Thursday, 29 May 2008

New Edexcel NING

Lots of new posts on the NING.
This will develop nicely this next half term as colleagues start to use their freed-time to do some 'curriculum-making'...
Click the LOGO to visit the NING.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Pee Squared... and Bee Squared (er. Wasps...)

Decided that this might be the best place to blog my favourite new site as discovered by Noel Jenkins.
The site provides the P2 score for postcodes.
This relates to the general characteristics of people living in postcode areas, and the information can then be used to target marketing and other related activities.
CLICK HERE to find out what your postcode says about you.
MY POSTCODE (a village on the Norfolk coast) is classed as RICHER RETIRED.
Richer Retired is mainly made up of pensioners. Richer Retired pensioners live in owner occupied properties, having paid off their mortgages, and these properties are generally large detached homes. Some do live in housing association accommodation, which is likely to be purpose built flats. Some of these pensioners live alone. Affluence in this Branch comes from owning a second home, or a non-permanent dwelling, such as a caravan, to be used for leisure and holiday purposes. Car ownership across this Branch is not consistent - some households have no car, whilst others have two or more attached to them. Where there are cars attached to a household, these are likely to have engines of 1.6 litres and above. Richer Retired pensioners are very interested in politics, and are keen readers of broadsheet newspapers. Grocery shopping is also not consistent - some prefer supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl, whilst others shop at Morrisons, Safeway and Somerfield. Incomes fall into the second quartile. Geographically, this Branch lives in rural areas, such as Somerset, Norfolk, Devon, Cornwall, Northumberland, the Isle of Wight, Cumbria and Dorset.

This might be a useful additional resource for exploring particular areas without going there: some sort of VIRTUAL FIELDWORK which a lot of places will develop...

Start with the Census Neighbourhood scores...

Information is provided under a series of headings.

This provides local information.

Could explore the difference between the description given and the perceptions of people who live in these areas. What local INEQUALITIES can you identify ?

Was also intrigued by an item in the Times yesterday, about wasps in Alaska. Apparently Fairbanks in Alaska has seen a dramatic rise in the number of wasp stings. Could this be related to Global Warming ?

London Docklands Redevelopment

Thanks to "Carol S" from Guildford County High School for posting images of her students' recent trip to London Docklands: an area that a lot of schools will perhaps use for fieldwork with a view to exploring Unequal Spaces, or the Rebranding of places. Also a link with flooding risk with the Thames Barrier in the area.

Monday, 26 May 2008

"Geography" Journal

New issue of "Geography" now available.
Visit the Geographical Association website.
It's on the issue of HAZARDS and RISK, which would make it useful for the World at Risk section.
Articles on Summer floods of 2007 for example...

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Country Life: Show of Hands

Thanks to Stuart Hitch via SLN...

Images of rurality: rural areas as unequal spaces...

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Cornwall: Unequal Spaces / Rebranding Example

Image of pasty mascot from the Ginsters Blog.

This seems to be a popular choice for rebranding, but could also be a focus for Unequal Spaces - the SW is an area which has a great contrast between the price of property, the beauty of the landscape and the relative poverty of the people who live in the county full-time.
We have some resources from the Pilot GCSE paper from around 2006 which are useful in this respect.

The paper used some advertising produced by the firm GINSTERS, which makes sausage rolls and pasties. The tagline they use is CORNISH THROUGH AND THROUGH, and REAL HONEST FOOD, and they have had some humorous advertising campaigns.

The sentiment has also been parodied, as in this image below: (CAUTION: may cause mild offence.. where else has also been targeted with this slur ?) - how does this affect areas where people have this opinion ?

The advertising stressed that they used local ingredients.
Here's a GEOGRAPH IMAGE of the bakery in Callington. Get the students to find the location in Google Earth, or perhaps make a Google Earth tour of "opposites"...

Whenever I go to London on the train I have a little ritual, the first thing I do is get a large vegetable pasty from the WEST CORNWALL PASTY COMPANY.
Was intrigued by this post on London blog LONDONIST (another old favourite) on the spread of the company which ironically (apparently) doesn't have a shop in West Cornwall. Also visit the one in King's Lynn and also Cambridge railway station.

