Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Feeling sweaty...

Thanks to John Barlow for pointing out SIM SWEATSHOP. You have to try to assemble shoes fast enough to get paid, but as you play you find out just how hard it can be to survive in the shoes of a sweatshop worker. Links in with some People as Consumers ideas.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Eclipse Textbook

This is a new textbook published by Heinemann
It has a number of chapters which link directly with the themes on the Pilot GCSE.
I may look to purchase some of these - the section on MY PLACE is particularly good and I like the CYBERGEOGRAPHY and GEOGRAPHIES OF CONSUMPTION topics too. It's written by Ian Mack.

I was concerned at the amount of work (or lack of it) that got done by some of you today. We need to keep up the pace on this coursework as we will be starting the 3rd piece before too long.

Mr. Clarke will be coming in on Thursday to see Mrs. Clarke's group, and Friday to see Mr. Parkinson's group.
Have some questions ready!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Fairtrade Fortnight

Starts tomorrow!
Keep an eye out for the chocolate !
Also the inflatable bananas!
And the stickers!
Buy Fairtrade !

Read Mr. Cassidy's's post on Fairtrade on his blog.

Free Flash Website Polls

Click your answer above in the circle and see the latest results.

GCSE Pilot Teachers Day

Coming up on March 20th is the next INSET day for new schools who started the Pilot this year, and will be teaching it to Year 11 students for the first time next year.
Mrs. Clarke and I will be going (another early train from Peterborough !) and we'll be meeting up with Mr. Cassidy again, whose blog we have been following.
The session is at the University of Aston, where my brother and sister both got their engineering degrees.
But here's the interesting bit.
When I got my details, down for the final session is.... ME !?
So I might be doing something - not sure what yet.

If you teach the pilot and use this weblog with your students or for your own planning, please add a COMMENT to this post to tell me a bit about what you've found useful about the weblog or the materials on GeographyPages, and what sort of things you could do in a similar vein - do you use weblogs or ICT in creative ways with your Pilot GCSE groups ? Tell me.... please...

I can then use a flavour of the comments in any presentation which I may (or may not) deliver (or not deliver) depending on what happens between now and then. I shall see you on the 20th of March anyway - come and say hello... I'll try and wear my GGiP T-Shirt and will bring some GeographyPages pens for the first 20 colleagues who add a comment.

Also some news for those KES STUDENTS who want to 'push' youself a little when you read around the subjects. The school now has access to an online archive of articles from the NEW SCIENTIST magazine from the last 15 years. Ask me or other members of the Geography department for the User Name and Password....

2nd Coursework Task

LA21 - Local Agenda 21 is about:
"everyone of us taking responsibility for present actions and working towards bringing about changes so that we may secure a better future for all..."

Pilot GCSE: My Place

Based on work produced by Paula Cooper and colleagues at King Edward VI 5 Ways School and posted on GA website. Many thanks ! As with the first piece of coursework this will provide challenge for all, and the best scores for those who follow the assessment advice carefully !

Year 10 Coursework instructions (for the teacher)

This task is the second of three that will be completed during Year 10 to form the coursework element of the short course and will be put into your portfolio. The work will be internally assessed. The emphasis is on the concepts of SUSTAINABILITY and possible FUTURES.

The task provides opportunities to assess AO1 and AO2 (see attached sheets).


Pupils are to present a map with overlay and an accompanying brief report to show how they might redesign their home area in King’s Lynn to make it more sustainable and improve life for local people. It also needs to take into account the thoughts of the people you have collected data from using a questionnaire.


  • One lesson to introduce and discuss the task and to obtain an appropriate map.
  • Two lessons and two homeworks to plan and complete the annotated plan.
  • To be completed in the early part of the second half term of the SPRING term, ready for handing in by Mid March.

Source of maps Get a Map service – better images for King’s Lynn than Google Earth – other areas may be different….

