On the mark: national award for Geography at QE

QE has had a prestigious national award for excellence in Geography renewed for a further three years.

The Secondary Geography Quality Mark (SGQM) is awarded by the Geographical Association to a small number of schools across the country.

The award process encourages and supports schools to reflect on their work and strive for the highest quality in their teaching. All award-winners undergo a rigorous moderation process, which includes examining how they are embracing new and innovative approaches to teaching Geography.

Congratulating the 46 award-winners, Alan Kinder, Chief Executive of the association, said: “There has never been a more important time for all children and young people to study Geography. Growing up in the 21st century means living in an increasingly interconnected world, one facing a growing number of global challenges such as climate change and the need to live our lives sustainably. Geography not only fascinates and inspires young people, it provides them with the knowledge and understanding they need to live in the modern world.”

""Headmaster Neil Enright, who is himself a Geographer, said: “I congratulate my colleagues in the Geography department for their sustained commitment to excellence in ensuring the highest standards of teaching and learning.”

The SGQM, now into its ninth year, recognises student attainment, progress and achievement in areas such as geographical knowledge, understanding, values, skills and concepts. It sets expectations about the quality of teaching in Geography. It aims to promote effective subject leadership and management, helping subject leaders raise the standards of Geography in their schools.

In his detailed feedback to QE’s Geography department, moderator Alan Parkinson wrote: “Many thanks for your well organised and detailed submission, which we enjoyed reading. It brought us up to date with the work you have been doing since the previous submission, and we were pleased to hear that the excellent exam results we commented on last time are continuing, and that Geography remains a popular option subject with a strong uptake. You are clearly providing a wide range of opportunities for students to experience Geography beyond the classroom, and a number of exciting fieldwork experiences, which you plan to develop further.”

""He highlighted QE’s increasing connections with Ampomfi Junior High School in Ghana and its work on teachers’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

QE was previously given the SGQM award at a ceremony in 2012. It will now be among award recipients who will be acknowledged at the Geographical Association’s 2016 annual conference at the University of Derby in April 2016.