Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Futures Questions Part 2

Some questions above from Tom...
and here are some from Elizabeth which you might want to use or adapt.
Thanks to these 4 students for use of their questions.

Some suggested questions...

Here's some suggested questions from Mikki for the FUTURES questionnaire - more to come...
And here are some from Jessica.

The Future for King's Lynn

Here is the latest work that we need to do to get ready for the coursework task, which will be started once we have our visit from Mr. Clarke (and the developers of the South Lynn Millennium village)
It uses the publicity material from the show flat in South Lynn which I had a look round last week (see pictures on earlier posting)


• Read the booklet you will be issued with (needs to be handed in at the end of the lesson) – these were collected from the show home which is now open on Saddlebow Road.

• Answer questions in your book (or in Word and print out) using the information in the booklets.

a) Where is the Millennium Community located ?
b) What features do the new houses have that make them ENERGY EFFICIENT ? (quote at least 3 figures from p.6 in your answer)
c) What is meant by an ‘A-rated electrical appliance’ ?
d) What is NORA ?
e) What is planned for the NORA development other than the new housing ?
f) What is the aim of the Millennium communities ?

We are going to do some data collection on what YOUNG PEOPLE think about King’s Lynn and how it should change in the future.

Start (or continue) planning a questionnaire to use to find out the views of young people on what they think about the town, and how they would like to see it change.
Include a variety of CLOSED (i.e. yes/no) and OPEN questions

Monday, January 29, 2007

Old Lynn on You Tube

You won't be able to see this at school, but it's worth checking out at home and see how many of the locations you can recognise.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

a spot of History... "This Saddening List"

OK, I know this is a GEOGRAPHY blog, but Mr. Dixon has recently published the results of a 10 year task of researching the lives of the KES pupils on the honours board for the Great War. They travelled to some far flung places, and there's a lot of interest here.
There is a LYNN NEWS article here, and an EDP article here which gives more details.
The book is called 'This Saddening List', and features a very fine picture of Saltwick Nab, near Whitby!
The book costs just £10 and you can order a copy by ringing the school on 01553 773606, or visiting Waterstones in King's Lynn.

Another embedded video...

Another embedded video. This time it's the Make Poverty History video 'Click' which has the message that every 3 seconds a child dies from poverty.

Bono is linked to an urban legend relating to this: that he started clapping his hand every 3 seconds during a U2 concert and said "everytime I clap my hands a child dies" and someone in the audience allegedly shouted out "well stop ******* doing it then !"

People as Consumers

Good quote by Eric Shlosser, who wrote 'Fast Food Nation': which is due to come out as a film in March, about Fast Food, and its effects on people.

"I think there are limits as to how far shopping can change the world, and I never tell people what to think. But what I would say is: open your eyes. Don't lead a life that's unexamined. Realise that how you spend your money has a ripple effect. If you eat or shop in a certain place, that's like a vote - a vote for what they're doing. You're supporting that business. So be conscious and informed and give your money to the people who are doing things the right way. Open your eyes...."

Are your eyes open ?

Plenty of resources HERE.

And don't forget the FAST FOOD ROCKERS song which we'll be hearing nearer the time. Time for you to get in some practice so that you know the actions !

Consumers and Sustainability

Website called SUST IT was featured in the money section of The Times yesterday.
It's all very well wanting to buy environmentally friendly appliances for your house, but how do you compare them ?
This website will tell you the comparative costs of running various items for the home. It will tell you, for example that the TV I have at home costs 10p a day to run, whereas my parents' big LCD jobbie costs 19p a day.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

England vs France

Just thinking aloud, so put this here to keep it safe..
Comparing MY PLACE with other places...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Yours South Lynn Gallery Part 1

Here are first set of photos I took today. Nice sunny afternoon and took a few images of the construction. Also had a look in the show flat.

Breen and gone...

OK, so this week we've been looking at some past paper questions.
Remember that you will have one exam in June this year. It will last for 1 hour and 30 minutes and carry a total of 100 marks. There will be questions relating to various aspects of the course, with a concentration on one particular theme.
You will have a pre-release booklet which we will go through in advance of the exam.
The questions we had today needed you to remember the following things - if you found this difficult you need to go back to your Cape Farewell packs and do some more research, at sites such as THIS ONE:
  1. Which extreme environment have we studied and what makes it 'extreme' ?
  2. What landforms are created in this extreme environment ?
  3. What processes operate in this extreme environment - make sure that you can remember the processes carried out by glaciers - be specific !?
  4. Which resources did we use to explore these environments ?
  5. What were the reasons for using the resources that we did ?
  6. How does this place compare to MY PLACE
  7. How do people make use of this extreme environment ?
(Remember what Brent said about "freeze thaw". This is a PROCESS not a LANDFORM)

