This post was imported from exc-el.org.uk using the Internet Archive. The exc-el project (Promoting Excellent Teaching & Supporting Children and their Families in East Lothian) was my first real digital home back in 2005. It later expanded to become the popular Edubuzz Learning Platform.
You can still read about the project here: http://web.archive.org/web/20061013025124/http://www.exc-el.org.uk/content/index.php/main/weblogs/ollie_bray_s_weblog. It really was all quite exciting back in the day.
Subject Support Group Meeting
Went to see the headteacher before school to ask if it would be OK if other members of Geography staff in East Lothian came to spend time in the department. The purpose of this would be to carry out cross school Geography department observation and provide an opportunity to enter into professional discussion about teaching and learning within Geography. I am conscious that some members of staff within the authority may value this opportunity, particularly if they have not taught a particular aspect of a course before (eg: the new Intermediate 2 Course or Advanced Higher). Paul was very supportive of the idea and explained that a similar offer is also made to teachers wishing to come into school to observe the extended curriculum. He suggested that a form cold be drawn up to assess the needs of the observer before they came into the school. I intend to create an electronic form and post it on the exc-el web site.
Used Google Earth very effectively with my S1 class to demonstrate different views of the Earth and to zoom in on Denali, Alaska. This is a resource that I hope to use more and more.
Had a very productive meeting with Suzanne Hamilton where we discussed the normal agenda items and then started to think about ideas for S1 and S2 course development. We are both keen to make Geography more relevant to S1 and S2 students. We also started to think about how Geography could compliment other areas of the curriculum. More on this at a later time.
Went to Ross High to chair the first Subject Support Group meeting of the new session. There was good attendance with representation from each of the schools. Items on the agenda were 2005 Examinations, Teaching and Learning Resources, Departmental Audit, Exc-el (all teachers were issued with user names and passwords for the site), Teacher Exchange, Observation and CPD. Chris Lawson then ran a short session on basic risk assessment and briefed us on the new electronic system that the Council is hoping to have in place in the near future. As a subject group we intend to lead the way with improving the Health and Safety of both our classroom and extra curricular practice. We agreed that we would have a more detailed CPD session in the near future and that a representative from each school would meet soon to draw up generic risk assessments for our most common practice (eg: river fieldwork).
Added two extra forums to the exc-el web site.
Plan to meet some of the new intake from the Edinburgh University PGDE Geography course tonight in the Gilford Arms (GA) – the traditional meeting place of new Geography teachers.