Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pre-Release Questions 41-45

These are the final questions !!
They are based on the final resource: Resource 18 from p.23

Photos of Environments: remember that we do the Extreme Polar Environment...
(If you can't remember that I give up...)

Q41) List 6 things that all 3 extreme environments have in common.
What makes an environment extreme ?

Q42) Which extreme environment have you studied ?

Q43) What do you think Svalbard will be like in the future ?

Q44) Name one city on Svalbard which we have looked at...


Don't forget to browse through Laurel's COLD PHOTO blog, and also past posts...

  • What is life like for people in this place ?
  • How do people in this place make a living ?
  • How is their way of life affected by the physical environment ?

Q45) How is the way of life of people in Svalbard being affected by changes from outside ?
What aspects of life in Svalbard are threatened by change ?

And that's it - I suggest you make sure that you have worked through ALL the questions and write the answers down in your book, or as a WORD document....

If you fail to prepare, you should prepare to fail.... (or at least get a lower grade...)

Pre Release Questions 39-40

Organic Farming
See earlier post on Organic Farming
Also check the INDEPENDENT article on Food Miles

Here's a debate at the WAITROSE site.

Q39) Read resource 16 on p.21 of the booklet.

Access a couple of websites which give information about Organic Farming.
Such as
Draw a poster / table / mindmap (I don't mind which one you use, but it has to be visual...)
The poster / table / mindmap has to EXPLAIN the following:
  • What is organic farming ?
  • Why do some people say this is more SUSTAINABLE than traditional farming ?
Q40) Imagine that non-organic farming was made ILLEGAL in the UK. What problems might this cause for consumers ?
Is organic always the best option ?

This is a complicated issue !

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


When we looked at MY PLACE, we discussed King's Lynn. Some of you may be from the area known as the NORTHEND, which had a famous fishing community.
BBC NORFOLK have now added a new section celebrating the Northend. There are special programmes on Radio Norfolk as well as cultural events in town.
There are some good AUDIO DIARIES of life in the area.There are also some excellent images, owned by True's Yard Museum, such as the one above of the Black Joke pub.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pre Release Questions 37 and 38

Data Collection
The next set of questions relate to a set of data that have been collected by a Year 10 group from Gloucester.

Look at the data on the questionnaire and pie charts and answer the following questions:

Approximately how many people were surveyed ?
Where/when did the survey take place ?
What do you know about the people who were surveyed ?
What was good / not so good about the questionnaire that was used ?

How reliable do you think the results of the survey were ?

Think about local shopping centres that we have...
Chapelfield, Norwich
Castle Mall, Norwich
Queensgate, Peterborough
Grafton Centre, Norwich

Find a website for these..
Imagine that you were going to be doing a shopping enquiry in one of these places as part of a Geography fieldtrip.

How could you collect data ?
How would you collect data ?
How could you show your results ?
How would you show your results ?
How could you present your results ?
How would you present your results ?

New VW ad has a site which allows you to use JUMP CUT to make and edit your own movie.

Comic Life Beta Released for PC

Comic Life Beta for PC

This has been available on Mac for a while, and is now released for PC.
Download it from PLASQ site HERE.
I downloaded it yesterday, and if I had the time I'd be spending the whole day rewriting task sheets as comic format. Will perhaps try a few of the more popular ones and see how they are received.As you can see, the page has a series of sections. A blank page to start with. You then drag in a template with the frames, which can be moved. Add some images as the background, speech bubbles, shapes and some groovy text type shapes which can be changed and customised from a wide range of options. Do a search on Comic Life to find lots of examples that people have made for some design ideas.

I'll be making use of this over the next 6 weeks for sure...

Pre Release Question 36

The Greenfield site: LONGFORD: on the Northern edge of Gloucester.

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

This is the site in the centre above.

Find the site on the map in your booklet.
Draw a
SKETCH MAP of the area which contains the following 4 Grid Squares
8320, 8321, 8420 and 8421
Add annotations to explain why building houses here is a good idea, and some issues that there may be...

Is this legal tender ?

One for your personalised MONOPOLY games.

Pre Release Questions 29 to 35: GLOUCESTER FOCUS

Gloucester Docks and the redevelopment forms the central part of the exam paper.Remember to relate this to the planned developments for King's Lynn and the docks as related by Mr. Clarke when he visited last year.
Go to the right hand side of the blog and click on the Mr. Clarke label to get the posts from his visit.

Question 29 - 35
USING Resource 6, 9 and10, plus details from the GLOUCESTER website
Write a short description of the Gloucester docks area from 1830 - 2000
Why did Gloucester docks fall into disrepair ?
What have the old dockside buildings been converted into so far ?
Who is the target audience for these developments ?
What impact do you think these developments have had on the people of Gloucester ?

Think about positive and negative points, and remember the multiplier effect.

