Sunday, 30 November 2008

Je t'aime Park Hill...??

Year 13 will remember Park Hill Flats in Sheffield from their visit last year, and will be aware that the flats (which are listed buildings) are getting the Urban Splash treatment.

Thanks to Alan Parkinson who's just alerted me to Urban Splash's promotional video:

What do you think?! Worth having a look at some of Urban Splash's other videos on YouTube as well...

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Yr13 - Tuesday

As I seem to have inadvertently caused some confusion about Tuesday...

I am going to Long Eaton School and need to be there by 1.00pm, and therefore need to leave school by 12.25 at the latest. You decided that you would prefer to spend p3 continuing with tourism work than on coursework. Therefore, p3 is tourism, and then I will be around for 10-15 minutes so that you have the opportunity, if you need it, to speak to me about coursework.

It is my intention, seeing as we missed revision last week, to be back for after school...

Most of you also need to make appointments to speak to me at some point during the week about your coursework - time is ticking away!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Ecotourism in the Napo region of Ecuador...

A brief discussion about ecotourism this morning after we'd finished watching Nick Middleton, focussing on the Napo region of Ecuador. Although we didn't have a lot of time, there was some good thinking going on about the possible consequences of the decisions you were making when we played the Ecotourism Game... Have another go, and see how you get on:

Human Activity in the Arctic

Yesterday we spent a good part of the lesson putting together a map of the Arctic, thinking not just about where places are, but also thinking about some of the key sites in terms of human activity, history, culture, resources, etc.

Between yesterday and today's lessons we managed eventually to watch Nick Middleton on his journey via Irkutsk and Yakutsk to Oymyakon - the coldest inhabited place on earth! There's an interview with Nick about his trip - including his encounter with the Walrus Club - on the National Geographic site here.

Geogtastic post about Oymyakon from last year here.

I've also just discovered some fantastic photos of the region, including Oymyakon, on the Cape to Cape site. Click on the picture below to go to the site (which is worth exploring more generally, as well as looking at the photos...).

Year 12 - Graphs

Lots of different types of graph to think about this morning - remember that although you will not be asked to draw a graph from scratch in an exam, you might well be asked to add points in to complete a graph (as you did in both your Rivers and Population Unit 2 questions on Monday), and you will almost certainly be asked to use a graph of some description in order to answer a question.

If you are able to recognise the different types of graph and get used to reading titles/captions carefully and looking at the axes labels properly, then those sorts of questions are a doddle.

Check back to your Skills Checklist in the Handbook for a reminder of the graphs you need to be able to work with.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Year 13 - Coursework

A reminder that I am not in school tomorrow. Both your lessons (p3 and p4) need to be spent working on your coursework. Miss Bradford will be available in H6 during p3, should you need help or advice, or to borrow books, etc.

The condition of you not having to come in p3, however, was that you would all speak to me or email me before Tuesday... And to date I have had emails from two of the people I should have heard from. I am therefore assuming that all is going swimmingly and you will have a pile of fantastic work for me to take in and look at when I see you on Wednesday morning.

Year 12

Some interesting reactions to the test this morning... Remember that in the actual exam you will only have population OR rivers questions, plus fieldwork questions. We will endeavour to have the papers back for you for Monday next week.

We also had a look at the causes of the 2004 flooding in Bangladesh (although the causes are very similar every time there is flooding in Bangladesh), and the impacts and responses. You will need to be able to talk about flooding in countries with different levels of development.

Also a bit disappointing that I have still only had two Boscastle movies...

Sunday, 23 November 2008

World Population

Interesting viewing for those of you in Yr12 who are looking at Population at the moment, and for those of you in Yr13 who are revising for GGA2 resits in January...

Thanks to Kenny O'Donnell.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

South Georgia

I mentioned South Georgia, and in particular the two fab webcams the other day... As well as penguin-watching, it is interesting to see how the view changes throughout the year.

Not many penguins about yet today, but plenty of seals - and a ship!

Looking a bit more carefully at the South Georgia website though, I've just discovered a set of Visitor Management Plans - these have routes for visitors to follow, give warnings for visitors about potential dangers, outline the known impacts of visitors on the flora and fauna, and describe the code of conduct for visitors. Click here to access the plans (links on the left-hand-side). Have a look at the Information for Visitors as well...

Thursday, 20 November 2008


A brief discussion about tourism in Antarctica - the "last great wilderness"... We will look at Antarctica and its legal status, etc. next week.

We then had a look at the US "wilderness areas" and focussed specifically on southern Utah and the impacts of off-roading (with some consideration of mountain biking for Eddie's benefit!).

Some interesting thoughts and ideas about what the value of these wilderness areas is, and whether it matters that they are being destroyed... You need (even if you thought the discussion was "too heated" for you Jak!) to think about these a little bit more and come to some conclusions - particularly considering the idea of sustainability...

The wilderness site I mentioned was - spend some time exploring as there is lots and lots of useful stuff on there.

