Friday, 6 November 2009

Staff perceptions of Derby

Looking at my Year 10 group's perceptions of Derby, I wondered whether their responses said more about them than about Derby, and thought it would be interesting to compare with the views of people who were still relatively local, but a bit older, so I emailed staff and asked them to send me the first three words they think of when they think of Derby. Here are the results:

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Perceptions of Derby

Year 10 started this morning's lesson writing down the first words that come into their heads when they think of Derby. This word cloud shows the results - the bigger a word in the word cloud, the more times it appeared in the students' lists.
I also enlisted the help of my Twitter network yesterday... these are the words that they came up with:
Clicking on the images will take you to the original Wordles in the Wordle gallery, where they will be easier to read.

Staff version coming soon!

What would your three words be?

Yr10 - Derby...

Some interesting ideas from my Yr10 group today when we started talking about Derby. I will post the Wordle of your Derby words soon, and I'm in the process of gathering some words from staff too, to see whether their perceptions are similar to yours.

In the meantime, remember that your mind map needs to be completed for next Tuesday, and I'd also like you to have a think about some enquiry questions that link into the big question of "How and why is land use in Derby changing?". The videos and weblinks that we looked at today, together with a selection of other news stories are listed here. If you find any other particularly good sites, let me know so that I can add them to the list.

I've also just been sent a link to this very good video which looks at Derby and globalisation:

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Year 10 HW - BedZED/Facebook

One or two people commented today that they had had problems downloading the ppt with the Facebook profile template.

If you are one of those people, try this:

Well done to those of you who have completed this work already - although there's a bit of tree-hugger stereotyping, and the wind turbine obsession seems to be continuing, some of them were excellent. When I've put a ppt together with all of your work, I will post it here so you can all have a look.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Year 11... Coursework

I have mentioned before about Noel Jenkins' "Google Up Your Coursework" resource, and some of you will have used it already, but now that you are in the computer room, I suggest that you make the most of your time and get using at least one or two of Noel's ideas. Remember, ICT use and a range of maps, graphs, etc. will all help to improve your skills marks - so these ideas will tick lots of boxes marks-wise, as well - obviously - as making your work look much more professional.

Juicy Geography: Google Up Your Coursework

Wednesday, 23 September 2009


Thank you to those of you who had drafts of your Aims and Location sections ready for today. I will have a look at them and get them back to you for Monday. Those of you who didn't have them with you today need to get them to me as soon as possible... It is for your benefit, not mine!!

Drafts of your Method need to be completed ready for Monday - make sure that you have your folders with you please!

Yr10 VEl Homework

A reminder that your homework for this week is to watch one of the Urban Earth videos from an LEDC city (and perhaps re-watch the London one), and to write a comparison between the city you choose and London, as seen in the videos.... What are the similarities? What are the differences? Make a note of anything particularly interesting you notice too. That's to be done in your books for Tuesday p1.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Urban Earth

Having spent time last week looking at functions of settlements and the settlement hierarchy, my Yr10 group started this morning's lesson with Dan Raven-Ellison's Urban Earth: London video...

This is Dan's explanation of the Urban Earth project, taken from the website:

"URBAN EARTH is is a project to (re)present our urban habitat through a series of walks. At its heart URBAN EARTH is a story of adventure. Not the kind of adventure that is untouchable, but one that we can step into as soon as we step out of our front doors. URBAN EARTH is about exploring the spaces in which we live.

Starting and ending in fields, the rules of the URBAN EARTH are to start and end in green countryside. The route is not decided by places of fickle and biased interest, but up hidden ridges of inequality and through the most densley populated and urban of city space(s). "

If you want to watch the London video again, or have a look at some of the other videos, they are available at, and you can find many of the photos from the walks on Urban Earth's Flickr page.

Will you be the first person to leave a comment telling me where in the world this picture was taken?!

Photo credit: Urban Earth, via Flickr

Thursday, 17 September 2009

The winning facts...

Well done Year 10, for coming up with some excellent facts....

The ones I particularly liked were Jake's, about the Mississippi flowing backwards, and Grace's, about the longest place name in the world...

According to Grace's source,
maungahoronuku pokaiwhenuaakitanarahu
, a hill in New Zealand, is the place with the longest name, and at 85 letters it is certainly a pretty good contender. I've just found another website, however, which reckons that Krungthepmahanakornamornratanakosinmahintarayutthayama-
amornphimarnavatarnsathitsakkattiyavisanukamprasit in Thailand is actually the winner....

Either way, they both put Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch to shame!!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Year 10 Homework

The first part of your homework is to cover your book with a geographical theme.

The second part of your homework is to leave a comment on the blog, with an interesting geographical fact. Do your best to tell me something I don't know already... There might be a prize for the most interesting fact!