  • Pupils may be given choice over the area they choose but advise them that it should be large enough to allow them to present a range of ideas. Encourage pupils to focus on an area they know. They should focus on their home area, the area that they will have chosen and investigated in the early part of the course.
  • Map selection could be set as a private study task or could take place during a lesson in an IT room.
  • The selected map should be printed on A4 paper and may include a small aerial photo to complement the map.



  • Pupil instruction sheet.
  • Mark scheme for staff (to come – will be same structure as first one…)
  • Pupils friendly mark scheme (How to make your coursework outstandingly brilliant).

Geography Pilot GCSE Coursework Part 2

Sustainability and a possible future for your local area

Your task is to redesign part of your local area in King’s Lynn to make it a more sustainable urban area and enact Local Agenda 21 (LA21). You should aim to improve life for people in the area and meet the 13 statements outlined.

You must produce an annotated overlay map and a brief supporting report to present and justify your design

The map

Demonstrate your ideas by producing an overlay map to show the key changes you would make.

· Your overlay map should show three to five key changes. The changes must be linked and work together (integrated), they may be radical but realistic.

· Remember to use your creativity as far as you can

· You may show these changes using shading and symbols (so remember a key!).

The map must be annotated to describe and briefly justify the changes you propose. This annotation can be done using ICT and ‘call outs’ (I demonstrated these to you…)

The report

Write a 500 word report to support and fully justify your proposals. You should aim to develop the points you made in the annotation in more detail (but don’t simply repeat).

For each proposed change you must:

· Explain why you chose it for this area.

· Explain why it is sustainable (why it supports Local Agenda 21) – and which of the 13 statements it relates to

· Describe how it would benefit people and the environment in the area.

· Show how it is linked to the other ideas - they should be integrated! You could, for example, choose a theme for your work. This might relate to the concerns that have been identified by the people who live in the area

· Suggest how the ideas might influence the future of the area.

You may, if you prefer tabulate the report on A4 paper to save time and use words efficiently. For example:

Recommended change

Reasons why chosen for this area

Reasons why it is sustainable and why it supports LA 21

Ways in which it would benefit people and the Environment

Links to other ideas (annotated arrows?)




Description of alternative future of the area if these changes were made.

NAME: _______________________________

How to make your coursework outstandingly brilliant …

Try to make it match the description below.

Use the annotated tips to help you.

Tick the circles as you achieve each one in your work.


  • Show good knowledge and understanding of sustainability and possible futures.

  • Describe sustainability and sustainable ideas in detail with good supporting arguments.

  • Show you are aware of a range of sustainable ideas.

  • Present a range of interconnected ideas.


  • Write about your area and the changes in detail.

  • Refer to other people’s views of your place and proposed changes.

  • Justify your personal view of the area and the world.

  • Check your writing is coherent and arguments make sense, they may even be complex.

  • Show you understand familiar and unfamiliar situations.

  • Use ICT at appropriate points.


  • Use more complex skills of annotation and mapping skills.

  • Communicate as clearly as possible.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Building on the housing theme.... and Sustainability

A recent discovery is TELLYADS.
It has over 2500 UK television ads to watch, and obviously quite a lot are relevant to geography, and we shall look at some of these (literally as well as analytically) when we come to the People as Consumers section.

Let's look now at a cartoon. What is the message here ? What is a footprint ?

Of course you should be able to work this out.

And what about the second one ?

What comment is being made about consumerism here ?

The cartoon is one of many which have been made available by INKCINCT cartoons: an Australian site.

The cartoons can be found at the INKICINCT site.
The copyright on the cartoon is with the artist: John Ditchburn, who has kindly made them available to not-for-profit and educational websites (and weblogs) such as this one.
Thanks John !

OK, here are some sites to help you with the LA21 task (that's Local Agenda 21 remember....)
First of all there's BUILDING FOR LIFE.
This promotes building to an excellent standard for the residents.
There's also the INSIDE HOUSING site and Forum, which offers the latest housing news.
Then there is the site of CABE. This is an organisation which has won GA Awards for its products in recent years. It stands the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the latter being a 'posh' term for urban areas...

