Local primary is celebrating the highest award for Geography education

Bowdon Preparatory School was aiming for the silver award but due to the quality of their submission and education in geography, bagged the gold!

The school, which teaches girls aged 4 to 11, prides itself on its broad and rich curriculum and this is the latest award in a long list but the first in this subject. The awarding body is The Geographical Association (GA) who state the Primary Geography Quality Mark is seen as a key strategy for raising the quality of geography in primary schools and has been driving school improvement in geography since 2006. This year a total of 53 primary schools have achieved the GA’s PGQM at Gold, Silver or Bronze Level.

In total, more than 1000 Primary Geography Quality Marks have been awarded since the scheme’s launch in 2006. This year the GA has awarded 10 schools the Gold Level, one being Bowdon Prep, 21 schools the Silver Level and 22 the Bronze Level across the country.

To achieve Gold a school must be seen to ‘lead the way in providing excellent and innovative geography’. The GA informs that teachers in these schools ensure that their planning, policies and practice maximise pupil learning and are not afraid to take risks, innovate and challenge to achieve progress in geography. Key threads through the curriculum are intercultural understanding, local fieldwork, environmental issues, critical thinking and sustainability. These are explored in a variety of places across the world from local to global. The schools use creative approaches to stimulate learning and place high value on using real-life issues to promote understanding.

Of the Geography submission at Bowdon Preparatory the moderator said, ‘This has been an impressive effort to coordinate so many opportunities for students to encounter geography and develop their appreciation of its purpose.’ He went further to suggest that the teachers of geography at Bowdon should be open to sharing their ‘good practice with other schools in the area, and provide support for local state schools...’. The Geography Lead at Bowdon, who put the submission together and oversees the subject across the school is thrilled to have achieved the Gold when aiming for silver, “ It was a delightful surprise and a lovely way to start the new school year with that special certificate to evidence the great work the teachers and children do here...”

Alan Kinder, GA Chief Executive:

‘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” and I am delighted that a growing number of primary schools are teaching their pupils to fully engage with the subject.’

Posted on Monday 17th September 2018