Sunday, 27 November 2016

SPA Geog feature in 'The Living Thames' documentary with famous geographical presenters

SPA Geog feature in 'The Living Thames' Documentary with famous geographical celebrities

#Where will Geography take you?

There have been historical achievements within the Geography department in the last two year; our first fieldwork nationally to Swanage, the students winning a UK competition to Wales with Wide Horizons and achieving our best ever GCSEs results with 71% A*-C. This has been continued with the release of the promo of the documentary called ‘The Living Thames’. It includes a small snapshot of St Paul’s Academy but in the full release it contains interviews with current and former students (class of 2013/14) on the power of volunteering within Geography.

TV presenter Chris Baines interviews Habeeb Lawal (class of 2015), current student Lateef Lawal, Qozeem Lawal (class of 2013) and Shannon O’Brien and Charlotte Cunningham (class of 2014)

The film crew took footage of the students completing this activity and interviewed Michael Heath (leader of Thames21) about the relationship with St Paul’s Academy. Mr Davis was also interviewed about the importance of volunteering as a medium to show ‘Geography in action’. After a brief introduction from the film crew, 5 former students were interviewed about the importance of volunteering (as seen above). All of these students hold the accolade of over 40+ hours volunteering in an array of different environments. The Lawal family have completed a total of over 200 hours as brothers in Geography. All students were a credit again for the Geography team and were excellent ambassadors for St. Paul’s Academy.

TV presenter Chris Baines interviews Mr Davis.

Chris Baines who presents the living documentary is known most for the creation of Countryfile, which he presented between 1989-1992. He is also the UK's leading independent environmentalists. He is a horticulturalist, landscape architect, naturalist, television presenter and author.

It this famous presenter was not enough, please have a look at the link below as it includes another famous face, which underpins another significant milestone in the SPA Geog department:

The students will be invited to a red carpet event for the release of the documentary next year, with the potential to meet these famous Geography role models. An achievement for most of us –including the Geography teachers – beyond our wildest dreams.

Please see the Geography Blog and St Paul’s Academy website for more details.

#Where is your next Geography classroom?

GEOGRAPHY AMBASSADOR Interviews for Year 10 and 11

Want to receive rewards for promoting Geography?
Want to boost your CV with being a role model and
‘young ambassador’ for Peabody?

Criteria to attend interview:
Immaculate behaviour record;
Maintain a C2 or above grade in all tests;
Be able to devote time to volunteering and weekend trips;
Raise money for the Geography department through charity fundraising;
Complete a ‘young ambassadors’ accreditation from Peabody.

Produce a 3 minute (no longer) pitch on the following two questions:
1.What makes you a positive role model in the subject you love?
2.How can you promote the subject to younger year groups?

INTERVIEWS TO BE BOOKED WITH MR DAVIS- starting at 3.30pm Thursday 1st December 2016 in the large meeting room in the management corridor.

Subscribe to our:

2.YouTube channel- search SPA Geog
3.Twitter- @SPA_Geog

SPA Geog #Where's your next Geography classroom?

SPA Geog FIRST OCR B Enquiring Minds River Fieldwork Trip with Year 10s

SPA Geog Year 10 Fieldwork at River Cray

There are many challenges that are facing our young people; the changing goal posts in education, the prospect of more content to topics in Geography and the erosion of 25% coursework. Nonetheless, this has not deterred Year 10 who embarked on their first fieldwork studies which will be tested in their terminal exams for the first time next year with the new specification OCR B Enquiring Minds. In their visit to Foots Cray Meadows on the 7th November with Thames21 I cannot remember many that were with such adverse temperature. This did not deter them. This trip enhanced their learning within the classroom on hydrology. The point of this excursion was to introduce students into data collection against a hypothesis and for many of the class was a first experience at measuring field data. 

Lilly shows off the Geography Hoodie whilst measuring river depth.

Year 10 measuring the channel depth and width of the river to work out the cross-sectional area.

The students completed various qualitative and quantitative data methods, such as field sketches and calculating the depth and width of the river channel. Students received a health and safety chat with Thames21 then spent the remainder of the day within the River Cray in waders collecting data.

Year 10 measuring the channel width of the river and velocity of the river.

This was an extremely productive day and Year 10 were able to apply theory to an outdoor classroom. It also meant invaluable skills learnt for fieldwork collection for their exams. This was applied to homework and answering the hypothesis through data analysis: ‘The River Cray gets deeper and faster along the river channel as it progresses downstream.’ The students were also able to admire the work completed by the Year 11 on the weekend before.
Year 11 volunteering work creating a river wall to reduce erosion.

#Where will your Geography classroom be?

Sunday, 13 November 2016

SPA Geog Year 11 show us how volunteering is done with Thames21 and DONE well!