So why BREEN in the title ?
Well, glaciers in Svalbard are usually called names ending in BREEN. You should ensure that you can name at least one (and ideally locate it in relation to a town such as Longyearbyen)
Here are some that you could investigate further:
  1. Archibald Geikebreen
  2. Linnebreen
  3. Skobreen
  4. Tunabreen
  5. Bakaninbreen
  6. Larsbreen
  7. Longyearbreen
  8. Wibebreen
You can see these and many others in a wonderful gallery of photos I came across at a site called POLARFOTO. This has a gallery by Hinrich Basemann which has LOADS OF SVALBARD PHOTOS.

Thanks to Pete from Barking in London, who sent me some great My Place resources today which you will probably get to see in a form adapted to King's Lynn some time soon.

Today I went over to the Millennium Village in South Lynn to take some pictures. I will add some of them over the weekend in a gallery. The development is likely to take as long as 10 years to fully complete, and the first few houses are completed and looking good. I also discovered that one of the members of staff at KES has bought one of the flats. I had a look round the show flat, which was very impressive. If I was 10 years younger and had no kids I'd probably be very interested in buying one!

Today I also said goodbye to our Chinese visitors. They were very impressed with the Google Earth and Interactive Whiteboard which I showed them, and I hope to see them again in China some time. I'll send you a postcard...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A few connections...

First of all, today had a meeting with our Chinese visitors from Qinghua Middle School in Chongqing. We've been showing a DVD of aerial views over the city which was presented to us by David and Mr. Yin, which shows it to be an incredible city. I showed the visitors Google Earth (of course), and we flew from Beijing and Tiananmen Square to Chongqing and managed to locate the school. We talked about the ideas of exchanging information between the schools, and will look to doing a project involving a new computer based 'chat room' and Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called UNISERVITY.
I also tried my best to get a trip out there, to see the 3 Gorges.
We also talked about how China has one time zone, so that whatever the time is in Beijing, it is the same time in the whole of China, despite the huge size of the country.
We also talked about KARST scenery, which is the scenery produced when areas of limestone are eroded at different rates. The famous GUILIN pinnacles are a short flight away from the city.

I also had a virtual communication with Sarah from PICKLE MY FANCY. She is following the 100 Mile Diet idea which I mentioned in an earlier post. The idea is that you can only eat food produced within 100 miles of where you live. Sarah got in touch to tell me about her blog, which makes very interesting reading. There are some obvious links with the local area.
One of them is this product below. Do you recognise it ?
I'll post more about this product and its local links at the weekend.
How do you know how far away a place is from your house ? Well Sarah also mentions on the blog a very useful tool called the UK POSTCODE CALCULATOR.
This allows you to put in 2 postcodes and it will let you know the distance : 'as the crow flies' rather than along roads - it will only take the first part of the postcode e.g. PE30, but is a useful little application.

Can I also mention Tony Cassidy's recent posting on Global Warming in Antarctica. Although it is not related to SVALBARD, a lot of the processes that are mentioned are relevant to us too. Remember that you need to be able to talk about some of the Physical processes in the area - as shown in the past paper question you had recently.
Refer to GLACIAL processes which happen, and also WEATHERING processes which occur because of the low temperatures.
Remember also that you will need to know the definitions of the 5 terms which make up the word FUGIS. Not all of you could do this easily, and you MUST be able to write these - we shall be testing this as we get nearer the exam, but you can make a start now.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Declining Sea Ice

Just made aware of this useful image, which shows how sea ice in the Arctic is likely to decline.



Cartographer/designer/author credit (Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal)

Data Sources: ACIA. 2004. Impacts of Warming Arctic: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ESRI Inc. 1993. Digital Chart of the World. Redlands, USA: ESRI. NGA. 2000. VMAP 0, Version 5. http://geoengine.nga.mil/ geospatial/SW_TOOLS/NIMAMUSE/webinter/rast_roam.html (accessed July 14, 2006) Patterson, T. 2006. CleanTOPO2. http://www.shadedrelief.com/cleantopo2/ (accessed July 20, 2006)

Work for 25th January

MY PLACE (Continued)

1. Fill in the sheet related to the HOW ENGLISH ARE THESE items.

Be prepared to discuss these next time...

2. Read the article on FISH AND CHIPS that you will be given.

Produce a FISH and CHIP chart (rather than a PIE chart) which shows the various links between the UK and other parts of the world, in terms of the ingredients etc.

