Why Broadway Academy was shortlisted for the BMC Award

Since taking over as Head of Department in September 2019, Jack Cockayne redesigned the curriculum to ensure that it gave students the best start in life as a geographer. His departmental vision was to inspire students, colleagues and the community to develop geographical thinking and work towards global change on 21st century geographical issues.

The subject of geography has been entirely re-invented at the school to incorporate the Broadway Geographical Society (BGS), which was set up to engage and benefit learners inside and outside the classroom. Lessons are more challenging, ensuring every child is given access to the full breadth of the curriculum, and assessments are now seen as a ‘celebration of success’.

More 21st century topics are introduced in KS3, such as species identification, colonialism, and geopolitics. Fieldwork and careers education are also embedded into the curriculum and extra-curricular mastery lessons are taught to stretch and inspire the most able students.

For this curriculum update to be successful, a more personalised professional development plan has been created for the academy’s geography teachers, ensuring they are true subject experts and remain up-to-date with the latest geography research and pedagogy.

As a result of these changes, students have flourished, with recorded improvements in engagement, behaviour and results. Students are excited about geography and show their enthusiasm through a love of learning.

Since this departmental transformation, extra-curricular opportunities have included a strategic boardgame club, Duke of Edinburgh programme, a sustainability fieldtrip to Cambridge Central Mosque, an emergency planning workshop at the University of Wolverhampton, and a range of fieldwork excursions to the schools very own Outdoor Education Centre at Top Barn in Worcestershire. Students have engaged with outside agencies such as Action for Conservation, where one student stands as an ambassador; Birmingham Wildlife Trust, where two students competed in the final of their environmentalist of the year competition; and Water aid, where one student has just finished an internship.