Remember the warehouses in King's Lynn such as the Granaries - what has happened to them ?

Check out James Rye's FLICKR set of photos for some nicely atmospheric shots of King's Lynn's river frontage and buildings.

Q32) Identify 3 groups of people you think might be annoyed about the way that the dock area has changed. Who would disagree with these groups ?

You will now need to use Resources 10, 11 and 12 (on pages 14-16)

Q33) Is the Gloucester docks site a GREENFIELD or BROWNFIELD site ?
Explain your answer...

Q34) Read the following statements and sort them out into POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES.

Then decide which ones apply to GREENFIELD and which ones to BROWNFIELD sites.

Statement bank:
  1. In centre of town - close to amenities
  2. Pretty surroundings
  3. No services on site
  4. Can walk into the CBD
  5. Dangerous river and open water
  6. Dangerous busy roads
  7. Plenty of space for children to play
  8. Longer commuting distance to work
  9. Site already has services
  10. Ugly, noisy environment
  11. Difficult for young children to have places to play
  12. Pollution from previous users
  13. Cheap land on the edge of town
  14. No garden
  15. Site already clear for use
  16. Safe environment
  17. Quiet environment
  18. Cleans up an eyesore in town
  19. Apartments are expensive
  20. Government money available
Imagine you have just bought a new dockside apartment.
Write a letter to the local paper: the Gloucester Citizen, Echo or The Forester which:
  • describes the benefits of life in your new dockside apartment (8 marks)
Use the other resources to help you write the item
Add comments below of some of your other answers...

and finally, just to the SE of Gloucester is Cooper's Hill near Brockworth
This was in the news over the Bank Holiday weekend for an annual event: the famous CHEESE ROLLING. This takes place on Spring Bank Holiday Monday.
Competitors race down an incredibly steep hill chasing a DOUBLE GLOUCESTER cheese. Every year there are injuries of varying severity...
The CHEESE ROLLING page has the details of this year's winners. Here are some You Tube videos from last year's race.

Pre-Release Questions 25 to 28 - Mapskills

Question 25-28

Look at the
OS Map Extract of Gloucester.
Get your own from the OS GETAMAP site.

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

Some sample questions - you will get a variation on these ideas...

Q25) Briefly describe why the Romans chose this site for their town called Glevum (Hints: Water supply, food, fuel, building materials, defence)
  • the CBD (how do we know where this is ? what buildings would you expect to see ?
  • the Longford site
  • junction 11A of the M5
  • other places of your choice...
If you can't remember how to do Grid References, check out GOGGS' GUIDE from BBC Scotland which looks at these in an animated way, and is an interesting recent find...

Q27) Why is the CBD not in the centre of Gloucester ?

Remember that we looked at the similarity with King's Lynn, which also has a CBD which is not literally "the town centre", and also remember where the dead centre of any town is: the cemetery...

Q28) Taking the cathedral as the city centre (and why might we choose this building ?), how far is it from:
  • the docks to the city centre
  • the Longford site to the city centre
  • BY ROAD from the motorway to the city centre

Pre Release Question 23 and 24

Question 23
Q23) Look at Resource 8, and separate the measures into 3 columns:

Measures of Deprivation (poor)
Measures of Affluence (rich)
Neither (rich nor poor)

A23) Go on then !

Question 24
How many of these statements apply to King's Lynn ?

A24) Add a comment to let me know...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Laurel off to Russia

Laurel of the COLD PHOTO blog has now left Svalbard and is on her way to Russia via Norway.
Here is one of her last photos taken on Svalbard. Thanks for the excellent images , and enjoy the final leg of your year !Photo Copyright: Laurel McFadden

Pre Release Question 22

Question 22 - these are TRUE or FALSE questions. Just answer TRUE OR FALSE, and use Resource 8 on page 10 of the booklet to help you
Compared to the average figure for England and Wales, Gloucester has:

  • Fewer lone parent households ?
  • More households without central heating ?
  • Fewer unemployed people ?
  • More people working in shops, transport and offices ?
  • Fewer households without cars ?
  • More people using trains, buses and taxis ?
  • Fewer sick people ?
  • More people with no qualifications ?
  • Fewer Black and Asian residents ?
  • More lone parent households ?
If you lived in Gloucester, what would your neighbours best be described as ?

Add a comment with your answers and thoughts on this...

Pre Release Questions 20 & 21

Question 20
Q20) "Gloucester is home to Britain's most inland port".
How is Gloucester linked to Britain's trading patterns in Europe, USA and the Far East ?

Gloucester is on the River Severn.
What can you find out about this river ?
What was it that made Gloucester an important port ?
Why did Gloucester decline ?
Look at the history of Gloucester - what products would have passed through the docks ?

