Geography Quality Marks
The Primary and Secondary Geography Quality Marks are awards which recognise quality and progress in geography leadership, curriculum development, learning and teaching in school. As well as acknowledging excellence within a whole school, they also indicate effective team leadership and high quality geography teaching.
The self assessment frameworks can be used as a tool for reviewing the school or department and can identify areas where geography teaching and learning can be improved.
At secondary level, the whole team takes part in an ongoing process of curriculum review, identifying priorities for departmental CPD, sharing good practice around a framework for encouraging creative and critical thinking about curriculum making and developing a dynamic, relevant KS3.
Geography Quality Marks are assessed and awarded by the Geographical Association.
Secondary Geography Quality Mark
The Secondary Geography Quality Mark (SGQM) is a framework which has been developed by the Geographical Association to enable subject leaders to raise the standards of geography in school, supporting the teaching of quality geography and promoting department leadership and management.
The overarching strength of the Quality Mark is its capacity to act as an effective lever of change for the development of geography in the schools that take part.
Why your school should apply
Undertaking the Quality Mark engages all staff in the department in a process of reflection about how well the department is achieving its aims and where its priorities lie. The template is based on the whole school Self Evaluation Form (SEF), well-honed by Ofsted, thus matching the generic SEF which each head teacher goes through annually in reviewing the school's work.
The whole team takes part in an ongoing process of curriculum review, identifying priorities for departmental CPD, sharing good practice around a framework for encouraging creative and critical thinking about curriculum making and developing a dynamic, relevant Key Stage 3.
What is the nature of the award?
The Secondary Geography Quality Mark is awarded at two levels - The Quality Award itself and a higher Centre of Excellence Award recognising the department's contribution to promoting quality geography beyond the school and into the local or regional education community.
Centre of Excellence status
The first level award is verified on the basis of the written evidence. To achieve Centre of Excellence status, which recognises the department's contribution to quality geography beyond the school and into the local or regional education community, appropriate witness statements will be required.
Certificate and logo
When an award has been achieved a certificate will be sent from the GA for display, along with a similar one for the subject leader to recognise their work. The school will also recieve an electronic version of the SGQM logo for use on letter headings and websites etc.
The award is valid for three years and resubmission or registration for the next period is necessary after two years.
What will it cost?
In order to meet some of the costs of administration and moderation it is necessary to make a charge for departments undertaking the award on the following scale:
Small schools - Less than 750 pupils - £250
Medium schools - Between 750 and 1200 pupils - £350
Large schools - More than 1,200 pupils - £450
In many cases it should be possible to arrange this funding from the school inset budget, and payment may be made in installments.
Current Geographical Association membership is essential when applying for the SGQM. Once awarded, schools are also requested to maintain their GA membership for the three year period that the SGQM is valid.
If you are a returning school please note that you be charged using the following scale:
- Small schools - Less than 750 pupils - £185
- Medium schools - Between 750 and 1200 pupils - £260
- Large schools - More than 1200 pupils - £335