In 2016 a wide ranging consultation about the Higher Geography Course was carried out by the Subject Implementation Manager.
SQA are requesting feedback on possible changes to the Higher Geography course - these changes are based on the outcome of that consultation.
SAGT would appreciate if members could complete the questionnaire in addition please share the document with other geography teachers in your schools and local authorities.
Please return the completed questionnaire to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 24th November 2017.
SAGT Quiz Time Again!!
This year entry is free to schools with SAGT members. Entry forms and topics are attached.
This year we are going to try and use technology to enable those who perhaps live in a rural location or can't get to a local heat to take part using Google Hangouts or Skype, or some other similar type of application. Hopefully there will be regional heats held before the busiest time of year between January and Easter, with the National Final being held in June 2018.
Closing date for entries is 3rd November.
Bookings for this year’s SAGT National Conference have now opened.
This year’s conference will take place on Saturday 28th October at Dollar Academy, in Dollar. There is a free minibus service running for delegates who wish to travel by public transport; pick up/drop off from Stirling Train Station.
The event runs from 09:30am until 4:15pm, with registration and access to the venue opening from 8:30am. As ever, the event promises to be an exciting day, with a packed itinerary....
For the conference programme and online booking form visit: bit.ly/sagtconf
Calendars : Many thanks to Alan Gall for producing this year's calendar and posting it to all members. His work on this calendar, on the theme of Cities , is very much appreciated. Hopefully all members will now have received them .If you have not received the calendar, please email me on email@example.com
SQA exams. Hopefully members are a lot happier with this year's exams and results. If there is anything that you would like to draw to the attention of SQA ,please either email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com . Positive comments, I am sure, would also be appreciated !
The finals of the SAGT Worldwise Quiz took place today at the James Young High, Livingston.
The teams present included: Holyrood Secondary, Larbert High, St Margaret’s School, Belmont Academy, Stewart’s Melville College, Perth Academy, Robert Gordons College, Inverness Royal Academy and Hawick High.
Congratulations to all the teams that took part across the country, in the local heats and especially the final. A thank you to all staff for tutoring and driving the teams around the country.All teams were a credit to their schools and to themselves.
A massive THANK YOU to Iain Aitken for all his organising, compiling the quizzes and organising prizes. It was massive undertaking.
And the winners were………
Stewart’s Melville College, Edinburgh. Congratulations to the winning team!
Improving skills in literacy and numeracy are vitally important components of school education. But it is wrong to assume that these can only be achieved by teaching English and Mathematics respectively. Many other subjects can and do teach these skills using real life examples.
Geography is one of these subjects. Articulating orally and in writing one’s understanding of the world is one sure way of increasing literacy. Collecting, analysing and using information about the world increases students’ numeracy, and gives them a better grounding as citizens and future employees.
But geography is much more than this. Surely we should aspire to our children and grandchildren having a greater understanding of their world: what is happening around them, analysing the causes and assessing solutions?
Through primary and secondary education, we should be teaching children to have a better understanding of our world’s complexities and interactions. For example, everyone should be taught about the causes and consequences of flooding, and what can be done to reduce the effects and moderate the causes.
Equally, all students should understand what is the best use of the land and sea for providing food, for giving a home for nature and to understanding the effects of climate change.
In these, and many other topics, geography provides students with an ability to discuss issues impacting on their lives. So why is it that knowledge-based learning is out of fashion and subjects are taught by non-specialists? Why should history graduates teach geography and vice versa in secondary 1 to 3 as part of the Broad General Education, when allowing them to use their knowledge and enthusiasm for their subject would contribute more to pupils’ learning experience and to acquiring key skills? And why are students being restricted in the choice of subjects at National 4 and 5?
There is a built-in assumption that English and Maths are vital, plus a science and a foreign language, so that history, geography and other social subjects are left out. But geography covers the sciences, both natural and social, and it teaches literacy and numeracy skills. But, it is undervalued in subject choice.
We now have an unsystematic approach to subject choice at the discretion of the education authority or the head teacher. Who benefits? Certainly, not the students or geography.
Let's ensure our children are learning key skills for their future lives and careers taught by those with enthusiasm and knowledge.
Geography is a key subject for all future citizens, as it opens the whole world to pupils, improves their global view and provides a context for learning numeracy and literacy. Let's make the most of it, as geography is the subject of our time.
Roger Crofts is chair of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and patron of the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers.
The Scottish Parliament Education and Skills Committee is calling for views on its inquiry into teacher workforce planning for Scotland’s schools.
Responses can be via
- questionnaire (available at the link) to be returned to firstname.lastname@example.org by close of play on Thursday 20th April. The questionnaires are specifically intended to gain the perspective of: Teachers, Trainee Teachers, School Staff (not teachers) and Headteachers and Senior Staff.
- written submissions of no more than 3 sides of A4 to email@example.com by 5pm on Wednesday 26th April.
Please share this information with anyone working in schools in Scotland.