Question 21
Q21) How far are London and Birmingham from Gloucester ?
How would goods unloaded at Gloucester docks have been transported from Gloucester to Birmingham and London in Victorian times ?

Need to use the Atlas, or perhaps a tool such as Google Earth.
Also use the GLOUCESTER DOCKS website to read about the present day tourist attractions in the area.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pre Release Question 19

Question 19 - 21
These use the MAPS on page 3 of the booklet, and an ATLAS. If necessary, so some other searches on the Internet.
What is Gloucester ?
What county, region and country is it located in ?

It's important that you know about Gloucester and how it compares to King's Lynn.
Start with a WIKIPEDIA article on the CITY.
It's the county town of GLOUCESTERSHIRE.
Which region is it in ?

Began as the Roman town of Glevum in AD48, so it has a long history.
Check out the CITY COUNCIL webpage.

Pre Release Question 18

Bank Holiday Monday weather !
Image: BBC Weather Forecast for Eastern region...

Question 18 - Uses Resource 5 - Some newspaper clippings...

Who are John Prescott and Gordon Brown ? (mentioned in the articles)
What have they done to help people buy their own homes ?
Why have KEY WORKERS been singled out for help ?
Who will support these ideas ?
Who will oppose these schemes ?
What do you think ?

"The green belt is a Labour achievement and we mean to build on it."
John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister (attributed)

John Prescott and Gordon Brown both hold positions of power (at the moment) in the Labour party.
John Prescott has had some responsibility for overseeing the building of new houses.
There are plenty of BBC NEWS articles on the plans, such as HERE,
Also see this GREENPEACE report for an alternative view.

Well I'm one for a start. Without me, King's Lynn would grind to a halt (or something...)
John Prescott's website has now become the COMMUNITIES website.
The Pre Release booklet identifies what is meant by Key Workers.
How do you feel other people would think if teachers and nurses got help with buying a house but they didn't ?
What are your views ? Add a comment...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Social Trends

Social Trends on the National Statistics Website is a KEY RESOURCE for investigating population trends.

Pre Release Question 17

Question 17
Q17) What will happen to house prices ? (See earlier question)
How have house prices locally changed since 2000 ?
Is this a good thing or a bad thing ?
Will you be able to afford to buy a house in 10 years time ?
Think about the fact that average house prices are 8 or 9 times higher than average earnings...

House prices have risen steadily (see earlier post)
Use the HOUSE PRICE calculator to compare houses.

Look at some of the jobs in the local paper which are available to people with qualifications that you have at the moment, or that you expect to get when you leave school.
How many times more is a house than the wages that are being offered ?

Pre Release Question 16

Question 16
Q16) How will the changes in the number of households and an increasing number of migrants affect the demand for homes in the future ?
Not hard is it ?
  • More single parent households
  • More single young people getting married later and having children later
  • More migrants
  • People living longer
  • People staying in the same house and extending it due to high cost of moving house and buying property
What does demand do to prices ?

Look at the earlier questions for some detail on this...

Pre Release Question 15

Question 15
Q15) How many single person households were there in 1991 and 2006 ?

Use the diagram in the previous post...

How is the number of single person households predicted to change ?
Why might this be happening ?

Look at the thickness of the bands not just the slope of the line once you get above the bottom section of the graph.

Pre Release Question 14

Question 14
This needs Resource 4 on p.6 - colour version reproduced below...

How many households were occupied by couples in 1991 and 2006 ?
How is the number of households occupied by couples predicted to change by 2021 ?

OK, do we mean married or unmarried couples ?
Need to look at the line and read the question carefully - provide the answer that is asked for in the question.
The lines going across are at 50 000 intervals, which are fairly large. Use a ruler to measure !
Look at the trend or slope on the line...

Add an answer as a comment below

Half Term Tasks

Half term starts at 2.55 today...
After that you have Work Experience for a further 2 weeks.
If you leave looking at the booklet until then YOU WILL NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME !
You need to look at the booklet during the break, and do a regular stint. I suggest 15 minutes per day each day.
Remember that this is your ACTUAL EXAM ! This counts towards your final grade!
This is not a MOCK, this is the REAL THING, and the pre-release booklet will be given to you in the exam. If you know what to say you will do very well ! Do not wait until the exam to read through the booklet !

Enjoy Work Experience: it may be a novel one for some of you....

Fantasy Football Champions

Congratulations to me ! My Year 13 Form Group's team: the ALL BLACKS won the Year 13 KES Schools Fantasy Football League this year !
A great effort all round. Special thanks to Simon, Joe and Jobbo for their shrewd team selection assistance.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pre Release Question 13

Question 13
Q13) What will happen to natural increase if death rate is higher than birth rate in the future ?

See the previous post.

How might this affect the graph in Resource 1 and the Population pyramid ?

Look at the effects on the graph and the pyramid...

