ideas can be entwined and linked to where we are on our journey so far.

Extremely informative; helpful, as always.

Full of incredibly valuable information and resources!

Very informative and lots of great ideas shared.

Thank you, Emma, for a great session this morning.  I am new to the Geography Subject Leader role and so this was my first meeting. 

Thank you so much for all the great ideas, resources and discussions today.

Thanks for the great meeting that just occurred.

Thank you for this morning.

Thanks for the geography course last week.  It was very useful and informative.

A productive and enjoyable Thursday morning for many, it seems!

Do note the dates below in your diary.  I look forward to having you on board again next academic year.

 

 

 

 

 

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