Scintillating Statistics! And two important reminders...

A bit of an adventure across the road this morning for Year 12... The lesson was spent thinking about statistics - and specifically measures of central tendency.

You need to understand:
- mean, mode and median
- standard deviation
- range and interquartile range
- box-and-whisker plots

You will not be asked to calculate things like standard deviation or Spearman Rank from scratch in an exam, and nor are you expected to learn the formulae. You may, however, be given a partially completed calculation to work with, and it is important that you understand a) how the calculations work, and b) why they are useful from a geography point-of-view.

Remember that you have the "skills checklist" from the specification in the handbook I gave you at the beginning of the year.

Assessment Week
Please don't forget that next week is Year 12 Assessment Week, and so in your lesson on Monday you will be completing an exam question - under exam conditions. As it is not too long until your Unit 2 exam (12th January), we have decided that the most useful thing would be for you to do a skills-based paper. Your exam in January will be skills-based, but will use content from either the Population unit or the Rivers unit, and then there will be generic fieldwork questions. The paper you do on Monday will have some Rivers and some Population questions (skills-based) and some generic fieldwork questions.

Boscastle Movies
Need to be finished for Monday if they are not already!!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Given how busy you all are at the moment, I don't imagine that many of you will be watching BBC2 at the moment.

If you are, however, you will have seen sea dragons and fantastic sea stacks, and learnt lots about the Southern Ocean and ecosystem management (amongst many other interesting things...).

This was the second of the BBC's Oceans series, looking - unsurprisingly - at the world's oceans, and is well worth having a look at on iPlayer.

The website to accompany the series also has lots of useful and interesting information, images, video clips, etc. Click on the picture below to link to it:

The final programme of the series looks at the team's journey to the Arctic and as well as being worth watching just because it'll be excellent if the two programmes so far are anything to go by, it will be useful for you from a Cold Environments point-of-view and perhaps also from a Recreation and Tourism point-of-view.

The Tundra Biome and the Southern Ocean...

After an introduction from the Mighty Boosh and the wonderful BrainPOP video, we talked about the tundra biome - you have the powerpoint via email, but the key points were:

- types of tundra and global distribution
- low-energy biome and low NPP
- limited biodiversity (just for you Ben...)
- adaptations of plants and animals
- food web
- soil characteristics

For no particular reason other than that you seemed quite impressed with them this morning, a nice picture of a lemming (courtesy of Flickr user kgleditsch under CC):

The exam question that I gave you needs to be finished for Wednesday next week please.

The ecosystem of the Southern Ocean was the final thing that we looked at - rich ecoystem due to the cold water holding plenty of oxygen and carbon dioxide, turbulent waters ensuring a ready supply of nutrients, and long daylight hours for part of the year allowing for plenty of photosynthesis.

And for those of you who preferred chinstrap penguins to lemmings, a rather nice picture from Flickr user robnunn, again under CC:

Environmental Benefits of Tourism..

Quick reminder at the start of the lesson about the negative impacts of tourism on the environment.... We then went on to talk about the possible benefits of tourism for the environment - use of tourism revenue to: regenerate old and run-down sites; protect/conserve endangered species; develop new educational resources so that people learn about and come to appreciate the environment; implement cleaning/maintenance (eg beach cleaning on Copacabana Beach in Rio), etc.

We discussed the importance of proper planning and maangement of tourism, and the importance of all stakeholders/interest groups working together.

You then looked at conservation and management in the Peak District - that work for Thursday next week please. On the subject of conservation in the Peak District... I've not listed to all of them, but it might be worth you checking out the podcasts on the PDNP website of Geography students from Lady Manners School in Bakewell talking to representatives from the NPA about conserving the landscape whilst encouraging people to visit.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

The River Severn - From Source to Sea

Interesting viewing for Yr12 who are currently studying rivers, and those of you in Yr13 who are resitting GGA1.

Thanks to Alan P, and to David Noble who created the videos.

Year 13 - Periglaciation... And a test...

Check back to the previous periglaciation post for links to a number of sites about periglacial environments and landforms...

This National Geographic article looks at permafrost and has some great images such as this one:

Some of you didn't do quite so badly as you thought in the test that followed... However, it was a reminder of the importance of revising as you go along and really making sure that you learn key terms - make yourself some cards with key terms and definitions on them and play snap... Or stick post-it notes around your room (or the whole house!)...

Year 12 - Boscastle and the UK Floods of 2007


A reminder about some of the Boscastle-related links that we looked at last week (and some that we didn't):

Comprehensive coverage of the flood including a timeline and meteorological data from

The findings of the Environment Agency's investigations into the flood.

GeoProjects KeyFile

And a Geogtastic6 post about Boscastle from last year.