The website has an interesting story on the home page at the moment, which suggests that 4 out of 5 new homes that have been built are "not good enough". They have asked people who live in new houses to comment and here is an example from Derby. Mr. Cassidy's group, for example, might find it useful to compare this description with some of their 'local' examples:

"We feel safe there"

"I purchased a Miller Home on the Royal Country Park development outskirst of Derby in Chellaston. I relocated from Kent. From the moment we drove into the development we knew what we would be getting and in fact it has exceeded everything we expected! The housebuilder was great (with a two-year warranty to rectify any remedials), so much so I worked for them in customer services dept for a year or so. The development is large; however it is clean, tidy, all houses are different and most have garages/parking spaces. (Most drivers don’t put their expensive cars in the garage, however). I feel safe there. I feel my daugher is safe to walk from the local school. It is a lovely place to live and we are very happy - in fact so much so we would purchase another house on the development if we wanted to downsize/increase upwards! I get annoyed with these so-called experts advising us all that these developments are 'faceless, dull, boring etc' – but maybe I am the same? It’s quiet despite the amount of families that live on the development. We don’t get problems here, we get peace and quiet. It’s a haven!"
Wendy, Derbyshire

CABE also offer resources as a free download, for example the very helpful booklet above called "WHERE WILL I LIVE ?" which was produced in association with the Geographical Association, and of course has tremendous relevance to the Pilot GCSE.
Those were some more housing resources, which will help you with your coursework.
Remember the basic idea, developed by Paula Cooper and colleagues.
You need to take an area of King's Lynn. This has to be an area of reasonable size: not a single street, but not a whole ward. I would suggest an area of around one square kilometre would be about right (remember that this is the area covered by one grid square on an OS map.

Use an online mapping service to get a map if necessary.

A story from this week's GUARDIAN newspaper about the change in a Manchester area: one of the Millennium Communities (Warning: contains a rude word, oh well, at least that guarantees that you'll read the article....)

A final housing site to mention is an excellent one: HEMINGWAY DESIGN.

Wayne Hemingway is someone who is perhaps better known for being a fashion designer for Red or Dead.
He is also, however, very much into planning, and is a qualified planner.
The site has some great materials on the building projects, such as Staiths in London, which the company is involved in. They offer notes, virtual tours and pictures - everything you could want - this is a great site!
Here is some more assistance for your coursework:

The 13 THEMES of LA21, or LOCAL AGENDA 21 as you know it ! (I hope....)


  1. uses resources efficiently and keeps waste to a minimum
  2. keeps pollution to a level which natural systems can cope with
  3. the diversity of nature is valued and protected
  4. meets local needs locally, where possible
  5. everyone has access to at least basic needs, such as good food, water, shelter and fuel at reasonable cost
  6. everyone has the opportunity to undertake satisfying work in a diverse economy
  7. people's good health is protected
  8. access to facilities, services, goods and other people are not achieved at the expense of the environment
  9. people are able to live without fear of personal violence from crime or persecution
  10. everyone has access to skills, knowledge and information
  11. all sections of the community have a real say in what happens in their area
  12. opportunities for culture, leisure and recreation are readily available to all
  13. the local distinctiveness and diversity of the area is valued and protected
Remember that we discussed some of the points above and how they related to your area.
Also think about that last point in bold, how does this relate to your area - what are its local distinctiveness ?

Why not try and find 13 suitable images for the 13 things (you're not superstitious are you!?)

Another resource I have is produced by the RTPI and is called "THE HYTHE CHALLENGE". I got it last year from the Royal Town Planning Institute - check that you haven't got a copy in your own school. I think it was sent to all schools in the Eastern region at least.
It takes the form of a CD ROM with a virtual tour, and two spiral bound booklets.
The booklets are a Teachers' Manual and a Student Activity booklet.
I will be using some sections from this in the next month or so. The more I look at this unit, the more there is that we could potentially do. There's so many interesting things to take that little bit further.

