We’ve been beavering away in the background and have started to put the programme together for our Camp focused on the Curriculum. The exact programme will respond to the needs of attendees. This isn’t a conference, but there will be a wealth of ideas and experience as well as Guerrilla Geography ideas. We will be located in the Surrey Hills, so will have Box Hill on the doorstep.
Sessions confirmed are:
- Curriculum Creation sessions – focused on the new National Curriculum;
- On and off-site fieldwork, including a geocaching practical;
- Informal ‘TeachMeet’ style evening sessions;
- How to assess geographical progress without levels.
This is a grass-roots, non-profit making venture and all fees cover accommodation, board and activities. This isn’t a traditional conference, and you won’t be spoken to much. There will be loads of collaboration and personalisation. The weekend is being put together by:
- David Rogers, Assistant Headteacher and recipient of the RGS Ordnance Survey Award for Excellence in Geography Teaching;
- Daniel Raven-Ellison, National Geographic Emerging Explorer;
- Jo Debens, Head of Priory Geography, a GA Centre of Excellence;
- Sam Atkins, member of the Priory Geography Team.
There are a handful of early bird tickets left before we go into the full price tickets. Even at £175, this weekend is great value when compared to many commercial courses. Get your tickets here.
I have been friends with Huw James from Anturus for a while now. Huw is a massive supporter of Mission:Explore and we are a massive supporter of his incredible and inspiration approach to science (and that includes geography) education. Here Huw shares with us a guest blog post about the awesome work he is doing with his team to bring the adventure into geography education.
“It’s #GeoWeek! And to celebrate, Anturus Education announced their major educational expeditions for the 2014 calendar at the Royal Geographical Society’s Explore Conference.
We at Anturus are passionate about the physical sciences, geography being one of the big ones. This year we embarked on our first education expedition taking a team of scientists down to the most active volcano in Europe, Mt Etna! The aim is to inspire the current and next generation of students and the wider public by introducing them to the physical sciences through adventure and exploration. Our objective on Etna, to create over 30 hours of resources and media materials from a remote and scientifically interesting location, and feed all the information back to schools and homes across the UK and world. We did this with over 60 videos related to the resources and live Skype in the Classroom sessions with schools in the UK, USA and Canada!
After the success of #ExpeditionEtna, we announced #ExpeditionSevern and #ExpeditionArctic for 2014. #ExpeditionSevern will be a 220 mile SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) of the river Severn with the Anturus team looking at the Ecology, Engineering, Physics and Geography around the UK’s longest river. The teams descent of the river will coincide with a Severn Bore, giving the team a unique chance to showcase the amazing properties of this river. Later in 2014, #ExpeditionArctic will commence with the team heading to 70 degrees north to deliver all the base resources and media that has been built up for schools over the year. We will also choose 6-8 students to join us on this expedition. They will take part in many personal development opportunities and help with the expedition itself by specialising in specific areas such as data collecting, video production, social marketing and more!
The purpose of Anturus (welsh for ‘Adventurous’) Education is to develop peoples curiosity in the outdoors and the physical sciences, to bring a sense of adventure to geography and to inspire a generation to look at science in a new light. Unlike other expeditions the sole focus of ours is for education and to make our deliverables simple and useful for teachers and fun enough you can even do them at home! All the resources we’ve created so far are downloadable from www.anturus.org/etna and you can subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with our trips, large and small, by entering your email address on the home page. For more info head to www.anturus.org where you can find links to all our social media and get in touch.”
We are just over 2 months away from The Geography Collective Camp. This is an innovative and engaging event that brings together creative thinkers and geography education activists. It is not a conference but a gathering of professionals who want to share, explore and collaborate together. As well as developing ideas for the new curriculum we will be:
•Using Skills Webs to develop geographical skills.
•Developing young people as curriculum hackers.
•Using KS3 to boost GCSE numbers and results.
•On-site and Off-site fieldwork.
•Creative teaching techniques and projects.
•World flag baking competition.
Book now at EventBrite page.
If you have any questions tweet @GeoCollective or @DavidERogers.
