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Posted on 10 Oct 2019

WA Geography department awarded prestigious stamp of approval

Westminster Academy is delighted to announce that the Geography department has been awarded the “Secondary Geography Quality Mark” by the Geographical Association (GA). 

The award celebrates new and innovative approaches to teaching and learning in geography, and also looks at the progress made by students. Westminster Academy now joins only a thousand other schools worldwide who have received this prestigious award.

The Secondary Geography Quality Mark recognises student attainment, progress and achievement in areas such as geographical skills, knowledge, concepts and values. Alan Kinder, Chief Executive of the GA, said, “Geography not only fascinates and inspires young people, but provides them with the knowledge and understanding they need to live in the modern world.” When finding out about winning the award, Miss Taylor said, “It is absolutely fantastic to be recognised by the Geographical Association. It really reflects the dedication of our geography department; it is something we are incredibly proud of.”

In order to be considered for the award, schools undergo a rigorous moderation process, and the team of assessors were hugely impressed by the manner in which all teachers are continuing to embrace new and innovative approaches to teaching geography. Aidan Hesslewood, who moderated the award said, “Westminster Academy showcases a department that is exceptionally well led, cohesive, and hard-working in providing a wonderful geography education to its students.” He also praised the activities seen in lessons, saying, “it is great to see a focus on enquiry-based learning; the learning links with the wider world are exemplary.” Romaisa Khan in Year 11 said, “I love the geography trips - they are amazing opportunities to help us understand exactly what we are learning about”, whilst Kevin Ndoj in Year 10 commented, “I like that Geography links with other subjects like Economics.”

The geography department has been very fortunate to work with other departments in the school to ensure that students get holistic, multidisciplinary learning opportunities. For example, we have worked very closely with the Maths department, especially on Enrichment Day when delivering the Year 11 ‘Maths in Context’ collapsed day; the Enterprise department for the Sixth Form UrbanPlan workshops; and finally, the Science department on the annual GCSE West Wittering coastal fieldwork trip. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their continued support in aiding cross-curricular learning.

Finally, as Geography Coordinator, I would like to thank Mr Wilson, Miss Taylor and Mr Day for their daily commitment and hard work in constantly striving for excellence in the department, and to all Geography students throughout the school for contributing to the school’s success in winning this wonderful award.

Ms Patel, Geography Coordinator

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