The pack brings together the local knowledge of professional planners, real-life case studies and original source material. It was written by Heather Blackwood, Head of Geography at The Stanway School and John Deasy, Director of Business & Enterprise at St Benedict's Catholic College. There were only 2 mentions on the web, and one was where I'd mentioned it on GeographyPages. Anyone else out there use it ?

KES students: Your challenge is tell me where Hythe is - prize for first person with the answer

And that, ladies and gentlemen is the longest post yet !

Friday, February 23, 2007

Agenda 21

We were continuing with the coursework today.
A virtual colleague: Dr. Hitch, put me onto a great resource which summarises the stages involved in a community achieving Agenda 21
It's produced by Angus Council, and if you click the blue link you'll start the download of an 18 page PDF document which goes through the meaning of Agenda 21, and the 13 points that must be met by Agenda 21
I had a look for some other useful sites for you:

  1. The SPACE SHOOT project is a nice idea based around a photographic survey of Hammersmith and Fulham looking at what people liked and didn't like.
I liked the EDEN LA21 project too. This is based in Cumbria.Remember that there are a range of things which local communities should be doing and you
need to be mapping these...

There is also some information to come soon from Mrs. Clarke, who went down to London today with Mr. Dolan to get some training for a new web based piece of software we are going to have access to at KES thanks to some work that I have been doing as part of a Government funded project. The software is called INFOMAPPER.
Visit the website by clicking the link and check it out.

We also have some funding to take a group of students over to Cley Beach for a day on the coast looking at coastal management. We will mainly be taking students from the other course, but there will be a few opportunities for Pilot students to be involved. More on this next week.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Year 11 Assessment

We are going to be choosing our Year 11 modules later this month.
We have to choose 2 from the following 3:

  • Introducing Cultural Geography
  • Urban Transport for Sustainability
  • Planning where we live

The advantage we have here is that there is a city near us which is part of the CIVITAS initiative.
This is an EU funded programme, and is worth checking out.
We'll let you know what we think, but if you're a KES student and you have a preference, add a comment below. You can download the specification from the Geography Association website. Also mentions a conference in July which I'm involved in planning...
More on this to come soon as well.

I urge you to keep reading COLD PHOTO weblog. It's got some fabulous things in it!

Year 10 Assessment

We are going to be doing a quick half hour assessment on Monday and Tuesday of the week after next (depending on which day your lesson is....)
Read back through your exercise book in preparation for this.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Make your own sketches...

This is going to be a VERY useful site for people needing to make a sketch of a scene.
It's a site called DUMPR which allows you do some creative thinks with FLICKR images in the same vein as BigHugeLabs.
For example, I took this picture of the Yours South Lynn village:

and this was the rather wonderful sketch that it produced for me:
Good eh ?
Check out this site below for more on Agenda 21 and Sustainable development.

Also you need to prepare yourself for an ASSESSMENT.
We will have a half hour test on the first lesson of the week beginning the 5th of March.. More on this to come next week. This is to help us finalise the TIER OF ENTRY for the exam...
British Food from

Also wanted to mention a few resources that would be useful for teachers delivering the Pilot GCSE. The Geography Teaching Today website has a link to the new Pilot GCSE newsletter, which features this blog and mentions me a few times. Worth checking out if you haven't read it.

Developing resources relating to this story. Image is from Flickr user mr_lovebucket for which many thanks.
British or American food ? Which is best ?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Citizenship Test

The BBC Citizenship Test is a good stopping point to consider national identity.

Good comments from the group so far this morning.
Let's have a comment from everyone in the group before the end of the lesson ! You need to send your REAL score from your first run through the test.

Tony Cassidy has added some good feedback from the British powerpoint that I mentioned by his students. Some great thoughtful outcomes...

Work for 20th February

Morning class !
Apologies for my absence but both my children have a virus, and I think it's just got me...

1. Read the last 4 or 5 postings since the start of half term. They will tell you a little bit about what we have been up to and what we are going to do next.