I will scan some of the best in and put them on the site, so make them creative and interesting…

3. Imagine there was to be a Royal Visit in 50 years time: 2057 – for the 150th anniversary of the school.

What changes would you anticipate taking place by then in the school and surrounding areas ?



See my recent posting on GEOGRAPHYJAZZ related to PsychoGeography. Has scope for the Pilot GCSE My Place unit. The work of the YOUNG PEOPLES GEOGRAPHIES project is also similar to this, particularly the unfamiliar places work we did in Leicester.
Will have to take this further...

In the meantime, take a look at this rather tasty image which I've borrowed from FLICKR User: Sybregout, for which many thanks !

For Fish and Chips in King's Lynn it has to be BITSONS ! (Ad...)

So - how English is Fish and Chips ?
Over to you to investigate....

Vistors from Near and Far to OUR PLACE...

The Queen came very close to 'OUR PLACE' today when she visited the school.
I hope you enjoyed the close-up view of her Majesty as you stood outside the front of school.
Here's the visit as reported by the BBC:

The Queen has unveiled a plaque during a visit to mark the centenary of a Norfolk school.

King Edward VII High School in King's Lynn was opened by the Queen's great grandfather, King Edward VII, in November 1906.

The Queen was photographed on a 100-year-old camera when she returned to the school for the first time in more than half a century.

She also signed a portrait of herself - as she had done in 1956.

A photographer used a Box Brownie to record her visit on Wednesday as part of a BBC documentary about Edwardian inventions.

Edward VII's opening of the school on 5 November 1906 was also recorded on a Box Brownie.

Head teacher Michael Douglass said the visit would be a lasting memory for many of the children at the school.

"It is a great privilege for the school to have a visit from Her Majesty, The Queen."

Imagine the school was to get a Royal Visit in 2057.
What changes would you expect to see in the area in and around the school.
Are the buildings today sustainable ?

If you have any pictures of the visit, let me have them in electronic format and I'll post them here.

Meanwhile, a virtual colleague of mine: Tom Biebrach who teaches in
Wales is sunning himself in Zambia, visiting a FAR PLACE with the aim of making closer links with students at Kabundi High School in Zambia.
You can read about his visit at his weblog which is HERE.

Meanwhile, we have been playing host to more visitors this week from a FAR PLACE.
This time it's
CHONGQING (which I understand is pronounced CHUN CHING, or something similar to that)
Chongqing is a HUGE city, with over 30 million people living in the METROPOLITAN area. I have been given a DVD showing the city and it's a hugely impressive city on the Yangtze with an amazing variety of landscape and buildings and impressive infrastructure. Please ask if you would like to see some of the DVD.
We have a link with
Qinghua Middle School in the city, which is in Banan province.
For more information see my CHINA page.
You may have seen Mr. Yin (pictured above) about the school this week. He is the Headmaster of the school, and I will be meeting him tomorrow to see whether we can further some GEOGRAPHICAL links between our 2 schools (and hopefully get me out to China at some stage!)

Finally, a link which may be useful to colleagues teaching the Pilot. Noel Jenkins has reminded me that there are materials which are very useful for teaching the topic of People as Consumers at the
Birmingham University MAKING THE CONNECTION project page. Download a whole 5 week unit of lessons as PDF files with associated powerpoints. We shall be using this later this year, so you can always get a sneak preview if you are a KES student. The themes are related to BANANAS and MOBILE PHONES: 2 items you possibly consume.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mr. Clarke's visit postponed

Mr. Clarke will now be visiting us NEXT week rather than THIS week, which gives you a chance to think about your questions for him. Add them as the comments to the posting lower down the page.

You also need to think about the questions you are going to ask the ADULTS and STUDENTS of King's Lynn relating to their ideas for the King's Lynn of the FUTURE, and what they think of the idea of SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES.

These are going to be the PRIMARY DATA COLLECTION for a forthcoming piece of fieldwork, of which more later.

Earlier today, I spoke to someone about a very exciting looking piece of equipment called a MAGIC PLANET globe, which is pictured above.
To get a look at this, visit their WEBSITE - it has links to videos where you can see the globe in action.

My Place, My Walks

Contacted by Kye Askins of Northumbria University to mention a project with which I was familiar from the Geography based Tody Programme on New Years Day (see earlier posting)
It's a project called MY WALKS.

