Quality Mark for Geography Awarded to Talbot Heath

Quality Mark for Geography Awarded to Talbot Heath

10 September 2018

Congratulations to the Talbot Heath Geography department who have been awarded the Secondary Geography Quality Mark (SGQM), which recognises excellence in teaching and learning in geography, by The Geographical Association (GA).

The SGQM is a prestigious award that recognises quality and progress in geography leadership, curriculum development and learning and teaching in schools. All the awarded schools undergo a rigorous moderation process, and the National Moderation Team were hugely impressed by the manner in which schools are continuing to embrace new and innovative approaches to teaching geography. The SGQM recognises student attainment, progress and achievement in geographical knowledge, understanding, values and skills, and sets expectations about the quality of teaching in geography. It promotes effective subject leadership and management, helping subject leaders raise the standard of geography in their schools.

In 2018, nine schools have been awarded the coveted Centre of Excellence status. The schools awarded Centre of Excellence are pivotal to the GA’s desire to spread good practice through the development of local networks of teachers. This award recognises a school’s contribution to disseminating quality approaches to the teaching of geography, global learning and fieldwork. In Centres of Excellence, geography is managed by enthusiastic curriculum leaders who are able to inspire their colleagues.

 In September 2018, the schools awarded the SGQM with Centre of Excellence status are:

Gateacre School, Liverpool

International School of Toulouse, France

Ousedale School, Newport Pagnell

South Hampstead High School, London

Talbot Heath School, Bournemouth

Upper Wharfedale School, Skipton

West Island School, Hong Kong

Wilmington Grammar School for Girls, Dartford

Wootton Upper School, Bedford

 Rebecca Kitchen, GA Curriculum Manager, said:

‘It is vital for young people today to experience an engaging, relevant and quality geography curriculum that helps them to make sense of an increasingly interconnected world and to negotiate their place within it. Yet, in a time of curriculum change and performance indicators it is sometimes easy to lose sight of this. The SGQM enables schools to focus critically on what they are doing and why, in order to provide their young people with the knowledge and understanding they need to live in the modern world.’


Alan Kinder, GA Chief Executive, said:

‘There has never been a more important time for all children and young people to study geography. Growing up in the 21st century means living in an increasingly interconnected world, one facing a growing number of global challenges such as climate change and the need to live our lives sustainably. Geography not only fascinates and inspires young people, it provides them with the knowledge and understanding they need to live in the modern world. Geography is, as we say in the GA’s Manifesto, ‘fundamental to everyone’ and I am delighted that a growing number of secondary schools are teaching their students to fully engage with the subject.’

Elizabeth Atkins, Head of Geography at Talbot Heath said:

‘I am thrilled will this award and the recognition of the work our geography department does. I would especially like to thank all the Geography and support staff at Talbot Heath who facilitate our events. Their hard work and dedication is greatly valued. It is a fantastic achievement for the school.’

 Alongside the range of fieldtrips and throughout the year, Talbot Heath is hosting the DGA conference in January 2019. Following on from the success of the Geography tours to Sorrento and Iceland, the Geography and Drama departments are also leading an exciting cultural and educational visit to Japan in the spring.  

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