Friday, February 29, 2008

Sustainability Pyramids Gallery

Here are some of the pyramids for the "My Place" section showing the sustainable nature of your schemes.
The base was the location. The 4 sides were 4 aspects of the environment you wanted to change, with the base of the sides of the pyramid being the current situation and the top the stage you wanted to have become once the project was finished.
Great work everybody !!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Our Place - Year 11

Start thinking about the contribution you can make to the group's multimedia piece.
Written pieces ?

Catrina's description of King's Lynn

You will be given a copy of an article from the BBC's BLAST site.
It was written by Catrina: a teenager from King's Lynn - can be linked to from here...

What do you think of what Catrina says ?
Do you agree or disagree with what she says ?
What do you think are the good and bad points about the cultural life of King's Lynn as far as people of your age group are concerned ?

Write a response.

Lincolnshire Earthquake

Source: Market Rasen Today website

Earthquake !
The strongest earthquake for almost 25 years hit the UK this morning. (BBC News article link)

It apparently had its hypocentre about 9 miles beneath Market Rasen in Lincolnshire (used to go through there on the way to Skegness when I was a kid....)
Some descriptions are here...

HERE is the USGS's description of the earthquake.Picture credit: USGS

I was awake as my daughter had just woken up, and the shaking started. First few seconds thought someone had fallen out of bed, then the walls and windows and items on top of the chest of drawers started rattling.
Got my daughter out of bed as her room is next to the chimney with a large chimney stack above, and then after about 10 - 15 seconds the shaking stopped.
Went out into the street into my dressing gown - very clear night - no-one else had any lights on and up and down the street was silent...
So went back to bed...

If you felt it, fill in the FORM ON THE WEBSITE. My intensity estimate was III.

Thanks to Ewan Laurie for the link to an article on the GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY's website, which discusses the methods used to measure the size / intensity of the shaking in an earthquake.
Here's one SLN Forum member's experience in Sheffield:

A few bricks have crumbled on our Chimney stack leaving next door's TV Aerial at a jaunty angle.....Here in Sheffield. Do i qualify for disaster relief?

Didnt get time to send the wife to stand under the door frame (she is 8 1/2 months pregnant though) but we have bottled water, a torch smell of gas.

Seriously I can empathise a little more with victims of something far more serious. My wife was a little shocked to find cds all over the floor.

A colleague was wondering whether to claim on the insurance for the crack in their chimney stack - even though it's been there for years...
Another one thought it was all the Chablis they'd drunk...

Market Rasen Today had a good headline (probably had more visitors today than for some considerable time)

Did you feel the earthquake ?
Add a comment below...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Number one in Germany

Here's that elusive German no. 1 - "Kuschel Song" by Schnuffel

The Woman who stops traffic....

This is worth watching.
The Woman who stops Traffic
Need to catch this if you want some more on Sustainable Transport.
The program features someone who tries to get people out of their cars just for one day.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tescos - at the centre of a web of consumption...

We only had a few people today due to the study skills day, but there was some work to be done.

We started with the Tesco Value Quiz !
How low can they go ?

I gave you 10 items and you guessed how much (or how little) they cost...
Some serious overestimation going on...

Check out this TIMES ARTICLE, about a student trying to live on Tesco value items for a week.

We then discussed how it was possible that Tesco could offer these items so cheaply...

Finally, we began to make a web of connections between Tesco and the world, with headings such as: Employment, Transport, Trade, Energy, Waste etc.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mosaic Model of Culture

Mosaic model

Also known as the multicultural model, the mosaic formula is based on the belief that people of different backgrounds can fit together without losing their original identity.

One of the main proponents of this model is Canada. Its 1985 Multiculturalism Act says immigrants and their descendents should be free to keep and promote their cultural heritage while fully participating in Canadian society.

What do we think about this model ?

Global Culture - Year 11

Yes, with Year 11 we were once again indebted to Tony, whose Global Brand Quiz and powerpoint we were using today as a starter. Cheers once again Tony. My group did ask "do you ever do anything for Tony..." - of course !We discussed the idea that globalisation is leading to a global culture (or is it ?)
Once again we were indebted to Tony.
Are we heading for global culture ? What is the evidence for and against this ?What are the arguments for and against the development of a global culture ?

What is the evidence that a global culture (or it American cultural imperialism ? ) is developing ?