To leave a comment, you need to click on the "Comments" button at the bottom of this post. Type your comment, and then enter the "captcha". You should not need to have a Google account to leave a comment (although it is useful to have one anyway). Your comment will not appear straightaway, as they come to me to be moderated first, but I will make sure I check regularly and publish them as soon as I can. Please make sure that you are writing in "proper" English (ie nt txt spk), and also, put your FIRST NAME (not your surname, although if there are two people in your group with the same name, the initial of your surname as well would be helpful), and if you are in my group VEl and for Miss Bradford's group LBa in your comment.

Year 11 - Burbage

A few reminders about Monday:

- You need to be ready to leave the layby at 9.00am.
- We should be back at school by 4.30pm.

- You will need: pencils, a packed lunch, water, waterproofs, suncream...
- A camera will be useful.

- You need to be prepared for all weathers, and be aware that the weather in Swanwick could be very different to the weather in the Burbage Valley! You will need walking boots or similar as we will be walking a reasonable distance .

Make sure you know who is in your group, and that you are clear about what you are measuring.

If you haven't brought your money and permission slip back yet (you know who you are!) I need it as a matter of urgency.

If you want to find out more about Burbage before we go, have a look at this post from last year, which has a map showing you where we're going and also has a couple of useful websites.

If you have questions about Monday, come and see me tomorrow or Friday, or email.

Welcome/welcome back!

Welcome back to my new Year 11 group, and welcome to the two new Year 10 groups.

It would be a very good idea to make sure that you visit the blog regularly, as summaries of lessons, useful websites, news stories and some of your homework tasks will be posted here.

Your first interesting website is one that I have only just discovered... Earth Snapshot describes itself as "A daily view of the planet" and has some great satellite images... I particularly like this one of Hurricane Fred from yesterday:

Monday, 1 June 2009

Good luck!!!

Not long to go now.... Hopefully you are all thoroughly ready and prepared for tomorrow afternoon... Email is available for last minute panics if you need it.

A couple of people have asked today about revision between English and Geography tomorrow - I am not going to plan anything formal, but if you want to come up to H6 p3 tomorrow, then I will be around to answer questions (and there might be a biscuit or two).

Either way.... remember to read the questions carefully - think about which ones you are going to answer rather than jumping straight in... and GOOD LUCK!!!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

What are you revising?

Not a clue if this is of any use or interest, but I just discovered Wallwisher, thought it was rather good, and thought that you should try using it...

So... click here, and post a note or two to tell us what you are revising...

Saturday, 18 April 2009

BBC Bitesize

Advance warning that the Bitesize Geography programmes are coming up soon on BBC2...

Human Geography - 28th April, 0400 - 0600

Physical Geography - 29th April, 0400 - 0600

Global Issues - 30th April, 0400 - 0600

Set those videos/DVDs/Sky+, etc.!

More Mobile Phone Revision...

There's now a mobile phone revision quiz for Settlement in the 4shared folder, thanks to Tanith!! It would be great if a few more of you did some and sent them in...

Weather and climate
Natural hazards
Economic activity

woul all be useful...

There is a template in the folder, so all you have to do is download, change the questions, save, resize, zip and send!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Geography revision on your mobile phone!

I posted on Geogtastic yesterday about an experiment with mobile phone revision... Several Geography teacher friends and at least one student have tested it, on a range of phones and with a range of download methods, and it seems to have been pretty successful...

One Geography teacher friend, Liz Smith, has put together a Rivers one in a similar format...

You can now download both quizzes from the Mobile Phone Revision folder here. As I put together new ones, I will add them to that folder, so keep checking back. I will also put together a template and add that to the folder, so that you can make your own.

If you want to have a go at making your own and can't wait for a template, here's a quick summary of what you need to do:

- Open PowerPoint
- Set slide orientation to "portrait"
- Type your quiz (ours are both multiple choice, but yours don't have to be!)
- Make sure that any pictures you use are your own, or are Creative Commons (Flickr is a good source) and the source/photographer is acknowledged
- Don't type too close to the edges of the slide, and check that the font is big enough (if you zoom out to 25% and can still read it, it's probably ok)
- Once you're happy, save your presentation - it would be wise to save it as a ppt presentation so you have it for future use, but for your mobile quiz, you will need to Save As, and then alter the filetype to .jpeg. It will ask if you want to do this for every slide - you do.
- The slides will be saved as a series of .jpeg files on your computer.
- You will then need to resize the pictures - I used Microsoft Office Picture Manager but there are various ways you could do it. They will need to be 320 x 240.
- Then, download the photos to your phone, et voila!!

Oh, and don't forget to save the pictures in a zip file and email them to me so I can add them to the folder and everyone can benefit!

First Xtranormal Case Study!

Well done and thank you to Tanith who has set the bar high with this fab Xtranormal movie about the Boscastle Flood... Can you do even better?? Click here and get creating!