A team of academics from Northumbria University’s Divisions of Geography and Environmental Management have recently launched a new website, entitled ‘mywalks’. Mywalks is a project designed to encourage people to open their eyes to the ‘hidden’, perhaps less glamorous corners of their towns and cities - basically the things around you: the man-hole cover, the tower block, the back lane.... ‘Switch off your mp3 players and look around’ is the message. Don’t rely on ‘experts’ to tell you what is worth looking at or appreciating; break away from the tourist trail, which directs us to admire a parade of ‘landmarks’ in any city or town, and engage with the less obviously picturesque sights (or in some cases, the downright ugly…). The aim is to get people thinking about their immediate environments from a different perspective, and to appreciate that geography is everywhere around them, it’s about re-engaging with our immediate urban, day-to-day, city, country, local, taken-for-granted environments and geographies. Through the ‘mywalks’ website, http://nuweb.northumbria.ac.uk/mywalks/intro.php, everyone can share ‘their walk’ and the experiences they encounter, with others.

Check it out !

34 behind Tony.... & the Great Fen Project

Tony Cassidy over at RADICAL GEOGRAPHY blog has just celebrated his 200th post.
I'm still a way behind, although Mrs. Clarke is getting a bit worried that you're still covering Extreme Environments Tony ! Do you know something we don't ? ;>)

Thanks to James for pointing out this useful site for those of you who are doing THE FENS as your physical landscape.It's called the GREAT FEN Project and is supported by the Geographical Association. The aim is to restore an area of Fenland. There are details / booklets which can be downloaded from the website to give some more.
There is a deadline of the end of January for raising money for the land purchase.

Coursework Improvement

You had a chance today to improve your first piece of coursework in the lesson.
Read through the comments and act on them to improve
  • spelling errors
  • formatting changes
  • acknowledgement of sources
  • named locations within Svalbard
  • appropriate images with captions
  • show that there is more than one possible FUTURE
  • need to show that your personal views are not simplistic e.g: all polar bears WILL die
  • if mentioning Global Warming, need to have a clear and accurate definition
Staple a copy of your improved coursework to the original. Do NOT take them away from the room, and hand in at the end.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Cover work for Mrs. Clarke - Monday 22nd January

Mrs. Clarke is unfortunately away ill today.
Here is the work...

Work for CMC – P.5 – Monday 22nd January

Pilot GCSE Geography

Take a look at the website for the Millennium Community in South Lynn and make sure you have finished off explaining what it is about this development that makes it SUSTAINABLE and how it is looking to the FUTURE.

Mr. Clarke is coming in on Thursday and it would help if you could have some questions ready which are related to the theme of:
• What is the future for King’s Lynn ?
• What has been provided for young people in King’s Lynn ?
• What would you like to see provided in the future ?
• What is being a planner like ?


Continue with your work on THE FENS which you started last week – this needs to be related particularly to the Physical Geography of the Fens, and the way in which people have altered the landscape, referring to particular people.

For more details on this see the postings on the KES PILOT blog


Friday, January 19, 2007

Laurel has arrived in Svalbard

You may remember this posting...
It's a link that we made to Laurel McFadden who is spending a year working in the Arctic Circle on a huge photography project called COLD PHOTO.
Last weekend she arrived at her accommodation at UNIS: the University complex on Svalbard near Longyearbyen. Here is a photo which she took of her new accommodation: importantly, the picture was taken at MID DAY !

Picture copyright: Laurel McFadden

As we get into the review section of the course, we will perhaps ask Laural to answer some questions relating to life in Svalbard, and particularly whether people on Svalbard are concerned about Global Warming in the same way as other areas of the world are, bearing in mind that they perhaps have more to lose than we do ?

Update: A recent posting has talked about some of the problems caused by the extreme cold and darkness - particularly for photography!

Questions for Mr. Clarke

Please add them below....

Mr. Clarke is coming in to KES next Thursday and Friday to speak to both Pilot groups.
Add questions as comments between now and then please...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Zeitcam and stuff...

I recommend that you watch the ITN Evening News this week. They are broadcasting from the Antarctic all week. Earlier this week they were filming when a large piece of ice broke off and narrowly missed the boat. Apparently they made their trip there carbon neutral too...

There are 289 time lapse movies at ZEITCAM: http://www.zeitcam.com/index.php
These are produced by sequencing webcam images taken over long periods. Thanks to Tony Cassidy for pointing this out.
Don't forget to get out there and GEOGRAPH the empty squares. Prizes for KES pupils who fill in some local squares (I haven't had to give out a prize yet despite offering lots of them - let's have a little more involvement !)

Don't forget to have some more ideas for the FUTURE of King's Lynn ready for Friday.