Consider some recent social trends:
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Drinking
  • Fast food
  • Smoking
  • Sexual activity
How might some of these affect death rate or birth rate ?

Pre Release Question 12

Question 12
The gap between birth rate and death rate is getting smaller.
Why might people choose to have fewer children in the UK today ?

How can we use the data in Resource 2 to help to explain the falling birth rate ?
Why might the death rate be rising even though medical care is more advanced ?

A12) Fertility rate is declining in most EMDCs (Economically more developed countries)

When a country has a situation where the number of births are not high enough to replace the number of deaths, this is known as a situation of SUB REPLACEMENT FERTILITY.

WIKIPEDIA article on this issue
The map below is taken from the Wikipedia article: those countries shaded in blue are in this position, and as you can see there are quite a few of them !

Remember that 2.1 children need to be born to counteract the SEX RATIO: 105 boys are born for every 100 girls, as well as replace the 2 parents.

Why do you think that there are fewer children being born ?
Read this BBC ARTICLE for a financial reason !

Pre Release Question 11

Question 11
Q11) Natural increase is the difference between death rate and birth rate.

(Generally this is positive)
Are there any countries where there is currently a natural decrease ?
Why not add a comment below with the name of the country if you find one...

In 1991, how many more babies were born than deaths ?
What was the difference in 2002 ?

1991: 155 000
2002: 75 000
Remember that these are examples of the SORT of question you will get. We can't guarantee that it will be those particular years, or be phrased in that particular way, but it is likely that there will be a question asking you to make use of the data that is presented in the question.

Pre Release Question 10

Question 10
Q10) What do migration and net migration mean ?
Why might more migrants have entered the UK in 1992 and 1997 ? or during that period...
Why might migrant numbers have fallen in 1995 and 2000 ?

Why do migrant numbers vary ?


Think about the reasons why people move, and the possible attractions of the UK.
Remember that the UK is part of the EU, and we get migrants from Eastern Europe especially since 2004.

The BBC have produced an excellent resource on this theme called DESTINATION UK.The diagram above was taken from the Destination UK site.
Some useful things to consider:
  • 7.5% of people living in Britain were born abroad
The research suggested asylum seekers come to the UK for four main reasons:
  • to be with relatives or friends
  • to speak or learn English
  • a belief that the UK is a safe, tolerant and civilised country
  • historic links, such as through the former British Empire
Migration is the movement from one place to another which involves a change of residence. When people don't actually move house, for example, to travel to work or go on holiday, this is generally in the shorter term and is called CIRCULATION.

Net migration takes into account the fact that some people LEAVE and others ARRIVE.

The BBC site tackles what it calls the 5 'big questions' on immigration.

1) Are we being swamped ?
2) Are we a 'soft touch' ?
3) Are they economic migrants ?
4) Can we afford to have so many migrants ?
5) What about the role of organised crime ?

What do you think are possible answers to these questions ?

Pre Release Question 9

Question 9
Q9) What might the population pyramid look like in 50 years time ?
What advantages and disadvantages might this cause ?

A9) Think about the way that the cohorts will 'move up' the pyramid every 5 years.
You can see an animation of this sort of thing at this American site, which allows you to choose any country and see some animated pyramids.
The other great site for looking at trends is WORLDMAPPER, which has some great maps which change the shape of countries to reflect the changes in the particular statistic that is featured on the map, such as POPULATION on the map below:
Copyright: SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan)

If we continue the current trends, there are likely to be:
  • many more older people particularly in the 80's and over
  • fewer young people (although this may be counterbalanced by the arrival of young migrants)
  • fewer people of working age
This produces a problem due to something called the DEPENDENCY RATIO, which is the number of people who are working compared with those who aren't: young or old.

What other changes do you think are likely to happen ?
Add a comment below so that I know that you've read this post !

Pre Release Question 8

First of all a quick mention of some great coursework and fieldwork materials from Tony Cassidy. Some good examples of how to annotate photographs, and prepare hypotheses.Question 8

Q8) Which two age groups have the greatest number of people ?

A8) Look at the population pyramid and look for the bars that stick out the furthest. These are the highest numbers.
Remember that the age groups may also be referred to in the exam question as COHORTS.

Looking at the pyramid, which 2 age groups can you see as being the widest ?
Why not add a COMMENT with your answer so that I can see that you're reading the blog as requested.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


A roddon is a 'ghost river'.
It is the remnant of a river which has been redirected and has left its mark on the landscape in its previous course.

There is apparently one in the Fens, which runs between Denver and Peterborough and going through March.
They are made of the materials which were deposited as the river dried up. The Little Ouse in Cambridgeshire is a river which met this fate.

They have apparently been mistaken for Roman roads as they are made from aggregate as if they have been laid down in layers.Found the above image on the Cambridge University Department for Sustainability site

Anyone else know anything about these features ?