Image result for thames21SPA Geog Year 11 Volunteering with Thames21

The Year 11 Geography students who are keen to be part of the NEW ambassadors’ scheme for Geography participated in a volunteering visit to Foots Cray Meadows on the 5th November with Thames21. This trip embraced a new member of volunteering scheme and an honouree Geography student Nikola who now has completed 10 hours. Nikola is a hard-working and dedicated member of the volunteering initiative who has excelled in her first two trips to the meadows (seen bottom right). For others it was the first time volunteering in the local community, such as Gareth (far left) and James (second left). Where will St Paul’s opportunities take you?
The first task of the day was to replenish the supply of willow from trees alongside the river to use in the creation of river walls to minimise erosion. This involved the use of saws and bill hooks to cut the tree at the base of the branches but with enough space for regrowth. For many of the students this was the first time that they had experienced willow coppicing and they learnt about the ecology of the plants whilst working with Thames21 staff. Year 11 got to branch out their skills from this excursion- excuse the pun and poor attempt at humour!

Gareth tree coppicing.

As you can see from the picture below, the students worked hard to generate enough resources for the next task. Unfortunately this meant transporting the willow sticks 2 miles to the other end of the stream.

The second part of the day the students use the waders to start to build the willow river wall. The reason for this activity was to minimise the force of hydraulic action on the river cliffs at the side of the river. Much of this part of the bank had been eroded by the force of the river and accelerated by dog walkers allowing their pets to enter the river. In combination this had created footpath and river cliff erosion. This was particularly useful for the students as they were able to witness ‘Geography in reality’ from theory learnt about Rivers in the classroom.

The Year 11 students split into different teams – one group in charge of creating a new soil layer to replace the eroded material with soil and river pebbles and the other to build the wall. You can witness the extent of the erosion of the bank in the picture above.

As you can bear witness to below, the Year 11 students have taken ownership of the River Cray and personally reduced the erosion along this stretch of water. Another incredible achievement by St Paul’s students and in particular representing the SPA Geography department as assets to the local community. This was commented upon by various members of the public. Even Michael made a cameo appearance and worked as hard as he usually does :OD

Check out the school website and Geography blog for all the latest articles and pictures- including ways to participate in the NEW ambassadors’ scheme. COMING SOON! 

# Where’s your next Geography classroom?

SPA Geog- Year 8 trip to Thorpe Park October 2016 by Ms Gaffney

Image result for thorpe park logo
SPA Geog Year 8- Field Trip to Thorpe Park
As a taster for Geography at GCSE and to consolidate their classroom learning 40 year 8 students were taken to Thorpe Park for an interactive educational workshop. The day started early arriving at the park at about 10am where the students initially had the opportunity to explore the park and enjoy some of the rollercoasters. 

An all-time favourite ride with the students is Swarm a wing rollercoaster. Some students even queued longer to sit in the front seats to be further thrilled and terrified by this 59 miles per hour ride. 

After lunch the students attended an hour long educational workshop about the development and location of the park. The interactive workshop also included elements of the history of Thorpe Park and the employment the park brought to the local community. They also spoke about the positive things the park did for the local environment. Students were very engaged and showed a keen interest by asking lots of questions. 

The student’s behaviour was fantastic and they thoroughly enjoyed the field trip. Thankfully all phones and glasses survived the day!

By Ms Gaffney.

SPA Geog

Monday, 24 October 2016

SPA Geog complete volunteering in a River with Thames21

Image result for thames21 logoSPA Geog Year 8-11 

volunteer along Foots 

Cray Meadows with 


Team SPA Geog Year 8-11 volunteering with Thames21.

The SPA Geog team Year 8-11 worked with Thames21 along the River Cray in Foots Cray meadows on Saturday. 20 students learnt about hydrology of the river whilst working to create soft engineering solutions to erosion of the river bank. Using waders the students in some areas were up to waist height when cutting fallen trees to remove them from the channel. Amy, Eljay and Franklin did superb work in this area removing the branches. 
Amy and Eljay remove a fallen tree.
Whilst others were working, Year 11s Kevin and Klaudia had time to be fashion icons displaying the latest in SPA Geog clothing range; the Geography Hoodie. Please see the display board on ways you can get your hands on one of these! 

The students need physical endurance when using the sledge hammer to knock the stakes into the river bed and also team work to bend the willow around the stakes. The aim was to create a willow wall to protect the bank of the river from erosion. 

Team work makes the dream work. 

Placing plant mating in the river.
As you can see from below, the day was a complete success and students were able to identify key ideas on river hydrology which is the next topic to be studied in Year 9 and be recapped on in Year 11. Our rewards for hard work go to Nikola in Year 11 and Franklin in Year 8. Once again the students are a credit to the school and the community in which they volunteer their services. Well done to the SPA Geog team and Mrs Cogan and Ms Gregory for dedicating their time to enrich the lives of our students. 
Franklin receives student of the Month for September based on his effort in volunteering (he didn't do this all day!)

# Where’s your next Geography classroom?