And take care in the stormy weather tomorrow, and check out the ICE STORMS that are sweeping across the USA on CNN. Your orange juice might get a little more expensive soon !

And the Two Towers link with Brazil ? I'm thinking of the Terry Gilliam movie not the country - or was it Twelve Monkeys ? Actually, I'd better check...
Oh, yes, it was Brazil after all. The interrogation of the Jonathan Pryce character was filmed inside a cooling tower...

Chinese Visitors

Some visitors to MY PLACE next week. Have been invited to a reception on Monday to say hello to the Chinese delegation who will be in the UK for 8 days, and on Wednesday we are having our Royal visitor, and on Thursday will have a speaker in the afternoon talking about the Middle East conflict.
Preparing some special China lessons for our KS3 groups. For more see the relevant page of GEOGRAPHYPAGES.
Also tomorrow, all being well, we have our visit to Leicester, as part of the Young People's Geographies Project, which involves four students from the Pilot GCSE groups. I will post more about this at the weekend.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Let's get Physical !

Time for some Physical Geography.
We are going to be doing some mapskills in the next few weeks, so get out your FREE O.S maps that you had back in Year 7 - assuming you can find them. A pity that one of you said you'd never looked at it...

We have a choice of landscape: THE WASH, or THE FENS.
Both of them are on our doorstep and yet we don't know a lot about them.
Remember that there is a link here to a story which I was surprised you didn't know much about: the Antarctic explorations of Robert Falcon Scott: Scott of the Antarctic.
I suggest you read this Wikipedia article as a starting point.

Mr. Cassidy's group has been exploring the Antarctic as their Extreme Environment, and could probably tell you more about the perils of sastrugi...

Remember that there is a link here to the WASH, because Peter Scott, Robert Falcon Scott's son lived for a time in the lighthouse close to Sutton Bridge. He was a founder and the first chairman of the WWF (not the Wrestling foundation....) There is a PETER SCOTT WALK which begins, or ends, in King's Lynn - it is described in the book pictured below which you can get from the Tourist Information Centre, or the local library (which is where I got my copy....)
Captain Scott was in the news last week because the letter that he wrote as he lay dying in his tent is to be displayed from this week for the first time ever at the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge. This is a great place to visit, and I last went there last year for a SHACKLETON exhibition.

More history ?

In 1216, King John’s treasures were said to have been lost to the Wash. The King ordered his baggage train to take the shortest route via The Welle Stream (near the present Sutton Bridge) but the long and slow-moving train of carts and wagons was beaten by the tide.
Wonder if any of it will ever be found ?

The King John Cup is one of the treasures on display in King's Lynn.

Need to find out about: Estuaries, how is the Wash used ? - RSPB, MOD, Tourism, Fishing, Sailing and Watersports
What happens when the tide goes out ?

Where is the lowest point on the Fens ? How far below sea level is it ?
Why not take a trip to the lowest point ?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Which retailer is this ? Clue: Pants...

Update: OK, many of you will perhaps have identified this as MARKS AND SPENCERS, which has announced that it is to spend £200 million over the next 5 years to become CARBON NEUTRAL.
We will explore this in more detail....

Sunday, January 14, 2007

100 Mile Diet

Just been reading about this interesting site, based in the USA.
It aims to encourage people to eat food which has been produced within 100 miles of their own home (and provides a Google Maps tool to allow people to find out where that is...)
There is a growing trend towards eating local food and seasonal food (although some argue that this option is not open to all sectors of society, and there are also areas called "food deserts" where people have very little access to food, especially if they have problems moving around the area.
The 100 MILE DIET movement is trying to encourage sustainability.
An interesting article in the Daily Mail showed 2 supermarket shopping baskets. The ingredients in one had travelled a total of 69,700 miles, and the ones in the other had travelled just 299 miles...
Clearly there are places in the UK where this would be easier.
But what about NORFOLK, what about KING'S LYNN ?
If you could only eat food produced within 100 miles of the town what would you survive on ?

We'll try to find out over the next few months...

Start by identifying the area within 100 miles of King's Lynn - it actually brings in a lot of interesting places which should help give us a varied diet !

For what we are about to receive...

The Two Towers

Two Towers

For some people, this will conjure up images of the "Lord of the Rings", but for those (like me) born in Rotherham or certain parts of Sheffield, or visitors to the Meadowhall shopping centre, it probably means the Tinsley Cooling Towers. These are a prominent part of the landscape and are a regular view on the bus or train, or car journeys I made for over half my life.
They have escaped demolition because they are so close to the Tinsley Viaduct which carries the M1 across a wide river valley.