Pre Release Question 7

Question 7
Q7) Which gender tends to live longer ? Which gender tends to be born more often ? Any reasons ?

A7) There are slightly more boys born than girls, but women then outlive men. The ratios are fairly close, but given the large numbers of people involved, this results in an uneven spread of the sexes in the older age groups.
Various reasons why women live longer ?
Hormones / genetics - related to ability to carry children ?
Lifestyle ?

Thanks also to Mr. Flaxman of the Super Hoops blog for getting in touch and sending me some pre-release materials which I will add to here before too long, and also to the website.
Welcome to all visitors from Barking and Dagenham (and anywhere else for that matter) - why not leave a comment to let me know that you're been to visit !

Pre Release Question 6

For the next batch of questions, you need to look at Resources 2 & 3: a Population Pyramid, and a graph showing Natural Increase and Migration between 1991 and 2002.

Question 6

Q6) What does a Population pyramid show ?
Do you think it is a good way of showing data or not ? Explain

OK, so a population pyramid is essentially 2 bar graphs plotted back to back.
There is a MALE side and a FEMALE side, with population plotted by number (in this case, although sometimes it will be plotted as a percentage of the total) and age groups, which are more properly called COHORTS.

Sometimes these are in 5 year groups, sometimes in 10 year groups.

Check out this BBC BITESIZE guide to using Population Pyramids.
There's an INTERACTIVE one at the National Statistics site.

THIS SITE allows you to create pyramids for any country.

So why are they called pyramids ? They look nothing like one...
Well, if you look at the pyramid for other countries, particularly ELDCs (poorer countries economically speaking...) they tend to have a higher birth rate and a higher death rate, and a lower life expectancy, and this changes the shape.
The fact that the UK's population does not look like a pyramid tells you a lot about our changing population

What do we think of them as a way of representing data ?
We thought they were better than a line graph (such as the one below from the National

I came across an interesting suggestion on a discussion forum looking at some alternative ways of showing the data. You can read it HERE if you're really interested in this idea.

This was to 'fold' the pyramid, so that the male and female pattern could be more easily compared, like the example below for the Portuguese city of Lisbon.

This allows you to see the difference in the upper age groups really well.
What other benefits are there of using coloured bars to represent the population of a particular age group ? What problems are created once you put the data into groups ?

Exam Dates

Here are the relevant exam dates for KES pupils for Summer 2007

18th May: AS: Applied Geographical Skills (already been - quite a good paper - Physical fieldwork and Human skills with a focus on Cardiff)
25th May: AS: Physical paper, followed by the Human paper - 2 and a half hours on the Friday afternoon before half-term (great timing !)
4th June: GCSE: Paper 1 & 2 (Foundation and Higher) - the main 2 hour paper with case studies - first exam back after half term (reasonable timing!)
11th June: GCSE: Paper 3 & 4 (Foundation and Higher) - the Skills paper
12th June: A2 Physical Paper
15th June: A2 Human Paper
18th June: A2 Synoptic Paper
28th June: Pilot GCSE Exam

Good luck with all of these!

Pre Release Question 5

Question 5
Q5) In the 1880s the population did not change at all. How could this be explained ?

A5) This has been an interesting question to consider.

To begin with we went through some of the possible reasons:
- declining birth rate
- increasing death rate
- conflict
- disease
- dramatic out migration

None of these by themselves seemed to be enough.
  • The Boer War was too late, and in any case there was not a large troop deployment in the millions for this conflict
  • There were no major disease outbreaks at the time. Flu pandemics were earlier or later
  • There was no evidence of particular demographic change in the 1880s
But could it be that the graph on the resource is not accurate ?
Some figures from other sources suggest that there WAS an increase in the population during the 1880s

Investigate 2 other sources of Census data and see whether the graph was correct.

It's worth remembering that with all data sources you need to be CRITICAL: question their accuracy and whether you can believe them. Whenever there is only ONE source you need to be certain that they are accurate.

Thanks to members of the SLN community for their helpful suggestions.

Also check out the STATS4SCHOOLS website for some interesting ideas and activities in this area.

Great Fen Project Update

As you'll remember, we looked at 2 contrasting Physical environments in the local area: the WASH and the FENS

I mentioned the Great Fen Project, in an earlier post, and there are several links here with the local area and geography.

The Geographical Association Conference supported the Great Fen project this year at their conference. £1 from all the delegate fees

Another local link is with the actor Stephen Fry, who is starring in the series "Kingdom" which is filmed locally. This week I noticed Swaffham, Castle Acre, Wells-next-the-Sea and Felbrigg Hall as locations. He is the President of the Great Fen Project.
You can also listen to a BBC Radio 4 programme on the project on the LISTEN AGAIN section.

