Encouraging pupils to get out and about on their own

As I have mentioned previously, I have been working hard on developing all my pupils’ interest in the world around them. I think this is one of, if not the most important, thing we as Geography teachers. Well aware of the fact that funding may be a huge issue facing the majority of my pupils, I have tried to find alternatives.

Being lucky as I am to live in the London fringe, there is a veritable cornucopia of bits and bobs to do where most pupils live so I have been drip feeding ideas, things to do and places to visit onto our department twitter feed and edmodo accounts. Here are just a few of the things I have suggested..

1.The RGS travel photographer of the year exhibition at the RGS. Free, great images and get to have a mooch around one of the most important Geographical places in the country.

2. Go to a lido. This was after a conversation with a pupil who did not know where to go swimming in London. I posted a map of possible locations on Edmodo.

3. Use the day time tube network. Hardly any of my pupils actually use the tube so encouraging them to get on and explore was a focus of mine. I highlighted which parks were the closest to some large stations and talked about them in the last lesson before the holidays. This was to encourage them to meet up with their mates as well, something which tends to be lacking with our pupils.

4. Set up scavenger hunts. I have been trialling this for a while and it’s popularity is growing. Set a group of pupils, usually, sixth formers, a series of challenges around a city to explore the urban landscape and the spaces around them. The next one I do will be a Christmas themed one based around globalisation which went down a storm last year.

5.The final thing has been more unsuccessful, but I am going to persevere with it anyway. This is a photo collation task whereby pupils all send the best photos they take in the coolest locations they can through to the twitter account and we print them to create a display of locations we have been. Not many so far but I would like to keep this one going to see what I can make.

Not all of these ideas will work for everyone, but from what I have seen, the pupils are actually getting out and about, enjoying and exploring the world around them. If that is the only thing they take away from Geography lessons, I would count that as a win!



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