2. Go to the BBC CITIZENSHIP test page.
Once you get your score out of 14, post a COMMENT with your score - be truthful - let me know how many out of 14 you got (I scored 8 the first time I did the test). Post using your first name, or nickname only...
I shall be checking the weblog, thanks to wireless broadband, between 8.45 and 9.45 to check that you are doing it !

3. We are then going to be starting some planning for the next piece of coursework. This is adapted from work done by Paula Cooper: a teacher and her colleagues at a school in Birmingham.
Here is the starting point for you to read:

Geography Pilot GCSE Coursework Part 2

Sustainability and a possible future for your local area

Your task is to redesign part of your local area in King’s Lynn to make it a more sustainable urban area and enact Local Agenda 21. You should aim to
improve life for people in the area.

You must produce an annotated overlay map and a brief supporting report to present and justify your design

The map

Demonstrate your ideas by producing an overlay map to show the key changes you would make.

  • Your overlay map should show three to five key changes. The changes must be linked and work together (integrated), they may be radical but realistic.
  • You may show these changes using shading and symbols (so remember a key!).

The map must be annotated to describe and briefly justify the changes you propose.

The report

Write a 500 word report to support and fully justify your proposals. You should aim to develop the points you made in the annotation in more detail (but don’t simply repeat).

For each point you need to explain why you chose it for this area, and explain why it is sustainable.

This means that you need to know about something called AGENDA 21.

Start by looking up AGENDA 21 on Google, and exploring the WIKIPEDIA and other definitions. What is AGENDA 21 - what does the 21 bit relate to ? When was Agenda 21 produced ??

Check out the ideas that are at DERBYSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL's website for how Agenda 21 could be applied in a local area.

Also see what King's Lynn Borough Council are doing.
This is just the preliminary stages of the work at the moment...

4. Choose an area of King's Lynn that you know, and obtain a map for that area.

You could use one of various mapping services online, such as the Ordnance Survey's GET A MAP service.

© Crown Copyright 2007

Image produced from Ordnance Survey's Get-a-map service.
Image reproduced with permission of Ordnance Survey and
Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

You need to have an area selected. Produce a map, then paste the map as an image into the centre of a WORD or PUBLISHER document, and add arrows and handwritten labels suggesting the changes that you could make to the area to improve it, and make it SUSTAINABLE. If we take an example from the Derbyshire page...

Try to cut down your rubbish to one bin bag a week. Take any newspapers, magazines, junk mail, glass bottles, aluminium, unwanted clothing and books to recycling centres. You will find them at most supermarkets and some car parks.

So one way to improve your area would be to make sure that there was a recycling centre in the area - where would you put it ? What problems might you have in finding a site ?
Think this through !!

We will explore what you have done on Thursday...
Start promptly and behave appropriately !!

REMINDER: EXAM is on June 28th !!

Monday, February 19, 2007


Coming up on 26th of February is FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT.
We will be exploring this organisation further when we look at the ideas of PEOPLE AS CONSUMERS.

Britishness and beyond...

OK, so we're back from half term, and it's time to get down to business.
We will be having our long promised visitors shortly, but need to get down to business on the 2nd piece of coursework. Once again we will be adapting the fine work of colleagues Paula Cooper and the Geography Department at King Edward VI 5 Ways school in Birmingham.
This will be a combination of several sections we have been building up to:

  • local sustainable communities (and AGENDA 21)
  • ideas of deprivation and improvement
  • primary data collection from people about their views on King's Lynn (questionnaires)
  • planning for the future
We are going to be using a few resources which have been very kindly provided by Tony Cassidy to just recap "the story so far". We've had quite a journey since the start of the course, and I still hope that we'll get a few more comments on the blog to convince me that you're reading it and getting all the available help from it...Tony's resources will remind us of what it means to be British, and there are some great fun elements to the powerpoint which I know you will enjoy. Thanks for these Tony!

We will then be moving on to look at AGENDA 21, ready to fire some probing questions at our visitor....

