Workshop three: David Rogers

Inspirational Geography

David starts with a starter idea: show the image on Bing and get students to predict what jobs are to do with that image. “With Google you can pretend to be educated.”

“If we didn’t think we could change the world, we wouldn’t be here.”

David shares a video of what motivates Priory Geography and what they think they are about and asks us to think about what object we would select to represent our subjects. Five ideas they’ve tried…

1. Geography EAL mash up – LOs in a foreign language. Students went to different countries, based on a world map superimposed on top of an aerial photograph of the school. They had top secret guerilla geography supplies. They made signs to stick around over signs in English language to represent all the 37 languages spoken in the school.

2. Thunk: how do you know an island exists if you’ve never been there? Cross-referencing sources to prove it – does a webcam picture from Reykjavik match a weather report? Goad them to really prove it.

3. Geocaching. Priory students put these on Box Hill for people to find when there for the Olympics. BBC School Report involvement with this. Students researched the area and then put together boxes full of items that represented the Box Hill area.

4. Writing an answer based on a case study: Three developed points – nine pieces of paper. Link one side of the board to the other, eg a herd of goats to a higher GDP. The groups had 7 stickers and had to allocate them to the answers they thought were best – “dotocracy”

5. RSA style videos: David films his own first and students critique it. Similar to Commoncraft: planning is really important. Plan, script, film, narrate, review, share. His activity took 6 GCSE lessons to cover something dull.

David does not believe Ofsted kills serendipity. It’s just an excuse. Just carry on as normal, but make sure your ideas fit the context of your school. What do you want pupils to come out with? Take pedagogic risks. Use what you’ve got but better: cutting up textbooks to make them better resources. The Priory Bench: stir up naughtiness. Subvert the norm.

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