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Young Geographer of the Year and Rex Walford Award 2015

The question for this year’s competition is “Why does Antarctica matter?”  This coincides with the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition, which aimed to complete the first crossing of Antarctica.  However, Shackleton’s ship was crushed in the ice leading to his crew being relocated to Elephant Island; a journey of 800 miles across the Southern Ocean to South Georgia and the successful rescue of all his men.  Despite failing in his original plans Shackleton’s expedition is recognised as a remarkable feat of leadership and endeavour.  

The competition is the opportunity to explore why Antarctica still matters today.  This may be for a number of reasons spanning:

  • Its world-leading science 
  • The continent’s unique bio-diversity and landscapes
  • As a location which still inspires people with awe and wonder of the natural world
  • Its unique status as the only continent in the world without countries and is governed by the Antarctic Treaty which promotes science, peaceful purposes, sets aside historic territorial claims and prevents military activities

The website www.discoveringantarctica.org.uk, developed jointly by the Society, British Antarctic Survey and Foreign & Commonwealth Office, provides a wealth of information about this continent.  

The Young Geographer of the Year competition has categories for pupils aged 9 – 18 and the Rex Walford award asks a trainee or newly qualified teacher to develop a scheme of work of at least three lessons on this year’s theme. 

More details about the competition and how to apply will be published in April.

2014 winners

Each category had one overall winner and three highly commended entries. The winners were:

9 to 11 years category (KS2)

Winner: Beth Green, St Paulinus Primary Catholic Voluntary Academy | View entry (JPG)

Highly Commended entries:

11-14 years category (KS3)

Winner: Ben Waller, Cardinal Newman Catholic School | View entry (JPG)

Highly Commended entries:

14-16 years category (KS4)

Winner: Victoria Synek Herd, Colyton Grammar School | View entry (JPG)

Highly Commended entries:

16-18 years category (KS5)

Winner: Sophie Catherine Topp, St Helen and St Katharine

Highly Commended entries:

Details of the Young Geographer of the Year award in 2015 will be published in Spring 2015.

Rex Walford Award 2014

Rex Walford Award 2014 – for student teachers or teaching colleague new to the classroom

The Society was also delighted to announce the winner of The Rex Walford Award 2014 for PGCSE students and newly qualified teachers (NQT), reflecting the late Rex Walford’s passion for training new geography teachers. This was awarded to the best set of teaching resources, scheme of work or lesson plans linked to this year’s Young Geographer of the Year competition. The winner of the annual award in 2014 was Becki Quigley from The McAuley Catholic Voluntary Academy in Doncaster. Becki can be seen in the slideshow above.

Supported by:

Cotswold Outdoor Ordnance Survey
Philips Stanfords

David W.Smith Memorial Prize 2015 Essay Competition, supported by Routledge Publishers

The Developing Areas Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) annual essay competition in memory of David W. Smith.

David W Smith, who also published under the name of David Drakakis Smith, was an outstanding scholar committed to researching on Third World cities. He died in 1999.

A2 level students in England and Wales and Advanced Higher students in Scotland are invited to write an essay of up to 1500 words on the following title:

Discuss the challenges faced by cities in the developing world in their efforts to become sustainable.

Essay prize: £100 in book vouchers. Essays should be word processed, double spaced.

Essays must be received by Friday 27 February 2015. Please include your name, school and contact details with your essay. Your teacher must confirm that the essay is your own work.
If you would like to acknowledge receipt of your essay please include a stamped addressed envelope.

Submit either hard copy or electronic copy to the address below.

Gill Miller
David W Smith Memorial Prize
Department of Geography and Development Studies
University of Chester College
Parkgate Road
Chester CH1 4BJ   

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