Is McDonalds really **** or not ?
You'll be doing some newspaper pieces this week...

Finally, you need to think about what contribution you are going to make to a multimedia piece on King's Lynn and its cultural diversity...

We will once again compare with other places: Liverpool and Nottingham in particular...

What culture do we have locally ?

Local bands
Local food
Local culture
Local religion
Local ethnic groups
Local celebrities
How do people in other parts of the country view us ?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Jumper is a new film which has the premise that the lead character can teleport himself to anywhere in the world. This is obviously an intoxicating idea, and instantly appealing to Geographers. Where would YOU go if you could go anywhere right now ?

YouTube user JoeBeacher has produced a rather nice Geography response to this idea, which is well worth watching. Click the link below (sadly this will not be displayed in school as the site is blocked...)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Multicultural Timeline...

How has Britain developed over the centuries ?
Which groups of migrants have arrived, and from where ?
What are the reasons that they have chosen (or been forced) to move to the UK ?

We used some slides kindly produced by Tony Cassidy today.
Here they are for those of you who couldn't keep up with the task...
Need to do this for next lesson so that we can move forward.
Remember that time is very tight this half term !Also made use of the "This is Geography" books for this task...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mark has made it !

Fantastic news. Well done Mark !
More later...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Global Culture - England's National Dish....

Ask people what they think this is, and what will they say ?

Fish and Chips ?Image copyright Flickr user ordinary fool Creative Commons License

Roast Beef and Yorkshires ?
Image copyright Flickr user robbie jim Creative Commons License

Shepherd's Pie ?
Image copyright Flickr user kev walsh Creative Commons License

Chicken Tikka Masala ?Image copyright Flickr user Crashworks Creative Commons License

A "full English" ?Image copyright Flickr user Todo nada Creative Commons License

Wikipedia has a useful article on this idea with some suggestions for what the National Dishes might be.
Is it possible to narrow down a nation's cuisine to one 'signature' dish ? And don't national tastes develop in response to a whole range of outside influences anyway ?

Over to you...

And here's a useful 'listen' for you

Cultural Links

This week is half term, and I'm being bombarded with cultural stuff...
Most of this is also directly relevant to the Pilot GCSE stuff.

First of all, just been reading about Martin Parr's new edition of his book: "Small World"
Small World is about tourism, and shows the difference between the mythology of a place and the reality when you get there - about what you think a place will be like and then forgetting that there'll be hundreds of other people there too... Got a flavour of that on Holkham Beach earlier in the week...
I love Martin Parr's approach to photography.
His themes of leisure, consumption and communication are a perfect counterpoint to the geography that we have been developing.
There are also plenty of homages to his work on Flickr.

A good blog post here by James Lomax, who has also posted some rather nice pictures of his own as a counterpoint to Parr's.
I particularly liked this one:

Image copyright: James Lomax

Next up was Philippe Legrain's "Open World": particularly Chapter 12: "Culture Clash". This looks at the increasing homegeneity of global culture: an idea we are going to be developing after half term with my Year 11 Geographers. Philippe is also the author of another essential purchase for Geographers: "Immigrants". Click HERE to read an extract from this book.I looked up Philippe's blog and came across this comment on one of his posts by 'Nabila Kazi', who attended a lecture he gave on immigration at the Institute of Economic Affairs:
I am not an economist, but am studying geography and therefore I approach the subject of immigration in a different way. There was talk about wanting a reduction in Britain's population which I find very strange given that the country has an ageing population. Before the recent influx of immigrants, the country was subject to extremely low fertility rates which forecasted a dangerous future for the economic welfare of the country. Without immigrants, in a country where people are focusing more on career rather than family prospects, a decreasing population is exactly what is in store for the future. However it is not a beneficial decrease because low birth rates result in a decreased number of economically active people in the future, which in turn will increase the dependency ratio of the country. As the ratio increases, there is increased strain on the productive part of the population to support the upbringing/pensions etc of the economically dependent. In turn there are direct financial impacts on the social security of the UK: Taxes will rise, general stability and balance of the country will decrease. This is something that most people last night fail to understand. We need immigrants just as much as 'they need us'.

A very useful paragraph for our Year 12 Geographers to discuss, or even our Year 9s ?

