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Competitions

Young Geographer of the Year and Rex Walford Award

Young Geographer of the Year 2016

How is Britain changing?

This year's competition provides students with the opportunity to explore geographical change from many different perspectives, at both local and national scales. 

Students might be interested to consider change in relation to:

  • The human geography of their local area
  • The built and managed environments that surround them
  • The physical features of their local landscape
  • The ways in which people interact with, or are influenced by, their environment
  • Whether the changes they identify locally are representative of changes taking place at a national scale
  • Whether Britain's geopolitical relationships with the EU and other countries might be changing
  • The geographical processes that are driving change
  • Whether change has been sudden or gradual.  

The competition has four categories: KS2, KS3, GCSE and A Level. The Society encourages schools to run their own local semi-finals before entering their top-placed entries into the national competition. We encourage entries which illustrate how pupils have collected and used data from a variety of sources, including the collection of first-hand data through fieldwork.

For images and information about Britain's urban, rural and managed landscapes, please visit Britain from the Air. Britain from the Air is a major national, outdoor touring exhibition, with accompanying online resources, of over 100 aerial photographs telling a fascinating story of Britain's geography and history.

You may wish to look at change in Britain by comparing current and historical maps of the same area. A range of maps can be accessed through Ordnance Survey's Digimap for Schools and Esri UK's ArcGIS Online.

With information on over 100 local walks, trails and viewpoints, Discovering Britain helps people learn more about the geographical stories behind Britain's rich and varied landscapes.

For more support on how geographical data can be used, please visit Data Skills in Geography.

The deadline for all entries is 9.00am Friday 14 October 2016.

Rex Walford Award 2016

The Rex Walford Award is for trainees or teachers who have just started their careers, including students enrolled on a PGCE, Teach First and Schools Direct alongside NQTs and colleagues at a similar stage in their careers.

Linked to the Young Geographer of the Year competition, this years' Rex Walford Award asks entrants to produce a short scheme of work, covering at least 3 lessons that focuses on the question 'How is Britain changing?' The Society welcomes innovative and effective approaches to engaging students with this question and would also be interested to see examples of students' work that has results from the lessons.

The deadline for all entries is 9.00am Friday 14 October 2016.

The Young Geographer of the Year competition and Rex Walford Award are kindly supported by:

Cotswold Outdoor Ordnance Survey Philips
Stanfords


Young Geographer of the Year 2015

Why does Antarctica matter?

The question for this year’s Young Geographer of the Year competition coincided with the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition, which aimed to complete the first crossing of Antarctica. Despite failing in his original plans and being stranded on pack ice for over a year, Shackleton and his men returned safely and the expedition is recognised as one of the most remarkable feats of leadership and endeavour.

This year’s competition was an opportunity for students to explore why Antarctica still matters today. This may be for a number of reasons, spanning:

  • Antarctica's world-leading science
  • The continent's unique biodiversity and landscapes
  • As a location which still inspires people with awe and wonder of the natural world
  • Antarctica's unique status as the only continent in the world without countries
  • Antarctica's governance by the Antarctic Treaty which promotes science, peaceful purposes, sets aside territorial claims and prevents military activity

In support of the competition, we asked a range of experts who work on issues surrounding Antarctica to tell us why Antarctica matters to them. The videos can be seen on our #WhyDoesAntarcticaMatter? page.

Discovering Antarctica, developed in partnership with the British Antarctic Survey and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, features a wealth of information about the distant, frozen wilderness of Antarctica.

The competition has four categories: Key Stage 2 (students aged 9-11), Key Stage 3 (students aged 11-14), Key Stage 4 or GCSE (students aged 14-16) and Key Stage 5 or A Level (students aged 16-18).

The 2015 winners are:

Key Stage 2 (students aged 9-11)

Winner: Catherine James, The Lady Eleanor Holles School | View entry (JPG)

Highly Commended entries:

Key Stage 3 (students aged 11-14)

Winner: Molly Hughes, Balcarras School | View entry (JPG)

Highly Commended entries:

Key Stage 4 or GCSE (students aged 14-16)

Winner: Katie Banks, Millais School | View entry (JPG)

Highly Commended entries:

Key Stage 5 or A Level (students aged 16-18)

Winner: Daniel Vaughan, Colyton Grammar School | View entry (PDF)

Highly Commended entries:


Rex Walford Award 2015 

The Rex Walford Award is for trainees or teachers who have just started their careers, including students enrolled on a PGCE, Teach First and Schools Direct alongside NQTs and colleagues at a similar stage in their careers. The award reflects the late Rex Walford's passion for training new geography teachers who can inspire their pupils in their subject.

Linked to the Young Geographer of the Year competition, this years’ Rex Walford Award asked entrants to produce a short scheme of work, covering at least three lessons that focused on the question ‘Why does Antarctica matter?’

The winner of the 2015 Rex Walford Award is Fiona Tremelling, a teacher at Windsor Girls' School.

Kindly supported by:

Cotswold Outdoor Ordnance Survey Philips
Stanfords
 

Philip’s World Photography Competition in association with RGS-IBG

It is amazing how much a place can mean to us, be it a favourite country, the local park, or even your back garden. Sometimes, all it takes is a photograph to transport us back to those treasured locations or inspire us to travel to a new destination.

Philip’s and RGS-IBG searched for the next top photographer to capture a snapshot on the theme of ‘my favourite place’.

Winner

Phoebe Roberts-Shephard, 17 years old, Windsor Girls' School

I took this image at Gullfoss waterfall in Iceland. Although I have only visited this particular country and location once, I was stunned by the natural beauty of the area. As a keen photographer, I found Gullfoss a perfect place to photograph, especially due to the rain storm just before I took this photo which resulted in the spectacular rainbow in the foreground. I found Gullfoss to be an extremely peaceful and beautiful place, and that is why I have chosen it as my favourite place.

Runner up

Sarina Saini, 16 years old, Windsor Girls' School

The dearest place to me is near my home; the Windsor and Eton riverside. The beautiful landscape with the Eton Bridge lounging in the distance and the calm waters create a magnificently tranquil atmosphere. The mute swans I think make the river truly magical, they are nostalgic in the sense that it reminds me of the fairy tale stories told to me when I was little. I go there to read sometimes because it is usually quiet by the bank and the aesthetics of all the animals living among one another in serenity is a remarkable sight to relax by. Thanks for your time.

Read the full terms and conditions. If you have any queries, please email philipsphotocompetition@octopusbooks.co.uk

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

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 were 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 from Routledge publishers.
 
We have had over 30 essays from 15 schools of all types.
 
The winner of the 2015 DWS prize is Jack Rogers from Eton School. 

Two highly commended essays:
Imogen Robinson at The Royal High School, Bath
Lauren Dawe from Mount Kelly, Tavistock

Please be aware that this competition will not run in 2016, details of the 2017 competition will be posted in due course.

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