In the Observer at the weekend was a mention of the HOLME POST, which I want to try to get to see later this year.
It's a post that was sunk into the ground before the FENS started to be drained. As they were drained, the peat shrunk, and the ground level fell. The post now sticks several metres above the surface of the ground. If this continues, along with the predicted rise in sea level, it is likely that the Fens may well be inundated again.

When doing a bit of reading on this, I also came across a new feature to me which is called a RODDON
More on this in a future post...

Pre Release Question 4

Question 4
Q4) Why might the population increase in the 1950s and 1960s have been greater than the increases in the 1970s ?

A4) Think of social events and changes once again:

1939-1945: WWII, followed by soldiers returning home
1940's: Ten Pound Poms (check out this Wikipedia article)
1978: Lousie Brown born - what was special about her ? - see this BBC NEWS article
1961: Contraceptive Pill introduced on NHS

Have you heard of the BABY BOOM ?
1950's: Baby Boom (an American term)

Increased disposable income in 1950s
1957: McMillan (who was the Prime Minister at the time) made a famous speech when he said that the population of the UK had "never had it so good"

Check out the website of the TOMORROW PROJECT.
National Statistics Website & their SOCIAL TRENDS 2007 document

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Laurel moving on...

Laurel McFadden who you may remember we have been following during her time in Svalbard is preparing to move on to Russia.
Some fabulous recent photos now available at COLD PHOTO.
This one is interesting, and a little worrying, one of few icebergs in the sound near Longyearbyen - in the past there have been rather more !Picture Copyright: Laurel McFadden

Pre Release Questions 3

Question 3
Q3) How long did it take for the population to double in size again ? and again ?
What does this tell you about the rate of population increase in England and Wales since 1801 ? 2001 ?

A3) It took 60 years to double from 1841 to 1901, since when, we have not had another doubling. This means that it is over 100 years and still not doubled...

The rate of increase by this measure is slowing down...

However, since 2001 there has been an increase in the rate of growth.

In 2001 there was a Census: a count of population.
Interestingly, just last week, there was a Census test carried out in some parts of the country: Bath and North East Somerset, Camden, Carmarthenshire, Liverpool and Stoke-on-Trent.

You can download some FACT SHEETS on the test from THIS PAGE.
Some interesting discussion on SAMPLING here.
You can also download the 24 page questionnaire.

Anyone involved in the trial ?

Pre Release Questions 2

Question 2
Q2) In what year did this population (1981's) double in number ?
A2) 1841

So it took 40 years to double the population of the UK from 1801
What issues would this have created for the country ?
What countries today have such rapid doubling times ? Rich or poor countries ?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

How we are now - photographing Britain

There's a new exhibition at the TATE BRITAIN GALLERY opening on the 22nd of May.
It's called How we are now, and contains photographic images of Britain.
Julian Baggini (who wrote Everytown, a book I blogged about earlier this year) has written an interesting review of the exhibition in the latest issue of the NEW STATESMAN.

You can add your photograph to the exhibition.
For the first time, a FLICKR group has been set up for people to add their own images.
Check out the following details:

How We Are: Photographing Britain (Tate Britain, 22 May — 2 September 2007) takes a unique look at the journey of British photography, from the pioneers of the early medium to today’s photographers who use new technology to make and display their imagery. To demonstrate the evolving nature of photography in the twenty-first century, Flickr photographs will be featured in the exhibition.

To submit a photograph to the exhibition, simply join this group and contribute your photograph anytime until 25 July 2007. (How do I add my photograph to the group?)

You can add up to 4 photos to the group.

Your photograph must:

• be taken in the United Kingdom
• illustrate one of the four themes of the exhibition: portrait, landscape, still life or documentary

Before you add your photograph, please apply one of the exhibition's themes to your photograph by tagging it with "portrait," "landscape," "still life" or "documentary." (How do I choose and apply a theme to my photograph using a tag?)

We encourage you to also mark the location in the UK that your photograph was taken using Flickr’s "Place this photo on a map" feature. (How do I mark my photograph on the map?)

This group's photographs will be displayed on screens as part of the exhibition at Tate Britain. The photographs will also be posted and shared on the exhibition website on Tate Online and on the website of the exhibition's media partner, The Observer.

In the final weeks of the exhibition, 40 photographs — 10 from each of the four themes — will be chosen by Tate to form the final display in the gallery from 6 August — 2 September 2007. A panel of curators, artists, photographers and others will select the final 40 photographs. The final 40 images will also be archived on Tate Online as part of the exhibition's website.

Organic Farming

Remember that there is a question on ORGANIC FARMING on the paper.
Thanks to Pete Flaxman, who runs a Geography blog for his Pilot GCSE students, for posting this useful description of organic farming..

Organic farming is a form of agriculture which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators, and livestock feed additives. As far as possible organic farmers rely on crop rotation, crop residues, animal manure and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity, supply plant nutrients, and to control weeds, insects and other pests.