I was also directed to a rather great article in YALE GLOBAL ONLINE also by Philippe which looks at the issue of global culture: and uses the phrase masala: one used in the Open World book too.
Scroll to the bottom of the article and not only can you print the article but there are links to lots of similar articles on themes of globalisation and immigration. This could keep you going for a long time...

Next up was a reminder of some Tony Cassidy classics on Coca Cola, which links with the Legrain book.
It can be downloaded from Tony's Radical Geography website.
This is a great introduction to GLOBALISATION using a PRODUCT as the way in..All representations of Coca Cola and their logo are trademark / copyright Coca Cola company and are reproduced here for educational / non-profit reasons to illustrate the role of these companies in the emergence or otherwise of a 'Global' culture. I'm drinking a can of Diet Coke as I type this blog post...

'Culture Clash' includes some very useful quotes, including one from Naomi Klein's "No Logo" which is another classic in this area.

Am also scouring the More4 listings for a repeat of Dave Gorman's "America Unchained" which I shamefully forgot to Sky+ the other day, and would have been perfect for this particular unit too...Also in 'Coast' magazine was the results of their 2007 Awards.
A lot of familiar places and people winning them.
Was interested in the Waveney Sunrise Scheme to regenerate Lowestoft Town Centre and seafront, and this gave me a thought about a possible fieldtrip. Might need to make my way over there...
Also the East Beach Cafe at Littlehampton in West Sussex...
More on this in a future post, but I'm off to have a lie down after this mammoth post !

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Are you one of them ?

A nice introductory video for a forthcoming series on BBC about 'youth tribes'....

The ARE YOU ONE OF THEM site has some ideas and case studies of some groups that have been identified. Good introduction to the idea of SUB-CULTURES.
Also follow the link to see what tribe some 'celebrities' thought they belonged to when they were younger...

Monday, February 04, 2008

Response to Multicultural Britain

1. Look at the statistics from the Census

a) How does the ethnic mix of King’s Lynn compare to that of the East of England and the rest of England ?
b) What changes have taken place in the ethnic mix of the town since the 2001 census when these figures were counted.

2. Read Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem: ‘The British’

a) What is your opinion of the ideas that Benjamin has in the poem ?
b) What point(s) is he trying to make ?

3. Read the first chapter of Ed Husain’s book: “Made in England”

a) What were the positive experiences that made him start to think of himself as English
b) What were the negative experiences that made him question whether he was ever going to be truly English.

Also check out this new BBC ARTICLE

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Year 10 Pilot Exam Date

Here is an important date for the Year 10 students....

24th of June

1.30 pm

90 minutes

Higher Tier and Foundation Tier

The Pilot GCSE EXAM !!

Pencil it into your diaries NOW...

Work for 10 Pilot AP group Tuesday 5th February

As I told you last week, the plan is for me to be at the University of East Anglia on their annual 6th Form conference with some students...

Today is the day when you prepare your 2nd piece of coursework for handing in.
Needs to have:
a) Annotated map to identify the area (map with labels of the 3 to 5 changes)
b) Pyramid showing before and after
c) A table which has details on the particular parts of Local Agenda 21 (those 13 statements I've gone through several times)

In the first lesson after half term, we will hand back your work on Svalbard for you to make any required changes.

If you are certain that you have finished...
You need to go to the Food Stories site (click the link or search for "Food Stories" and it's the first search hit)

Click LAUNCH INTERACTIVE then the GO apple to open the store cupboard.

You need to explore the section which is called Food, Nation and Cultural Identity
Listen to the clips and read the stories...

1. The government have suggested having a national day to celebrate ‘Britishness’. Imagine that you are responsible for organising a special meal for this event.

Outline your plan for the occasion, including details of the menu, where it would be held, music, decorations, guests etc…

What would you include to make it a celebration of ‘Britishness’

2. Think about the food served in your school canteen. Does the menu contain foods from lots of different cultures ?
Does it reflect the cultural diversity of your school ?
What is your opinion on this ?

3. Pick ten foods. Investigate the different origins of these foods.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Year 10 Coursework

You need to come to next Tuesday ready to finish off the Sustainability task.

Should have:

  • Annotated map of area
  • Pyramid with areas
  • Table / writing to map the changes to the Local Agenda 21 (LA21) themes...
Also worth considering the PLASTIC BAG task too...
How can we cut down on the 8 BILLION that we get through every year !