I have posted on other blogs about food which has a geographical connection with a particular place. I wonder if there's scope for a recipe book of geographical foods. The Cornish Pasty Association aims at protecting the Cornish pasty.

In the Times on the 17th of May, there was a useful Focus Report on Cornwall, which contained a lot of detail on the country as far as business was concerned. It was produced in association with VISIT CORNWALL: who are trying to encourage Cornish businesses.Off down to Cornwall's biggest tourist attraction: the EDEN PROJECT later this year.

Starter: St. PIRAN's Flag and other flags to identify ?
Or perhaps place-specific shirt sponsors...There's some useful chapters in a book I've been reading recently: "The Lost Village" by Richard Askwith. Here's a good review in THE INDEPENDENT (also mentions "Real England")
A few quotes from another related article:

"Returns from the 2001 census show that only 37% of those living in rural areas today lived there 30 years ago. Added to that, England’s countryside has squeezed in nearly 4m newcomers in the past four decades. The last time migration took place on quite such a scale was during one of the most convulsive periods in English history, in “the early stirrings of the Industrial Revolution, between 1630 and 1750, when market forces and technological change drove 40% of the rural population to abandon agrarian life”.

There are some useful chapters on Cornwall in Chapters 9 and 10.

If you're quick there are also plenty of resources to kick-start the WORLD AT RISK unit with an unfortunate double of major world events: CYCLONE NARGIS and the SICHUAN EARTHQUAKE.

The GA have produced a page of resources on each of these events.

Check out CHINA resources and NARGIS resources.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Rebranding the UK ?

A new tourist guide to the UK has been produced, and it includes some surprising (perhaps) descriptions of the country and its population.

The BBC ARTICLE includes some extracts from the updated ROUGH GUIDE.

What image does this give of ENGLAND.

Some amusing HAVE YOUR SAY comments already available.
What do you think about these examples from the HAVE YOUR SAY section...
Which one would you MOST or LEAST agree with ?

1. Bacon butties, Sunday roast and chicken tikka massala

2. They missed out, uncouth, uncivil, uneducated, unmannered & prone to mindless street violence prefaced by the words "Wot you lookin at!!" I'd say that most of the world see's us like this, not the 'civilised islands of culture' that the BBC, and this Government like to portray as "This England" whilst happily lowering standards in all walks of life in the name of equality!

3. I think they have it pretty sussed, people buy all these trashy z list celeb mags why ill never know. they are a total waste of trees. People cant go out for a couple of drinks and act normally people just go out to get drunk because their lives are so sad and pathetic. Great britain certainly isnt great any longer

4. For all our overweight, binge-drinking, celebrity-obsessed TV addicts this is still the greatest country on earth. The people are second to none and sure we might not all agree on everything but they`re OUR people to fight with and nobody elses. And watch us all pull together in a crisis. What we have is unique in the world, heritage, history, the london taxi cab, the monarchy, the country pub, amazing countryside, bluebells, morris dancers, the list goes on. Be proud of who and what you are.

5. It describes a minority, the sort they love to parade on TV as though they are typical of society and if you're any different you're tragically old-fashioned.It doesn't describe the majority, who are still hard-working, decent, quiet people - you just don't hear about them, and they assist by not being natural attention-seekers.All nations have both types, it's not unique to England. This is just a cheap publicity stunt for the book. It won't make me feel ashamed to be English.

From time to time, areas of the UK are rebranded.

This is in reponse to a perceived need to change the 'image' that people have of particular areas.
While in Sheffield last week, I noticed that the city had been temporarily branded as "SNOOKER CITY" while the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS were in the city, at the Crucible theatre. Took me back to my mispent youth in Rotherham Snooker Club. I remember getting the bus down with my cue in 1980, when the coverage of the final was interrupted by the Iranian Embassy siege.

Does anyone have any other examples of rebranding of cities, counties or regions ?

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Up to 100 000 people killed ?

By Flickr user TZA (Creative Commons) - image credit Google and associated imaging partners