Like many other people I am outraged by this Toys”R”Us advert. I have no problem with children being excited at the prospect of having a new toy, but I am disturbed that a company as large as Toys”R”Us would feel the need to smear nature in order to sell product.
There is an increasing wealth of evidence to show that spending time exploring, playing and learning outdoors is good for our mental and physical health as well as our overall wellbeing. This is true for adults and is especially true for the youngest members of our society who are just starting to discover and make sense of the world.
In the new film Project Wild Thing David Bond becomes the Marketing Director for Nature. He makes the point that nature and enjoying nature is a hard idea to sell, especially when the competition is powerful and sophisticated companies who are selling eye-catching products.
While in the film David looks at nature’s “competition” I don’t remember him actually showing a company that was intentionally negative and smearing of Nature like Toys”R”Us does in this advert.
The relationship between Toys”R”Us and Nature in this advert actually reminds of the old tactic of a bully putting someone down just to make themselves look bigger. An approach which can often be transparent and leave the bully looking worse off.
There are a very large number of us around the world who are working very hard to increase the number of children who have the opportunity to explore, play and learn outdoors. Together, we need to not only let Toys”R”Us know that they were wrong in making this advert, but ask them to make a new one that celebrates time playing and learning in woodlands to make up for it.
To help us spread this message I have created a modest Thunderclap that you can join that will help us make a noise that Toys”R”Us. All you need to do is click on this link and donate a tweet. If 100 or more people donate a tweet then at 8pm EST on November 19 all of our messages will go out at once, filling the twitter # timeline that Toys”R”Us is promoting and monitoring - #NoWishTooBig. This wish is not too big… so please take a moment to support this collective action to defend exploring, playing and learning in woods. Thank you.
We have been beavering away in the background and are now pleased to announce that tickets for The Geography Collective Camp are now live. As well has having some general Guerrilla Geography action, the camp is aimed at teachers in schools and marks the beginning of an education focus for the Collective.
There are a number of Early Bird tickets available. We are confident that this event represents great value, especially when compared to the price of some day courses. To make this possible, speakers are not taking any fee. The cost includes board and accommodation and all activities. There is a cash bar available.
The exact programme will be created around those who attend. This isn’t a conference, but a chance to learn from others, explore, collaborate and have fun. Topics will include:
Alan from the Geography Collective was up in Perth at the weekend for the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers’ annual conference.
In addition to leading two seminars where he told people about the John Muir Trust Mission:Explore book that we’ve been working on, he also saw the Mission:Explore Iceland pack which we worked on pick up an SAGT ‘Commended’ Award. Discover the World were one of the exhibitors at the conference.
Nice work by John Sayers, Alan, Helen Steer and Tom Morgan Jones…
The pack is available for all those booking an Iceland trip through Discover the World.
The John Muir Trust book is available to download now in a Gaelic version, as well as a Welsh version.
This fact was much appreciated by some of the delegates who taught in schools where Gaelic is spoken.
Over at the Geography Collective HQ, we’ve been making some changes and plotting some quality events. We are really pleased and excited to announce some of our plans for our residential camp in early 2014. This will focus on helping geography departments make sense of and subvert the current changes to the National Curriculum and examination system.
As well as the central theme, there will also be lots of informal activities, laughter, great food and fun. You’ll leave ready to deliver quality geography. We are shaping up the programme at the moment, but it will include stuff like:
- Fitting existing Schemes of Work and resources to the new National Curriculum;
- Using young people to hack your existing curriculum;
- What to do about assessment;
- Using Key Stage 3 to improve GCSE performance.
The final programme will be very much shaped by those who attend.
The style will be (un)conferency, with plenty of opportunity for informal chatting and sharing. As a school leader who held the CPD budget, we’re making it great value and will ensure you’ll leave with lots of ideas, contacts and resources.
We’re delighted to announce that we’ll be using the Field Studies Council centre at Juniper Hall. It’ll be full board and accommodation included in the price. The dates are Friday 25th to Sunday 26th of January 2014.
There will be a limited number of tickets, so if you’d like to be amongst the first to know more details, just fill out your details below. Any questions, suggestions or contributions then please feel free to email or tweet me.