Saturday, 4 April 2009


My first attempt, and a bit rubbish... But dead easy to do... Make some case study ones, send me the URL, and we'll put them on the blog so everyone can benefit!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

The EU

Those of you who were here yesterday spent p2 doing some proper geography - producing a nicely coloured map to show the EU member states and the years that they joined the EU.

We talked about what the EU is, why it was set up, and some of the benefits and disadvantages of being a member.

Lots of info in the Europa Diaries... And more on the EU website here. The EU at a Glance section is particularly useful.

And the "Tour the EU in a minute" video that wasn't cooperating yesterday is available on YouTube (think it needs some music...) and there are various other movies on there that might help with your leaflets. (NB this video was made before 2007, so no mention of Bulgaria and Romania which took the total to 27 member states.)

Economic Activity

A variety of interesting musical snippets started the lesson on Monday, and we talked about the classification of economic activity into primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary.

The graph below shows the results of the quick survey we did of your parents' occupations:
How - and why - would this have looked different if we had done the same activity 50 years ago? 150 years ago?

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Why is there still a development gap?

Some general development-related links that will help with your mini-lessons:

Developments Magazine
World Development Movement
UK Department for International Development

(This is only meant to be a starting point - it's by no means a definitive list! If you find any more that will be useful, leave a comment to share them with everyone else, or email me the URL and I will add to the post.)


Apologies for the lack of updates since the DME.

We spent a lesson considering why some parts of the world are more developed than others, and talked about the "rich north and poor south" and the Brandt Line. We also thought about different indicators of development, and whether some of these are more useful than others.

We had a lesson in the computer room to explore the fantastic Gapminder and some of you identified some really interesting patterns and relationships:

Sunday, 25 January 2009


It is pleasing to see that there's been a lot of visits this weekend (at least a few of them from Alfreton!)...


- stakeholders
- sustainability (social, economic and environmental)
- read the questions carefully
- justify your answers


Sunday, 18 January 2009

Liverpool - DME

Some links related to Liverpool that you may wish to have a look at:

Liverpool Vision
Liverpool Culture
Visit Liverpool
Liverpool Pictorial

Make yourself some revision cards...

Just put this together in less than 5 minutes using the Trading Card Maker from Big Huge Labs and one of my Flickr photos... Your finished trading card is a jpeg file, so you can print them out easily as small cards or full pages - make yourself a set of case study revision cards!

Better still, make yourself a set and upload them to Flickr so that other people can use them too!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

DME - Brindley Place and Broadmead


Brindley Place website
Brindley Place images
Birmingham UK
BBC 360 tour of Brindley Place
History of Brindley Place

The Bullring website (look esp at the Education section)
Beetham Tower
Matthew Boulton College


Cabot Circus website (look esp at the About Us section)
Broadmead Bid
Destination Broadmead

Using the websites above, Google Earth, and any other relevant websites that you find:

- add any additional points to your table showing the key features of the Birmingham and Bristol regeneration/redevelopment schemes.

- for each scheme, list the advantages and disadvantages... try to consider as many different stakeholders/interest groups (ie people who would have an opinion about the schemes) as you can... remember, that a factor that is an advantage for one stakeholder might well be a disadvantage for another.

- compare and contrast the two schemes.

- suggest which of the two schemes you think is the most sustainable (remember, economic sustainability, environmental sustainability and social sustainability), and justify your answer.

Save your work, email a copy to me, and print a copy to put into your DME folder.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

DME Preparation...

Congratulations again on a fantastic set of mock DME results - let's make sure we do as well (if not better!) in the real thing on 26th January...

We started our DME preparation on Monday with a general look at the resource booklet and some of the issues involved - "City Centres: Vibrant Hub or Dead Heart?".

Yesterday's lessons focused on Resources 1-4, looking at city centres as "vibrant hubs" - particularly pre-1970, with a variety of land uses such as retailing, leisure and entertainment, services such as hospitals and schools, business and enterprise and some housing - and then at some of the problems that have developed in city centres - the downward spiral of congestion, pollution, crime and neglect that have led to some city centres being described as "dead hearts". Some interesting ideas about whether Derby's city centre is a "vibrant hub" or a "dead heart" - some of you thought that the development of the Westfield Centre had had a positive impact, others disagreed...

Resource 3 started with an advert for Windmill Hill Business Park on the outskirts of Swindon. Why have developments like this one occurred? Why might a company choose to locate here instead of the city centre?

We then looked at the locations of the out-of-town shopping centres listed in Resource 3. Capital Shopping Centres own 14 shopping centres, including Braehead, Lakeside, Cribbs Causeway and the Metro Centre which were all mentioned in Resource 3, as well as the Victoria Centre in Nottingham. Their website and those of the shopping centres make for interesting reading, particularly the corporate responsbility and environment sections.

Resource 4 considered the reasons for the success of out-of-town shopping centres - increase in car ownership, "weather-free", everything under one roof... It also considered some of the reasons why some people are opposed to out-of-town shopping centres.