Thursday, 26 May 2011

Controlled Assessment update - It's going very well!

 Our students have spent the last few weeks working on their controlled assessment enquiry into "How and why the quality of life varies within Maidstone, Kent".  It has been interesting to assess their views on the whole process.  Although some have viewed it as just 'work' and others have not enjoyed the pressure of assessment, I have been thrilled with the enthusiasm many have shown. One student commented on how this has been the most interesting part of the course.

An automatically generated graph
I was very pleased with the Google Forms survey data which yielded some fascinating insights into the the social and psychological quality of life of residents.  I was surprised by some of the responses.  For example in an apparently fairly affluent outer suburb over 50% of residents had an income of less than £20,000.  80% of them felt either very safe or safe but 20% felt very unsafe.  Many of our students spotted and commented on these interesting responses.  I was a little disappointed with the size of the return sample.  The best response was 15 out of 100 but there is plenty of evaluative points for the students to get their teeth into.

In today's double geography lesson, after having spent several lessons on analysing our data to answer the 'how' question, we began to get into the 'why' question.  I was keen to teach some concepts to the students and used some of the following diagrams to help.  It was exciting to hear the students easily use phrases like "in the outer suburbs..."  and "re-urbanisation is affecting the quality of life in Tovil because..."

We have had technical problems installing Digital Worlds GIS onto the school network but next school week I am very excited about unleashing the power of GIS in the classroom.  I really think visualising the spatial patterns quality of life will really shape their knowledge and hope they will be able to apply their understanding.  I will blog more about this!