Monday, February 12, 2007

Charlie and Lola for Comic Relief

Posted about this earlier in the year, but it's now in the shops.
A story about chocolate in the usual Charlie and Lola style, looks at growing the beans and making chocolate and buying Fairtrade - complete with a lot of nice stickers, including lots of Fairtrade ones.
Go out and buy one or more. £2 from each sale goes to Comic Relief.

My son says "I think it's a new thing. I liked reading it. I like the stickers."

My Place through Maps

Just received the latest issue of the Pilot Newsletter - sent to all Pilot GCSE centres.
If you want to get a copy, you need to get in touch with Nicky Reckless via the Geography Teaching Today website.
The newsletter features some useful content. It also seems to mention me several times: there's a link to this blog, and also details of my membership of the Pilot GCSE Steering Group.
There's also an article by Professor Noel Castree from Manchester University which has an excellent quote relating to the MY PLACE unit that we are doing at the moment, but could also refer to a lot of what we do in Geographical topics:

"..the ultimate value of the unit is that the 'divide' between the 'real world' and 'teaching about it' should dissolve.... The point is that the 'everyday' is shown to be connected to the immensity of national and global forces in a way that students might not have appreciated before."

Over at the GeographyPages website are details of a book that I used to read on the settee by the standard lamp with a mug of Horlicks when I was about 8 years old...The book was published by OUP in 1948, and was 'described by' H. J Deverson and drawn by RONALD LAMPITT (who I discovered on doing a little research - was responsible for a large number of illustrations for these types of books, and Ladybird books). I took this book out of the junior school library repeatedly and read it from cover to cover, following the journey of 2 children and a dog which was told through a map and a description and a picture so you could see the way that the map portrayed the landscape. A section of one page is shown below.

You can also read the WHOLE BOOK and see for yourself what I mean by visiting THIS SITE.

About 20 years after I'd last seen the book I came across a copy in the excellent second hand bookshop in Burnham Market for £4 and bought it. It's good old-fashioned stuff. Maybe it should be redone for the 21st century. Also gave me an idea for an activity for MY PLACE: to provide a story to guide the reader along a section of grid squares.

Having spent a bit of time looking at Ronald Lampitt's illustrations and legacy, I'm quite excited at the ideas provided by some of them for possible resources and projects to get students interacting with maps and creating creative ideas... More to come on this soon...

Also got a DHL delivery today of the latest batch of GeographyPages pens. Each issue is a strictly limited edition, so if you have a copy of the:
  1. Green granite pen
  2. European flags pen and
  3. Great Britain pen
you now need a copy of the GALAXY pen, as produced by National Pen to complete the set.
If you would like a GeographyPages pen, add a comment and I'll let you know the details. It'll cost you £1.00 to cover the costs of the pen and the postage.

Also for those teachers teaching the Pilot, don't forget the planned conference, in Birmingham on 10th of July 2007

Sunday, February 11, 2007

200th post...

I've been reading a lot about LANDSCAPE for a project I'm involved in, and have been revisiting the poetry of Simon Armitage, who also wrote the excellent "All Points North" and visited Iceland too. He also studied Geography at University.
This quote from an interview published in The Independent caught my eye, regarding Armitage:

He is open to the notion of landscape, if not lineage, as an element in the Northerner's vision: "If you live in that part of the world, especially the moors, the peak district, it is an epic geography, and when you're up there, on your own, scale becomes skewed and you are open to what seem like huge forces. It's as if the cosmos is blowing through those hills sometimes." A triumvirate is beginning to emerge: dissent, communication and geography. These are Armitage's master themes.

So what impact does your local landscape have on you ?

Thanks for reading the blog. This was my 200th post and there's (hopefully) lots more to come.

Young Geographer of the Year

The Young Geographer of the Year Competition has been launched at the new website of Geographical Magazine.
This year's competition has the theme "CAN RECYCLING SAVE THE WORLD ?"

This year's competition has some great prizes. Head HERE for more details, and also check out the free issue of DIGITAL GEOGRAPHICAL.

