Geography - Thomas Tallis School - Winner of the BMC Award
The departmental vision was to provide students with global perspective rather than teaching through ‘classic’ themes such as rivers andcoasts. Changing the KS3 curriculum to “Continents and regions of the world” provided both staff and students at Thomas Tallis School the opportunity to teach and learn through enquiry with more extended writing and recall. Moving from half-termly topics to termly topics to embed overarching themes through continents that can then be re-visited through another continent in a different year group.
An activity that has been embedded beyond the curriculum is “Earth Day”. Earth Day features a variety of guest speakers and workshops to show students the career paths they could potentially take within geography. As a result, Thomas Tallis School, have seen their highest cohort of A level students that the school has had both in terms of external and internal candidates (48 students).
Furthermore, all Geography staff were part of the redesign of the KS3 curriculum, staff have attended CPD’s with each other (whomever was lead on a specific continent) and books have been passed around the department to aid the development of current enquiry questions for each location. Geography staff all contributed to sending articles, podcasts, lectures, events to the newsletter for students. Geographers attended lectures to keep up-to-date in order to run micro-lectures at lunch time in the EL Threshold Concept group.
The Geography department have also made links within and beyond the school including a PTI primary day. The PTI primary day has made the transition between KS2 and KS3 geography liaising with primary colleagues in the PTI to look at how to better prepare students for secondary school Geography.