They are featured and pictured on the site of electricity generator E-ON's site, which also features a number of very useful activities on the theme of Energy conservation, and from where I borrowed the image above.
For more images of the cooling towers try putting "Tinsley towers" into Flickr.
Also a link here with BRAZIL.
Can anyone tell me what the link is ? If so, post a comment...

Ice Edge and other stuff...

Thanks to Ollie for ponting out ICE EDGE.

Update: actually it was Tony (see comments)

This is a competition, which offers the chance of a trip to Svalbard.
There is a lot of useful information on the site.

Here is a video of Ben Saunders, who is also an honorary Vice President of the Geographical Association, and I hope to catch his session at the conference in April this year.

This is from the press release for the site...
Forty young people from across the UK are to win the journey of a lifetime into the fragile Arctic in a nationwide schools competition run by Edge, the educational foundation which campaigns for vocational and practical learning. Thousands of young people from across the nation are expected to compete in Ice Edge by coming up with ideas for practical solutions for environmental problems to better preserve our planet.

Winners of the competition will travel to the Arctic in June 2007, where they will meet scientists, explorers and local people in this vulnerable and extreme environment. The competition was launched on Thursday 26 October at 6pm at Edge’s London offices. To celebrate the launch, young people who took part in previous Edge projects joined Edge for an evening of exploration to hear from experts, including explorer Ben Saunders who has walked to the North Pole and worked in the Arctic environment that the winning group will be visiting.

Ice Edge will demonstrate to young people the ever-increasing importance of vocational careers to our environment. The way we use water, electricity and fossil fuels will be influenced by those who really understand water systems, electricity and the way in which vehicles work, amongst many other factors, and those in vocational careers will be the people who are actually doing something about the environment through their every-day work, rather than just talking about what could be done. They will be installing and connecting, for example, solar panels, systems that use less water in houses and adapting or maintaining current and new types of vehicles so that emissions are reduced to a minimum.

Ice Edge will start young people thinking about practical solutions to reduce damage to our world, and help them understand how this will add to the excitement of vocational careers that they might consider following in the future. Going to the Arctic, as a fabulous goal for all entrants, will bring to life just what a delicate balance currently exists between a world where we can enjoy our environment, and one in which we will soon start to see undeniable signs that we are destroying it.

Just caught the new Sonia Bravia ad. Remember the bouncing balls ? Well now they've got paint exploding all over a housing estate.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Reducing your Footprint

I wasn't really happy with the involvement today...
You need to keep your focus when in the ICT rooms. There are too many distractions for some of you, but there is also no time to waste !
We were extending the idea of sustainability and using the BP Carbon Footprint calculator to see whether you produced more or less carbon than the national average of 9.85 tonnes per year.
Those of you who did a lot of travelling found that this very quickly increases your footprint...

You will need to look at the CLIMATE CRISIS site and get some ideas for how to
The 10 steps from Al Gore's film are a good place to start.
The Millennium development in South Lynn (more on this next lesson) has a series of houses which are aimed at being SUSTAINABLE: the 2 free bikes with each house for example.

For more on Ecological homes, you can look at the site of the SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION.You could take a look at the BedZED scheme.
Picture by Paul Miller, copyright free, taken from WIKIPEDIA

Another good place to visit is the ECOHOUSE in Leicester, which I visited at some time in the early 1990s, just after it had opened. It costs £2 per adult and £1 per child, and is probably worth a visit if you're in the area.

Also visit the GROWN UP GREEN website for more in this area.

Monday, January 08, 2007

THE FENS (Cont.)

As part of the research on this topic, I went back to an early book which is in my collection of topography books.

It is “The Scenery of England” which was written by the Right Honourable Lord Avebury, and the edition I have was the 4th edition, published by Macmillan in 1906.

Chapter XIV (14 to you…) is entitled “Downs, Wolds, Fens, Moors and Commons”

“While the Fens and plains of East Anglia cannot perhaps vie in picturesqueness with some other parts of the country, they certainly possess a quiet beauty of their own”

Lord Avebury

“a sweet and civil country” Bishop Hall

“The air is clear and transparent: fogs are rare, and the inhabitants enjoy ‘as sunny skies, as beautiful starlit nights and as magnificent cloudscapes as any people in England’” Wheeler, “Fens of South Lincolnshire

“Here are more good things than man could have the conscience to ask of God” – William Cobbett

“The Isle of Ely is a paradise…

The plain there is as level as the sea, which with green grass allureth the eye and so smooth that there is nothing to hinder him that runs through it.”

