Aim: To collaborate and support local Geography departments through secondary partnerships.
Background: The department led the Geography Network (2008-2013) which was lost through funding cuts and different schools’ journeys. There was a desire to re-establish this with the formation of the Teaching School Alliance.
Members of the department developed Geography CPD programmes for the PTI, including attending conferences and a residential to deliver workshops. The school participated in the national GA/British Council ‘Critical Thinking in Geography Project’ acting as a local hub for all secondary schools to attend. All six departmental members attended the CPD and secured Part 1 and Part 2 of the qualification.
The Brighton and Hove Geography Partnership was established through the local Teaching School Alliance. Departmental members co-chaired and shared best practice related to new GCSEs and A level assessment, feedback, making every lesson count and fieldwork. Plans were put in place to offer support for NQTs by liaising with the University of Brighton ITE programme.
The idea of greater collaboration would allow best practice to be shared and all students in Brighton and Hove schools to get a better ‘geography experience’ especially where there were new subject leaders, newly qualified teachers or non-specialists.
Some outcomes were achieved successfully, but any networking and collaboration requires excellent communication and relentless interventions. However, there was excellent engagement and participation from several schools and a real collaborative atmosphere.
Due to COVID-19, resources have been partially/fully completed but application and practical fieldwork have not taken place. The hub remains virtual encouraging staff to attend CPD. The greatest success was the establishment of the network which will continue next year in the “new normal”.
The main challenges were:
- Promoting and advertising the networking opportunity to ensure buy-in
- Ensuring a fully inclusive network with all schools and teachers valued
- Ensuring that high quality Geography was always at its heart
All schools and departments remain engaged, despite individual school situations. These were overcome by hard work, perseverance and ensuring every department took and active part each time (Teach Meet) approach.
Contact: Graham Goldup firstname.lastname@example.org