ric geography all stars
Geography is one of the strongest departments at RIC both in terms of academic and extra curricular provision. The department is now celebrating a Secondary Geography Quality Mark from The Geographical Association.
The SGQM award process encourages and supports schools to reflect on their work and strive for the highest quality in their teaching. All the award winners undergo a rigorous moderation process, and the team of assessors were hugely impressed by the manner in which all are continuing to embrace new and innovative approaches to teaching geography. The SGQM, now into its fifth year, recognises student attainment, progress and achievement in areas such as geographical knowledge, understanding, values, skills and concepts, and sets expectations about the quality of teaching in geography. It aims to promote effective subject leadership and management, helping subject leaders raise the standards of geography in their schools.
Writing to RIC the Geographical Association said: “You showed that you not only provide a quality experience at KS3, but also at GCSE and A-level. ” They were particularly impressed by “the range of fieldwork activities which stimulated and engaged students in geography.”
The Geography department under long serving Head of Department Richard Blood has grown in recent years. Students are often inspired to to study the subject at university during their time at the College. Much of the work done towards securing the SGQM was overseen by Rose-Marie Turner who joined RIC in September 2011. In September 2013 Richard and Rose-Marie were joined in the department by Nadine Whaymand. The department offers A level World Development as an extra social science A level. World Development takes an interdisciplinary approach to issues related to social and economic development in a globabalised world, covering topics such as climate change, aid and debt, migration, gender relations and political development. The first three students to take the full A level in 2013 were all awarded grade As.
As well as offering Geography from the age of 11 in the Lower School right up to GCSE and A level the department also organises RIC’s growing Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and runs a variety of on site environmental projects in the campus gardens.
The D of E award is a long term commitment for our students and the teachers involved; they dedicate a lot of their own time to complete their various tasks and projects.
Over six years we have seen the numbers of RIC students participating in the scheme flourish. It’s particularly pleasing to see students who started with their Bronze award at the College now working on their Gold. Students attend the annual awards ceremony at Rochester Cathedral to collect their certificates along with hundreds of other students from Medway schools and local dignitaries.
The service section of the D of E award encourages students to make a contribution to the wider environment and community, and over the past few years students have completed many environmental projects in the college gardens, which are recognised as a site of excellence by the Kent Wildlife Trust. The gardens won a Gold Award in 2013.
Students have made bat and bird boxes to encourage biodiversity; completed research projects and delivered presentations to raise awareness of environmental issues among their peers; and have been involved in national projects such as the Opal Air Survey, which they have completed during half terms and on expeditions. A large-scale ‘outdoor classroom’ project has involved investment and partnership with Kent Wildlife Trust, and given students the opportunity to work with adults from external agencies and establish a project that will encourage wildlife, have long-term conservation value, and benefit current and future students at the College.