Through its Learning and Leading programme, the Society offers two fully-funded fieldwork masterclass weekends a year for GCSE and A Level geography teachers. Ben Bourton recently attended the 2015 physical geography fieldwork masterclass.
The Teachers’ Masterclass Weekends are available for geography teachers working in schools facing challenging circumstances in their provision of geography. They deliver advice on planning fieldwork and aim to enable geography teachers to better provide free and accessible fieldwork in their school’s local area.
This year’s physical geography fieldwork masterclass took place in June at the Blencathra Field Studies Centre in the Lake District National Park.
Ben Bourton, a geography teacher at Brune Park Community School, described the weekend as “a fantastic opportunity to get out ‘in the field’ to learn new techniques and ideas, and test technology and apparatus that we wouldn’t normally have the chance to use”.
He said: “It’s been hugely beneficial working with geographers from all parts of the country, and discussing and sharing different fieldwork techniques. The sessions on rivers and glaciation were very useful as they started off being a recap and then went on to look at many different techniques that can be used quickly and easily in our school environments”.
The Teachers’ Masterclass Weekends form one strand of the Society’s Learning and Leading programme, which is now entering its final year of existing funding.
The programme is designed to give opportunities to those who have faced or are facing challenging circumstances. Its other strands include bursaries for maintained school A Level students to undertake fieldwork summer schools in the UK; grants for school leavers to go on to a meaningful gap year; and grants which enable first year geography undergraduates to take part in overseas research projects.
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