You will need to do your own investigations on this subject. Start by reading the interview with the farmer in your pre-release booklet.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pre Release Questions 1

We had a useful discussion of what I think are the key ideas behind the Pilot exam this Tuesday. You need to be familiar with these by JUNE the 28th....
If we view this as a gradual development of ideas along a theme:

  • The population of the UK is going up, and has done steadily for the last 200 years (with a few anomalies along the way) e.g. 1880s, 1940s, 1970s - some of these are down to social trends (need to explain them !)
  • There has been a steady decline in the natural increase of the population: the difference between birth rate and death rate (why has this happened ?)
  • There has been a steady rise in migration into the UK, particularly since 1991 (and even more since 2004 and the expansion of the European Union)
  • This has counterbalanced some of the falling natural increase
  • At the same time, various other social factors have led to a rise in single person households, which creates a demand for starter housing (of which there is a shortage) -why are there plenty of 3 bedroomed houses in the UK housing stock ?
Here is a picture clue:

And here is a useful BBC NEWS article

  • The growing demand for housing is creating a shortage, and driving up house prices relentlessly so that they are now an average of over 7 times average earnings - so how can people get a house ? more affordable housing needs to be built, so there are 2 choices of location:

2 locations are shown in Gloucester: the DOCKS, and a location on the northern edge of the city.

Which should be developed ? This is what the Year 10 pupils referred to in the pre-release booklet are going to try to find out...

And what are the connections that we can make with OUR PLACE: King's Lynn (which for the purposes of the exam I would ask you to use, despite the variations that we did have as to where 'your place' was exactly...)

a) We have seen some developments on greenfield sites
b) We have seen some developments on brownfield sites
c) We have some issues with affordable housing for the community
d) We are an area which has very variable values for deprivation

To find out more about the EU, check out the EUROPA website.

You were then given a pre-release preparation booklet, adapted from one produced by Penny Parry at Rosemary Musker School, Thetford, who in 2005 won the Bradfords Award at the GA Conference.

Coming over the next 5 weeks: some suggested answers for the pre-release questions....

Starting with Question 1

Q1) What was the population of the UK in 1801 ?

A1) 8 million (not just '8' - remember the units)

This is very small compared to now. Think about how different and less crowded life would have been...
Read the graph by going up (or across) from the relevant scale to the line, then across (or down) to the other scale line. Use a ruler, and measure, don't make a silly mistake !

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pre Release Lesson 1

Had a quick run through of the booklet today.
Reminder to do questions 1-5 for Friday.
Also go back over your definitions for FUGIS.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The next phase !

Well done to all those who put a lot of effort into the coursework!
That's now behind us - marks have been submitted for moderation sometime in the next month.
We now have 3 or 4 lessons before half term to get you started on working through the pre-release booklet.
We will be giving you a booklet to help you with the booklet...
This will involve you in some regular questions, especially in that 3 week period which takes in half term and work experience.
All will be explained in your lesson this week. The locational context is GLOUCESTER.
Do you know anything about Gloucester ?
You will need to by the time we get to the exam, but we will guide you through this.
Below are some pictures sent to me by a friend of Gloucester Docks, as featured in the paper:Pictures by Val Vannet. Many thanks VV !

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Secrets of Exam Success

Read this BBC NEWS article for some ideas from the QCA (that's the authority that decides what you learn and how you are assessed) on how to pass exams...
Remember that the only place that SUCCESS comes before WORK is in the dictionary...

Marks and Spencer Plan A

What do these logos represent ?
How can a company like Marks & Spencer improve its environmental credentials ?

Coursework Portfolios

Any final e-mail submissions for portfolios to me by tomorrow.
Currently sitting with a pile of folders on the table in front of me, and working through them.
Remember that coursework is worth 17% of the final mark, with 33% coming from the exam in June and 50% from next year's portfolio, which I hope some of you will treat with a little more urgency than this year's.

Sustainability and the UK - one for the high flyers...

Some of the most interesting new ideas of recent years have been included in reports by the New Economics Forum (NEF) They introduced me to Clone Towns and to Ghost Town Britain, and flagged up the increasing power of the multiples in our lives. They also explored the idea of whether we can afford to be Happy and what that means for the planet.
Now they have produced a report which looks at the links that the UK has with the rest of the planet, and the key date of April 15th
Once we have passed that date the UK has effectively used up its own resource capacity, and from that date for the rest of the year we are basically 'eating the planet', as we have exhausted our own resources.
As the report says:
"As our total consumption grows, the day on which we begin consuming beyond our environmental means moves earlier in the year. In 1961 it was 9 July. By 1981 Britain's ecological debt day was reached almost two months earlier on 14 May."

