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Top class geography teaching helps put school on the map!

Rainham Mark Grammar School has won an award honouring outstanding work by the school's geography department.

The school has received the Secondary Geography Quality Mark (SGQM) from the Geographical Association (GA) praising the department for its methods and delivery of teaching geography. The department had to go through a rigorous moderation with a team of assessors analysing the teaching of the subject.

The SGQM is a prestigious award that recognises quality and progress in geography leadership, curriculum development and learning and teaching in schools. In 2019, 30 schools were awarded a Secondary Geography Quality Mark.  Rebecca Kitchen, GA Curriculum Manager, says: 'The SGQM enables schools to focus critically on what they are doing and why, in order to provide their young people with the knowledge and understanding they need to live in the modern world.’

Assessors looked at student attainment, progress and achievement in areas such as geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and concepts. The scheme aims to help teachers raise the standards of geography in their school.

The GA assessors highlighted the department’s use of “very topical themes at Key Stage 3 such as water wars, fracking, impossible burgers and ‘There is no Planet B’” and examples of high quality teaching through encouraging “debate and discussion in the context of an enquiry approach” stating that our lessons were “creative and innovative.”

Emma Milne, Subject Leader for geography at Rainham Mark Grammar School, said: “I’m delighted that RMGS has been awarded the Secondary Geography Quality Mark. Throughout last year the department and students worked extremely hard, I am therefore thoroughly pleased the quality of teaching and learning has been recognised within the school. As well as acknowledging excellence within a whole school, the Quality Mark also indicates effective team leadership and high quality geography teaching. This will contribute positively to the learning experience of all students studying geography at RMGS. Geography is an increasingly popular choice at GCSE and A-level nationally and this is reflected in our uptake at the school.”

Alan Moore, the Headteacher at RMGS, was delighted to hear of the geography department receiving the award and praised the work by Mrs Milne.

Mr Moore said: "I am delighted that the outstanding work in the geography department has been recognised. Not only did their students achieve excellent grades at GCSE and A-Level level this year but they have also provided their students with extra-curricular opportunities including field trips to Swanage, the Olympic Park, Herne Bay and a coastal study.”

All the schools that have received awards will be honoured at the 2020 Geographical Association conference at the University of Guildford next April.

Alan Kinder, Chief Executive of the GA, said: “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.”

  • Ofsted Outstanding
  • PTI 19-20
  • Gold Science Mark
  • The Prince's Teaching Institute 2019
  • Secondary Geography Quality Mark