William of Malmesbury

Also get some quotes from Graham Swift’s “Waterland”

“that part of the world is flat. Flat with an unrelieved and monotonous flatness.”

What about FENLAND folklore ?

Fenland Tigers ?

Elgood’s Ales…

The effects of the shrinking peat as it dries out…

Cornelius Vermuyden…

More visitors...

In addition to the visitors already mentioned, we are going to possibly have more visitors this half term, and I don't mean the Queen...
We will have visitors from our Chinese partner school, and I am looking at setting up a link so that you can exchange views on what MY PLACE is for you, and for pupils from the Chinese school.
More on this to come soon too...

The Fens and Futures....


Remember that this is another key issue for the Pilot GCSE Geography course, following on from Sustainability last time.

It is also an important way of looking at issues facing us today. What are going to be the future outcomes of the things we do today ?

There are various possible futures, and I have produced a sheet in an attempt to visualise them, so that pupils could appreciate a little more about what I was going on about. It suggests that there are 4 futures (of course there may be others, but the model is an attempt to simplify the potential routes that we can take through the future): Rollercoaster, Dice Roll, River or Ocean futures.

THE FENS (Continued)

We looked at the start of this idea in a previous posting.

Check out the WIKIPEDIA article on this area.


http://www.huntingdonshire.info/geography/1_4_fens_drainage.htm - includes a good panorama of the landscape

http://www.cam.net.uk/~aaa017/blaeu1.htm - some maps that you can view of the Fens drainage system


It’ll all come out in the Wash

As well as the FENS we are going to be exploring this area, which is also on our doorstep and has helped shaped the character of the area. It has historically been a barrier to expansion. Try getting a train to a destination North of King’s Lynn and you’ll find yourself heading South !

For some years, there has been a group called the WASH ESTUARY STRATEGY GROUP, who publish a newsletter called “The Tide and Times of the Wash”. It is worth getting hold of this publication.


12% of the area of England drains into the Wash. More to come as we get into the new term

“Maps are a way of organising wonder” Peter Steinhart

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Fairtrade Fortnight

Our plan at the moment is for you to be involved in this fortnight by planning an event. We might be able to have a photographic record of this as evidence for a piece of coursework...
More to come soon...

In the meantime, keep an eye out for FAIRTRADE products in the news.

You also have a chance to get CREATIVE and win some prizes.
There's a new website called

The aim is to create some publicity for OXFAM's MAKE TRADE FAIR campaign.
Check out the STARBUCKS campaign for example.

New Resource for Pilot

This map, bought from AMAZON.
Useful detail about the islands and their wildlife, history and exploration. Ask me if you want to look at it and get some information for your coursework or notes.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Passport to the Poles

I've mentioned this earlier...
It's a new project, which is in association with the RGS-IBG.

Passport to the Poles uses the Polar First record-breaking helicopter journey by Jennifer Murray and Colin Bodill around the world via the two Polar Regions as a focus for a stimulating and engaging educational resource.

Get a STUDENT PASSPORT, and follow the journey.
More to come when I've explored the site.
Fasten your seatbelts...

Globalisation Essay

For those of you who didn't listen to the Radio 4 programme, as recommended, you need to read this mini-essay instead. It should only take you 2 minutes....
It was written by Professor Doreen Massey, who Mrs. Clarke studied with when she did her higher degree (she's much cleverer than me you know!)

The essay looks at the issue of GLOBALISATION and relates it to CLIMATE CHANGE.

“Geographical perspectives”

A mini-essay for the Today Programme 1st January 2007

Professor Doreen Massey

There is an argument – about climate change – that goes like this.

  • “… the UK’s contribution to global emissions of greenhouse gas is only a small percentage.”
  • “ … there’s not much point in taking responsibility for our own place when India and China are growing as they are.”

Now, I might have found that a comforting argument. But it seems it is a totally inadequate geography.

What that ‘small percentage’ counts, is the greenhouse gas emissions from the UK directly. In that sense, it treats the UK as an isolated entity.

But it is not.

Firstly, that calculation, it seems, misses out the effect of all the things we import from elsewhere (many of them indeed from China). We demand those goods but we do not count as our own the pollution of producing them.

Secondly, that ‘small percentage’ does not take account of the role UK companies in production around the world. It has been estimated, for instance, that something like 15% of global carbon emissions derives from companies listed on the London Stock exchange. Our economy is said to benefit from those companies. So what responsibilities do we, as UK citizens, have towards them?