The report is available to download as a PDF file from the NEF site, and runs to 35 pages. This would make a rather good resource if adapted for any age group. The new KS3 curriculum offers an oppportunity for work on footprints and sustainability to appear in Year 7 schemes, and of course it's never too late to prepare the citizens of tomorrow for the responsibilities they have to continue to change their lifestyles and influence those of their parents.

Thanks to the Kingsdown Geography blog for posting about this report and starting me on this particular 'tangent'.

The report then led me to TRANSITION REPORT blog. This is based on the theme of ENERGY DESCENT: the change from fossil fuel based economy to a post-fossil fuel based economy. Lots of interesting links and avenues to explore. Interesting posting on the report, which explores the issues, summarised in the quote below:

"The concept of ecological debt is straightforward. Once we start to live beyond our ecological footprint, we require the resources of other nations in order to sustain our lifestyles. It is a nonsense, Simms argued in ‘Ecological Debt’, to talk of third world debt, really we in the developed West have so plundered these nations for so long that we actually owe them the most enormous debt."

Also a mention of Arsenal FC as an example of this plundering of other countries.

There is also a posting on a rather good article by Simon Fairlie on urban heat and rural heat.

A report in the GUARDIAN on the report.
I'm a couple of weeks behind on picking up this story, but got there in the end.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Cost of....

Thanks to Tony C for spotting these items on the BBC WORLD SERVICE site. There are 2 programmes which follow 2 commodities.
Perfect for doing some PRODUCT WEBS and following the production of these items.
Get these PODCASTS downloaded !

Final call for coursework !!

Just a reminder that 3pm tomorrow (Friday) is the last call for any entries for the portfolio for this year. We are really taking it to the wire on this so please put in that last minute effort to show the examiner that you are working hard !

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Climate Change Pack

Got my Climate Change Teacher Pack from the DfES today, despite an apparent legal challenge to prevent it being distributed.
Contains a copy of "An Inconvenient Truth", plus a disc with other short films and animations.
A visit to the TEACHERNET site also offers a DOWNLOADABLE set of teachers notes. The scene by scene notes were by a virtual 'colleague': SIMON OAKES.


Anyone from Mrs. Clarke's group who has coursework to hand in should pass it to me please...
I have folders ready for all the coursework, and this will make up your portfolio.
Mister Parkinson

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Use a Map of Gloucester

Here is the 'embedded' version of the UseaMap map so that you can see that it works, but is actually a linked map...

Thanks to Noel Jenkins, we also have an embedded version of the map now below:

Follow the instructions from HERE to make your own.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


As soon as you finish your final piece(s) of coursework, make sure they are handed to myself or Mrs. Clarke. FINAL FINAL deadline is May the 9th (am).

EMail Britain

An interesting MY PLACE style idea thanks to Stephen Schwab from
The British Library is building up an email portrait of Britain.,
Why not get involved and send them one of the e-mails you've got in your inbox which comes under one of the categories:
  1. Blunders – embarrassing revelations, a case of mistaken identity etc
  2. Life changers - job offers, marriage proposals etc
  3. Complaints – public transport, poor customer service etc
  4. Spam – the best (or worst) spam emails received
  5. Love and romance – romantic emails which tugged at the heartstrings
  6. Humorous emails –funny forwards, office banter, jokes etc
  7. Everyday emails – exchanging recipes, organising nights out etc
  8. News – good and bad news, births, illness, accidents etc
  9. World around you – emails/views on topical events, news from around the world etc
  10. Tales from abroad –long distance emails from far flung places
Why not send one in - I just have !

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


1. Take out your PRE RELEASE BOOKLET.
2. Look at page. 4

This looks at what are called KEY WORKERS !

Who are KEY WORKERS ??




Social workers

Health care assistants

Support workers


Other staff who play a crucial role in the social services sector.

Why do you think people with these jobs are known as key workers ?
Do you think they should be treated differently when it comes to buying a house ?

Here are some sample questions from the booklet:

43. What do you think Svalbard will be like in the future ?

44. Name one city in Svalbard which you have looked at. What is life like for people in this place ? How do people in this place make a living ? How is their way of life affected by the physical environment ?

45. How is the way of life of people in Svalbard being affected by changes from outside ? What aspects of life in Svalbard are threatened by change ?


1. Take out your PRE RELEASE BOOKLET
Here is the title page:






Any concerns during the Half term / Work experience

Thanks to Penny Parry from Rosemary Musker School, Thetford

3. Work through one unit at a time. We will give you a timetable for this, and there will be regular postings on this weblog between now and the exam....

4. Answer the questions on lined paper. Do any additional web searches and research (but remember that all the key links and ideas are provided here) to support your work.

5. Use the final back page of the booklet as a check list.
There are 3 key ISSUES which we shall return to once we have finished this.
We will also be running some extra time nearer the exam.
Here is the final page of the booklet:


You will need to know the meanings of these words: