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HOW TO BE A HUMANITIES SPECIALIST STATUS SCHOOL Things to know and things to think about.

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Presentation on theme: "HOW TO BE A HUMANITIES SPECIALIST STATUS SCHOOL Things to know and things to think about."— Presentation transcript:

1 HOW TO BE A HUMANITIES SPECIALIST STATUS SCHOOL Things to know and things to think about

2 Why do you (your SMT) want to be a humanities specialist status school? List the reasons for your school taking on Humanities Specialist status Taking on a specialism involves REPONSIBILITIES and OPPORTUNITIES What might these be for you and your department?

3 What type of Geography Department do you want to be? Does your department have a shared vision? Is this written down or discussed? Take time to discuss and ‘pin down’ your department’s vision. Consider your: Rationale Aims Pupil needs Location Staff interests What and how do you want your department to be? The discussion and development of a vision is as valuable as the vision itself

4 So, what does a Humanities Specialist Status School do? Provide pupils with rich learning opportunities Tailored and innovative curriculum Raise achievement Extra-curricular enrichment CPD for staff Collaborate and co-operate, within and between departments, other schools and organisations Forge community links Innovate, lead change and model good practice

5 How far does your school and department do these things already? Discussion Review the previous slide and decide which points might match the current strengths and interests of your school and department, and which might be areas for development

6 Where do you start when applying for Specialist Status? Much depends on your own school’s approach Could involve: SWOT analysis of your department Open departmental discussion and consultation Discussion with other departments and SMT Writing draft objectives Strength Weakness Opportunity Threat Have a go at one of the above

7 EXAMPLES OF REAL OBJECTIVES To raise the level of achievement across Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 in Geography –Implementation through booster classes for students with level 5 or less at KS3, increased EAL support, mentoring by older students, master classes for G and T, extra fieldwork opportunities involving problem-solving, establish university links… To develop enrichment opportunities within Geography at all Key Stages to support attainment and encourage uptake at KS4 and post 16 –Implementation through establishment of geographical society for pupils, research and equip a ‘geo-trolley’ (mobile fieldwork equipment) for land-use and microclimate studies, write new and appropriate schemes of work, establish foreign fieldwork experience at AS level… To raise levels of achievement on Geography through the promotion of investigative skills and filedwork in all Key Stages and the sharing of expertise between professionals –Develop links with OS, GA and RGS, establish links with local primary schools and lead fieldwork for Year 6 pupils using Year 8 pupil mentors, lead master classes for able primary pupils, joint local sustainability project with neighbouring secondary school and local planning office… Evaluate these objectives: would they work for you and your school? How would you change them?

8 HAVING A THEME Many schools choose to have a theme for their specialist status. An agreed theme can help organise and prioritise activities. Schools have focused on themes like: The pupils as global citizens The global dimension ‘Five Ways on Five Continents’ Local-regional-global Sustainable development Changing the World What geographical theme might work for your school?

9 What developments could your Geography Department lead? The boxes show the key areas of school life that Humanities Specialist Status should affect Raising pupil achievement Increasing enrichment Opportunities for pupils Collaboration and Co-operation Curriculum innovation Forging community links Providing CPD Choose one of these key areas. What developments could you lead in school that would help achieve these?

10 How to be a Humanities Specialist Status school Some practical ideas (that have worked) Expand fieldwork opportunities, go abroad Run mystery fieldwork days Start a school geographical society Invest in an equipment library for local schools to use Start an Internet café Run themed Humanities weeks and days Start Geography school TV and radio channels Start a regular Geography newsletter or journal Develop a geography website and messageboards Make webcasts and podcasts Invest in GIS Make a GCSE in a Humanities subject compulsory, make it possible to take two Humanities subjects…

11 Re-brand your area of the school through decoration/colourscheme/displays/signs Contact local primary schools, secondary schools and university departments Take your pupils into primary classes as peer teachers Establish a Geography Working Group of pupils and allow them to co-plan the curriculum Establish real or virtual networks Join the GA and RGS (personal and schools membership) Host a GA branch Enter pupils for the Worldwise quiz (GA) and Young Geographer of the Year (RGS) competitions Apply to become CGeog Apply for the GA’s Secondary Geography Quality Mark award How to be a Humanities Specialist Status school Some more practical ideas (that have worked)

12 What practical ideas would work in your department and school? Which of the ideas listed on the previous slides could work in your school? Could you tweak any of them to make them even better and tailor them for you pupils?

13 THE CHALLENGES OF BEING A HUMANITIES SPECIALIST STATUS SCHOOL Discussion What do you think might be the challenges of being in the geography department in a Humanities Specialist Status school? Workload issues, need for protected time Quality of leadership (SMT) Forging links with other schools and community Meeting high expectations, leading school-wide change Getting great results, and then improving them Did I mention workload? Do your concerns match the list?

14 REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL THE GREAT BENEFITS OF HUMANITIES SPECIALIST STATUS Raised pupil achievement Increased pupil enjoyment Heightened department profile Geography is valued Increase in geography uptake Personal and departmental CPD Investment in department and subject Your CV looks good Personal and professional links Enjoyable!

15 Some last advice from someone who has been there.. Focus on a few aspects of the bid or projects at any one time Get protected time built into your timetable so that you can devote it to hums work Delegate and share Publicise your success Don’t be afraid to drop/amend objectives and projects if they don’t work or new ideas arise Be realistic and keep it simple

16 FOLLOW-UP Do a websearch to find other humanities specialist schools, find out what they do Choose one and arrange to visit, specialist schools are expected to host visits and share their experience (you are most welcome at Five Ways!) Join GA and RGS

17 VISIT THESE WEBSITES teacher-linkswith-humanities-specialist-status/

18 Contact Details Paula Cooper FRGS CGeog King Edward VI Five Ways School Humanities Specialist Status School with Geography as the lead subject Scotland Lane Bartley Green Birmingham B32 4BT


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