This fits in with the idea of PEOPLE AS CONSUMERS.
Why not enter the competition ? It would be good to have some KES students getting involved.

Photography Idea for My Place

Michael Hughes has created a fantastic photographic project which I think has potential for an idea for MY PLACE.
The idea is demonstrated at his WEBSITE, and also at the collection of photos over at his FLICKR site.
I got in touch with Michael and he's given me permission to reproduce some of the images from the project to give you the basic idea.The basic idea is that you take an image on a postcard or a souvenir of a place like a model or a plate, hold it up, and take a photograph so that the souvenir is overlaid on the real place and takes its place in the view....
Here are some examples that I like.
Now - I'm sure we could get some postcards of the Customs House, or some other similar souvenirs and try this in King's Lynn, or some other location....
Any suggestions for other views that could work this way. A prize for first student to send me an image of King's Lynn done in this way...

How local are you ?

Or at least, how local is your SURNAME.

The SURNAME PROFILER site has been around for a while. It shows the Geographical distribution of your surname in two years: 1881 and 1998, so you can see whether your surname has migrated over the years from its original geographical origin.
Here's a few examples so you can see what I mean.
First of all, let's start with PARKINSON
This has a distribution in and around Merseyside and spreading into Yorkshire, which is where I was born.
Then we have NUNNERLEY. This is a Welsh based name, and Mr. Nunnerley was indeed born in Wales.

OK - now for some local names, starting with AUKER.
Now BALLS: another very local name...
and finally BENEFER, which as you can see is only found in this area.

Try your own name... See whether it has migrated over the years.
Also read THIS NEW STATESMAN article, which has some interesting quotes:

If you flick between the two maps for most names, you see the spread of families from a specific heartland to other areas of the country. Thus you might be inclined to conclude that Longley and his colleagues have demonstrated the flexibility and geographical mobility of British people during the past century. In fact, that is not what is being displayed. If we compare the two sets of maps, the old and the new, the really striking aspect is that the original pockets of surnames on 1881 maps remain exactly where they are on the maps of 1998. So, yes, some people move on, but a greater number stay put.

"What we see most in the 1998 maps is just a blurring of surname hot spots as a few people head off and start up lives somewhere else," says Longley. "The real surprise for us was the extent to which people appear to stay where they are. Moving on to a new life in a new location is too traumatic for most people and so they stay where they are, getting on with their lives much as their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents did before them." Therefore, the idea that we are increasingly socially mobile may be a myth. Journalists and academics may move about the country but most people stay put.

Half Term Reading

Some blogs list the books that the writer is currently reading down the right hand side...
I have 3 books on the pile next to my bed, on top of the Michael Palin DVD box (which I realised this morning includes a visit to Chongqing - our partner school's city during 'Full Circle' - I imagine the city has changed out of all recognition since then)
One book I've mentioned several times already, and am still enjoying it: "Pies and Prejudice". The other two are also excellent:

'Estates' outlines the segregation by house tenure which has been perpetuated for centuries, and has just got to the era of high rise. I used to live in Rotherham, and one of the signs of the approach to Sheffield on the old X7 bus route (not the 69 which used to go in via Attercliffe) was the Minas Morgul bulk of Park Hill flats. The third book, which I shall start soon is the latest book by Iain Sinclair who is a 'psychogeographer'. This doesn't mean that he gets a bit lary after a cider and blackcurrant at a GA meeting, but that he explores places according to a combination of history and feelings about a place that he is visiting.

Psychogeography is the hidden landscape of atmospheres, histories, actions and characters which charge environments.

It might be an interesting idea to do a Psychogeographical walk around King's Lynn. Wonder if it would work as a piece of coursework for the Pilot ?

This story caught my eye in The Times and made me chuckle...
"A student who built a 4 foot penis out of snow in a park in Cambridge was given an £80 fixed penalty by police...."