UK Floods 2007

Some images showing the impacts of the flooding in Sheffield - thanks to Andy Pinks:

The main cause of the Boscastle flood was very heavy rainfall combined with the topography of the area causing a rapid increase in the discharge of the River Valency and the River Jordan... In the case of the floods that affected much of the UK in 2007, however, rainfall was higher than normal, but pluvial flooding - caused by surface runoff - is thought to have been a major element.

Thanks to GeoBlogs for this PowerPoint which looks at the causes, impacts and responses of the floods and some of the (very complex) issues involved:

High And Dry
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: geography flooding)
This report from the Association of British Insurers makes some interesting points about planning and preparation for similar floods in the future, and it's worth having a read of this Guardian article about the problems of predicting pluvial flooding.

The Environment Agency's pages about the UK floods make for interesting reading ("Currently, surface water flooding is not part of our remit. We are responsible for issuing warnings for flooding from rivers and the sea only...") - and they also contain a variety of useful links, including to the Pitt Review.

The BBC Panorama programme Keeping Britain Dry doesn't seem to be available any more, but you can read the transcript, together with a whole host of links to news articles, images and video clips.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Tourism in Jamaica

A good place for general information about Jamaica and Jamaican tourism is the Jamaican Tourist Board website. The Sandals website is also worth a look...
This website looks at community tourism in Jamaica, and the Treasure Beach site I mentioned this morning is here.
The news articles I gave you - as well as lots of other news articles - can be found easily with a Google News search for "tourism jamaica".


This is a "Wordle" of the current front page of Geogtastic6... (Interesting and surprising to see how little "geography" is!)
The idea is that you copy and paste your text into Wordle, and it creates a word cloud, with the size of the words proportional to the number of times they appear in the text.

If you have an electronic copy of your tourism essay, Wordle it and compare it to the one that I gave you this morning...

Copy and paste some of the news articles or weblinks that I've given you into Wordle and identify the key points/ideas...

Or just create some pretty key word clouds for revision!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Paradise almost lost?

A very interesting article from the Guardian here about the Maldives and the plan that their new president is making for their future...

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Global Glacier Changes

I've not quite managed to read all 45 pages yet, but the UNEP's Global Glacier Changes report looks like a really useful resource, both for Year 13 who are doing Cold Environments at the moment, and for Year 12 who will be starting Cold Environments after Christmas... Click on the picture to link to the report:

Thanks to Rebecca Anniss

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Machu Picchu... Year 13

Those of you who were here this morning started the lesson reading an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal about Machu Picchu and why it is "magical"... The photos we looked at, including the one below, were from Flickr, but The Marvel of Machu Picchu is a rather nice slideshow on the Wall Street Journal site and is worth a look too.

Image: Flickr User szeke (CC)

And for the benefit of any Year 12s reading this, a nice Machu Picchu llama!

Image: Flickr User Pacific Yooper (CC)

If you want to have another look at the movie we watched that looked at the impacts of tourism on Machu Picchu and the surrounding area (or just listen to the panpipes again!) you can find it here.

Some possibly useful links (let me know if you find any more):

The UNESCO listing for Machu Picchu

The Machu Picchu Gateway

The Virtual Inca Trail

Article from National Geographic considering the threats to Machu Picchu, including from landslides - also talks about the cable car proposal

Sacred Land Film Project

For more general information about World Heritage, you can have a look at the UNESCO site, where there is an interactive map of the World Heritage Sites (these can also be viewed in Google Earth), a list of the criteria for selection, summary of the nomination process and some useful Frequently Asked Questions.

Don't forget that the questions on the sheet need to be completed for Thursday next week... I hope that those of you at Hagg Farm had a good time - make sure that you see me asap to collect sheets, etc. Also don't forget that those of you at Hagg Farm missed handing in your essay today - I would like that ASAP please! Or else...

Periglacial Landforms

Research yesterday into the main landforms and features that you are likely to find in a periglacial region...

Some sites that might be useful:

Although you might well find a selection of other strange things as well, searching Flickr for the names of the various landforms and features will likely produce some good photographs to give you a clearer idea of what the features look like. Although I've just searched it for "pingo" and not found anything, the Geography Teachers' Resources Group on Flickr that I mentioned might be useful as well.

Benidorm... Year 13

Tourism in Benidorm (an example of tourism in an MEDC) was the subject of Tuesday's lesson. After reading the Spanish Tourist Board's description of Benidorm and comparing it to our preconceptions, we looked at the location in Google Earth, talked about the climate and microclimate, and watched an interesting video from YouTube. (I can't link to the video because of some of the comments that have been posted but if you do a search for Benidorm - approach with caution - you will be able to find it quite easily, together with a selection of others...)

Image - Flickr User josago (CC)

We then looked a variety of news articles from earlier this year about the suggestion that the ideal ecotourism destination is not, in fact, a remote rural wilderness area, but a busy urban area such as Benidorm! GoSpain, New Scientist, BBC Magazine.

And then some more recent news articles that you weren't too keen on - the prospect of Benidorm as a World Heritage Site! Round Town News, Metro, The Telegraph, Wanderlust.