The Cooper School is delighted to have been awarded the Secondary Geography Quality Mark: in recognition of excellence in teaching and learning in geography

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The Secondary Geography Quality Mark: in recognition of excellence in teaching and learning in geographyThe Cooper School is delighted to have been awarded the Secondary Geography Quality Mark (SGQM) in September 2015. The Geographical Association National Moderation Team met in Sheffield in August to scrutinise all of the applications and selected The Cooper School as one of only 46 schools, so far, to receive the award.

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 9th 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.

In 2015, 8 schools were also awarded the coveted Centre of Excellence status. These hubs of excellence are pivotal to the GA’s desire to spread good practice through the development of local networks of teachers. The Centre of Excellence award recognises a school’s contribution to disseminating quality approaches to the teaching of geography. In these schools geography is managed by enthusiastic curriculum leaders who are able to inspire their colleagues.

Alan Kinder, Chief Executive of the GA, says:

‘There has never been a more important time for all children and young people to study geography. Growing up in the 21st century means living in an increasingly interconnected world, one facing a growing number of global challenges such as climate change and the need to live our lives sustainably. Geography not only fascinates and inspires young people, it provides them with the knowledge and understanding they need to live in the modern world. Geography is, as we say in the GA’s Manifesto, “fundamental to everyone” and I am delighted that a growing number of primary schools are teaching their students to fully engage with the subject.’

Mr D Chambers, Head of Geography at The Cooper School said…

“We are absolutely thrilled to win this award. It shows the great progress that the geography department continues to make when measured against other schools in the country. Geography is an increasingly popular choice at GCSE and A level nationally and this is reflected in our uptake at the school. This award demonstrates the strengths within the school: the enthusiasm, creativity and willingness of students, and teachers alike, to embrace new ways of teaching and learning. The award particularly highlighted the department’s strength in using new technologies to facilitate outstanding learning.

As further evidence of our commitment to promoting geography at the school on Friday 18th September, Mrs Newing took eight geography students to visit The University of Oxford Geography and Environmental Studies Department. Those taking part were chosen for their  excellent contributions to geography in the last academic year. The students had the opportunity to find out about the courses offered by the department. The students were also taken on a tour of the Science library and Keble College and were able to explore student life at the university.