In fact a quick search on Google suggests that there may in fact be quite a lot of them about...
Remember kids, it's not big and it's not clever...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Inequalities in our place

Can I remind you to check out Laurel's latest adventures on a ship sailing around Svalbard on the COLDPHOTO blog. Great images!

OK, so we then explored the idea of MULTIPLE DEPRIVATION.
Deprivation: this is something that you are deprived of, which means that either you:
  • don't have it in the first place
  • have less of it than other people
  • have something, but then it's taken away from you
The somethings in question are the various indicators that are used to build up what call an INDEX OF DEPRIVATION. This is a selection of statistics, each of which contributes to the overall picture of a place.
Deprivation is measured by data collected from each of the following topic areas known as domains.
  1. Income
  2. Employment
  3. Health and Disablity
  4. Education, skills and training
  5. Barriers to Housing and Services
  6. Crime
  7. Living Environment
Many towns have areas which are classed as deprived. This doesn't sound quite so innocent a word if you are living in one of those areas, and want to sell your house, get car insurance etc.

We will use the NATIONAL STATISTICS website. This gives you the chance to explore statistics collected at the 2001 Census
Click the NEIGHBOURHOOD tab at the top of the home page, and you'll be taken to the screen below:

We put in some postcodes for King's Lynn and discovered some fascinating variation in scores for deprivation for different areas of the town. Use the NEIGHBOURHOOD SUMMARY section.
We first of all put in the postcode for the area including the school:The scores for deprivation go from 1, being the most deprived area in the country, and a score of 32,482 being the least deprived...
On this continuum, the area around the school scores 13,924, which is in the poorest 50% of all areas. We then put in some other postcodes, and discovered that some areas of King's Lynn scored only 1,400 and others scored almost 32000: quite a difference !

Which areas of the country score the lowest and highest ?

There are apparently 9 types of DEPRIVED (or disadvantaged) AREAS according to a report by the Prime Minister's office: they are -

1. Regional Centres e.g. Sheffield, Liverpool, Newcastle
2. Northern / Midlands Centres e.g. Rochdale, Coventry
3. London Suburbs e.g. Croydon, Waltham Forest
4. Inner London e.g. Hackney, Tower Hamlets
5. Otherwise prospering towns e.g. Peterborough, King's Lynn (yes, we're in there...)
6. Coastal e.g. Hastings
7. Industrial hinterlands e.g. Sedgefield
8. Manufacturing towns e.g. Rotherham (and so's my birthplace), Doncaster and Wigan
(all 3 of which are featured in Pies and Prejudice...)
9. Rural e.g. Derwentdale

You can check this for an area you don't know well by getting a streetmap from your friendly online map provider and then use the ROYAL MAIL POSTCODE FINDER.

Coming soon: the second coursework task, which is once again adapted from a model kindly provided by Paula Cooper and colleagues at the King Edward VI 5 Ways School. I'll work on this over the weekend when I get a chance.

If you're here looking for ideas for teaching Pilot GCSE, please head over to the KING EDWARD VI WEBSITE
You'll find all the various schemes of work that were developed at the school, and they've certainly produced a good framework for the work we've done this year.

Map produced by Rachel Tuckett: student at King Edward VI School and was the winning entry in a national competition last year - this is an excellent piece of work, and fits in very nicely with the idea of MY PLACE. I looked at this at the time and didn't make the connection between it, and the Pilot.

Live Maps - delimiting our area

For this activity you will need to use Microsoft's LIVE MAPS site.
Zoom into the home area and adjust the scale as appropriate.

Then click the COLLECTIONS tab and choose ADD PUSHPIN. This allows you to put a pin where we have some key places in your life: home, school, relatives, friends, fish and chip shop etc.

Once you've identified the places (which can have images attached to them), choose the option to MARK AN AREA on the map. Click where you want the 'corners' of the area to be, and the map will appear, and be shaded in quite nicely...
This gives you your local area, which can be saved as a screenshot and then e-mailed to me at:

Thanks to Tony Cassidy for the inspiration for this task and the suggestion of what to do.