Campaigning for change–guerrilla geography


One of the great features of working with creative practitioners is the unexpected outcomes.  As a result of a Creative Practitioners legacy grant, teachers from Priory were able to meet together and work with students and artists.

As a result of bringing together a geographer, an EAL expert (English as an Additional Language), two creative types and some students, we found out that there are 37 languages spoken at Priory School.  This set up an enquiry question that Year 7 students started to explore.

Guerrilla Geography is a concept developed by Dan at the Geography Collective and is a powerful tool to use in the classroom.  To me, geographers not only study their environment but aim to change it.  After all, the current National Curriculum demands that geographers at Key Stage 3 make informed decisions.  In a climate of riots and revolutions, it’s one of the jobs of teachers to model and introduce other, more covert, methods of protest.

During a series of lessons where on-site fieldwork was employed, Year 7 discovered that our school space could reflect the incredible diversity much better. 

Therefore a subtle campaign was developed.  QR codes linked to the pupil’s message and official looking signs were created to place over (non essential non safety security signs of course Winking smile ) signage and placed in prominent locations around the school.  Then we waited.  The QR aspect of the project was inspired by Sam Atkins’ work on the Olympic Geocaching project.

Students used the iPads to record a campaign message at locations and to record the adventure and these were shared using the mirroring features of the iPad and Apple TV.  DiGITAL LEADERS were embedded into the lesson in order to assist students with the filming and location of signs.

This activity is geography as school space affected learning.  The features of a space affect the actions of those within, and this powerful message has been passed (hopefully) to a wider part of the school community.

Check out their work by heading here.

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