2009 Review


As 2009 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on quite an eventful year. I turned 31 in March, became a Dad in July and got engaged in December. Personally and professionally, 2009 has been an exciting year.

Professional Highlights

I’ve never considered myself to be a great innovator, although the events of 2009 seem to go against this! Below are a number of highlights, in no particular order.

The Geography Department continues to develop and by the end of 2009 the light was clearly visible at the end of the deep, dark woods. I would like to publicly thank my team and Humanities faculty. GCSE numbers increased from 40 to just over 100 and the curriculum continued to develop. Priorities for 2010 include further improvement in standards and a greater range of extra curricular activities.

Whole school developments include the successful implementation of the Vivo rewards system which has attracted some press interest. Thsi year I have been asked to support Middle Leaders in developing engaging and innovative Schemes of Work.

This year a 21st Century Learning Alliance Fellowship was awarded to support the work of the department. This is linked to the BSF process. An update will be given at BETT this year. we have made some significant progress in meeting the project aims. One aspect ofthe project that I am particularly pleased about is the level of collaboration. Noel Jenkins, Richard Vobes and the Geography Collective will be involved in 2010.

2009 saw the publication of my second text book: Citizenship Through Geography. The book is aimed at Geography teachers and contains a number of simple ways in which citizenship can be incorporated into Geography Schemes of Work. I spoke at SAGT about some of these ideas and will be running a session at the GA Conference in Derby in 2010.

Talking about the GA, this year I talked about how Textbooks can be used more effectively and took part in the Secondary Phase Committee’s Doorstep Geography session.

The work of the Geography Collective continues at some pace. This year, our first publication – the Journey Journal was published. 2010 will see the launch of MISSION:EXPLORE, an empty shops project with Worthing’s Revolutionary Arts Group and one or two other exciting projects, including something linked to the Birdman event!

2009 also saw film crews visit my classroom. The BBC came along to see how the BBC Box was used to support learning in Geography and Teachers TV visited to see how Twitter and Facebook were being used to support learning. These events led to two other exciting opportunities: a visit to BBC Television Centre in London was one.

The second development was a Microsoft Innovative Teaching Award. In March, the project will be going along to the European Forum in Berlin. I’m very much looking forward to the adventure!

Finally, these are the 5 posts that have attracted most visits:
1. Reflections on Subject Leadership
2. How I find the time
3. Textbooks: Everyone’s Guilty Pleasure
4. Educating my PLN about modern day piracy
5. Guerrilla Geography


Challenges for 2010

Sometimes I can’t help but feel that I’m walking alone. In 2010, I need to spend more time and energy into encouraging others to join the journey. It’s time to connect and expand islands of innovation. I fell that this can be done by staying in my current post and working with greater collaboration. Having said this, it is gradually dawning that in order to influence a more people, I need to consider looking for another post.

There are a number of exciting Geography Collective projects that will blossom in 2010 and a number of other personal projects that need to be delivered on!

2009 was devoid of my usual outdoor madness. I intend to make up for this in 2010 by cycling the Sarn Helen MTB route unsupported and taking part in the Original Mountain Marathon. There are other challenges, but if I write them here I’ll be committed!

Finally, I’ve been promising for years to get my online bits organised in the way that I would like them to be!

I hope that 2010 is good for you, I look forward to connecting with you!

4 Responses

  1. Hi David,
    Greetings from Australia. Your 2009 sounds jam-packed, innovative and exciting, with great benefits from collaboration with your Collective & PLN.
    Lots of creative ideas and authentic learning opportunities for your students.
    Well done!
    Vonnie (@southoz)

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