I could go on. The point is this. That ‘small percentage’ is meaningless in an interconnected world. We cannot pretend that because all that greenhouse gas emission doesn’t happen here it doesn’t happen because of us … that we are in no way implicated.

But surely, might come the reply, we are improving. The UK is on course to meet its Kyoto target.

Indeed it is. But why?

It is largely because:

  • we have allowed our manufacturing to collapse
  • we closed the mines and dashed for gas
  • we opted for an economy based on services and, especially, finance.

It is not so much that we are behaving better, as that:

  • we have exported our pollution
  • and we have reshaped the UK’s role in the global economy.

That reshaping has also reshaped the geography of the UK itself, as

  • manufacturing regions have declined
  • the north-south divide has widened
  • our economy revolves more and more around London’s financial sector

Forget that comforting geography of small percentages. These are some of the other geographies that lie behind responsibilities for climate change.

At some point nearer the exam we'll also show you some relevant bits from "an inconvenient truth" which we now have a copy of in the Geography department.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Sustainability and Stuff...

Welcome back to your Pilot lessons for 2007 - remember that your exam is later THIS year.
This half term we are going to welcome 2 outside speakers: a former Chief Development / Planning Officer for King's Lynn and someone from the developers behind the South Lynn Millennium Community. We are going to look at the future for King's Lynn, and lead up to our second piece of fieldwork.

Today we were looking at the idea of SUSTAINABILITY: the S in FUGIS...

I started by showing you the "Tragedy of the Commons": the way in which a field can be used to graze animals indefinitely as long as the "carrying capacity" is not exceeded. Did you like my sheep ?
We then looked at a good definition of Sustainability, which was used in the Brundtland report. This report was published in 1987 (I didn't realise it was so long ago, I remember it being published...) and was named after Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway.

The definition that we came up with was:

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"

Sustainability is also the basis of the Agenda 21 framework of the United Nations.

We then used the old favourite Geog.1 books, which have a rather good summary of the features planned into the Greenwich Millennium village (thanks to Mrs. Clarke for sourcing this) and also completed a mind-map of the features. More to come on this next lesson.

Finally, we looked at what each of YOU could do to make your house and lifestyle more sustainable.

As reading, I recommend you look at this article by Jonathan Porritt on the BBC News site: "

The recent STERN REPORT showed that our current lifestyle is not sustainable...

I also talked about the term ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINTS: basically, it is the extent to which the way we live our lives affects the planet...
We'll be using the BP CD ROM which we were sent recently. HERE is the website version for you to work out your own FOOTPRINTS. You might like to consider the irony here....

Got home tonight and in the Lynn News there's an article saying that the first phase of the development is gone, and 10 new houses are soon to be released. The houses are very popular with those who have visited the show home.

Also check out a local project: ART SUSTAINS. May be one for local teaching colleagues to check out...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

My Place: what links do you have to 'Far Places' ?

Remember the 'Far Places' on Goodey's model ?
This website link allows you to create a map showing the countries of the world which you have visited...
You can see mine below, mostly confined to Europe so far...
Make your own map and add it to your e-portfolio - make a new "My Place" section of your folders.

create your own visited countries map

Monday, January 01, 2007

Radio 4 and growth of the EU

Happy New Year to all my readers!

Currently listening again to the Radio 4 Today programme on listen again, which was edited by the G Team.
Interesting clip from Vanessa Lawrence on the importance of maps in our everyday lives:
"there is more geography being used today than ever before"

Also item on the connection between immigration in Britain and the effect on poverty in Africa.
Apparently people of African origin send home an average of just under £1000 a year. Interview with some Ghanaians living in London and from correspondent in Ghana.

An item on the growth of the EU: the link between Europe and links between Europe.

My Walks: project from Northumbria University - look at familiar places as an unfamiliar place. Geography is about change in the contemporary world. Interview with Dr. Duncan Fuller from the university.

Final interview with the guest editors.

Doreen Massey provided a small input relating climate change to globalisation. We demand goods but don't take responsibility for the carbon emissions produced by their production and transportation. We will meet our Kyoto protocol targets because of the change in our economy and this has "reshaped the Geography of the UK itself..." as our economy revolves around London and its financial sector.

Congratulations to Dan, David and Hannah - a job very well done!

Dan talked about his geograpical teaching. Geography sits centrally in the curriculum...
Creates a real meaning and purpose to the curriculum...

David talked about the importance of fieldwork: the basis of which is observing: using your eyes.

Dan talked about how issues tend to be separated by the media rather than brought together using Geography.

Welcome to those in Romania and Bulgaria who joined the EU from today!