We are very pleased to confirm the date and venue for our next Geoforum event and invite you to join us for an interesting programme, with a range of speakers and opportunities for discussion. Geoforum will be on Thursday 12th December 2019 at the Bayes Centre, University of Edinburgh 10.30am – 4pm. Please do save […]
On October 26th , the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers (SAGT) held its annual event at the fantastic location of Dollar Academy. This years theme was ‘making connections’ which resonated across the various keynotes and seminar events throughout the day.
Attended by over 100 delegates with around a dozen publishers in attendance, the event was both a useful networking, professional development and clarion call for improving the visibility and relevance of geography as an academic discipline in schools. The very real relevance of the subject was admirably highlighted by the two keynote addresses.
First up was Professor Lorna Dawson CBE , Head of Forensic Soil Science at the James Hutton Institute. A geography graduate, she went on to illustrate how place and location permeate all aspects of her post university professional career and provided a clear and inspirational exemplar of how geography matters in the real world. As a forensics soil scientist she illustrated how her work, founded in geography, is used to help prosecute criminal cases and how she assists fiction authors to improve the science behind their writings – from Val McDermid to Ian Rankin and Ann Cleeves. More soberly, she described a range of criminal prosecution cases in which soil science has been used to implicate or confirm the whereabouts of suspects. As an example of a career path to which geography can lead this was an immediately engaging and exciting one to entice the younger geographers of tomorrow and several delegates requested access to some of Lornas presentation in order to help engage students in the classroom!
In a similar but very different vein, the second keynote speaker, Doug Allan FRGS, Wildlife and Documentary Cameraman whose work includes the award winning polar bear and penguin scenes seen in the David Attenborough documentaries, was also fantastically engaging. Using both stunning visuals from his work (including video footage of a near miss with a a collapsing glacier), and a humorous series of anecdotes of life in the wilderness (anyone keen to ‘mintify’ their peas for dinner might not immediately think of adding toothpaste!), the talk was an impassioned plea to act now to stop climate change and preserve our planet for all its denizens. Geographers are ideally placed to lead the charge and in many ways today’s geography teachers can ride the crest of societal focus on the environment to better engage and enthuse tomorrows geography citizens.
A range of separate seminars in morning and afternoon sessions covered a variety of topics from school resources for learning and teaching to more introspective assessment of the current state of and the future of Scottish school geography and the Scottish curricula.
Finishing off the day was the annual SAGT AGM and a final round of thanks to all participants and delegates for making the day interactive, fun and informative.
Digimap for Schools uses the Ordnance Survey National Grid as part of our service. The National Grid is a unique reference system made up of 100 kilometre grid squares identified by two letters which spans the whole of Great Britain.
The National Curriculum now specifics that 4 and 6 figure grid references are now to be undertaken in KS1 and KS2.
The Ordnance Survey have a fantastic webpage that gives very clear and simple instructions to help with conveying these concepts. The website is available here:
It also has some magnificient YouTube videos which are very short on 4 and 6 figure grid reference.
Always remember this simple tip when learning or teaching Grid References! :
“Along the corridor, THEN up the stairs!”
Just a quick reminder that outdoor classroom day is on 7th of November!
Digimap for Schools has lots of free resources to help with outdoor learning as well. That can be accessed from our free learning resources centre here: https://dfsresources.edina.ac.uk/resources/subject/outdoor-learning-97.
To find out more information click the image or link below:
Just came across this randomly… This would be a fantastic way of kids learning map skills!
I notice theres a few maps included in the board game, but I’m pretty sure you could print out some Digimap for Schools A4 maps and ‘freshen up’ the game with some more local activities if needed
After all it is only 79 days to Christmas… perhaps a good educational gift idea
This is a great article which puts some context into why Geographical Information Systems and maps in general have such important real world applications.
I didn’t realise the Ordnance Survey had a Mapping for Emergencies (MfE) service to help out when these emergencies like the Toddbrook reservoir nearly failed!
Tehre are lots of walks and guides available on the OS website here: https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/
We just want to remind all our users (and any schools potentially thinking of subscribing) that we have ALL the Ordnance Survey maps for the UK… no matter the scale or the area, we have the map . ohh and you can print them in a nice A4 size as well…
HI folks, I just wanted to share a link to some of the Geographical Association courses they are running over the next few months especially those that are related to the NEA.
We’ve been hearing whispers of discontent from teachers over the perceived difficultly in obtaining the higher marks in the NEA. Many teachers are still unclear as to how the NEA is assessed by the exam boards with many teachers claiming that after external assessment their marks are being reduced and in some cases significantly.
We’d like to give ourselves a little pat on the back here as Digimap for Schools is fantastic for the data analysis and data presentation elements of the NEA. Pupils can customise their maps with photo’s, graphs, text and secondary data to ensure they fulfil these elements of the NEA. Even better is that its really user friendly and quick for students to do so!
Here’s a few examples of presenting data for NEA.
Its been a busy week already! Schools have started back and we are already seeing a big rise in the number of Primary Schools subscribing to Digimap for Schools!
We suspect this has a LOT to do with the new OFSTED framework that began on 1st September. (Apologies now as we aren’t teachers or OFSTED inspectors so our knowledge and understanding is limited!) .
We seem to be gathering from our users that this new framework focuses on a broader Primary curriculum delivery and has less focus on numeracy and literacy. I know this is bad news for many schools as these changes will have ripple effects around schools e.g. teachers now expected to deliver or develop a History or Geography curriculum from scratch.
We’ve received some feedback on the ways Digimap for Schools is helping schools with this transition but would love some concrete examples or lovely quotes to help us spread the word of Digimap!
Please do keep spreading the word to your fellow Primary teaching colleagues!
For those people in FE colleges using our Digimap for Colleges service, the following will be important. Digimap for Colleges is available to Further Education Colleges only. From 31st December 2019 Digimap for Colleges will be no longer be available. Access to the same maps (and substantially more) continues to be provided through our comprehensive […]