Invigorate your geography teaching with a GA CPD course
Develop your practice, understanding and subject knowledge with one of our expert-led courses. We have an extensive, subject-specific professional development offer covering a wide range of topics, all based on the latest thinking and research.
You’ll have the opportunity to network with others and engage in structured collaboration, discussion and peer support. Our experienced, quality assured presenters will challenge your thinking, bring in new perspectives and be adaptable to your particular needs and context.
Through our pre- and post- course support and member access to our GA Professional Passport, we’ll ensure a sustained experience with loads of practical ideas and resources to use back in the classroom.
Teachers, quite rightly, want to know that the external professional development that they engage in will be of high quality, relevant to them and value for money. Yet, in the absence of a system-wide process to quality assure teachers’ professional development, these things are difficult to know in advance and are a significant barrier to participation (Perry et. al., 2019).
The GA CPD team works hard to ensure that the professional development we provide is of the highest quality. Here, we outline the quality assurance processes we have in place so teachers and school leaders can share our confidence.
In 2016, the DfE issued a non-statutory standard for teacher professional development which highlights what school leaders, teachers and providers of professional development can do to make professional development effective. In addition, we have been involved in the work of the Wellcome Trust, the Chartered College of Teaching and Sheffield Hallam University on the quality assurance of professional development, both in an advisory capacity and through piloting the framework. We have subsequently assessed our CPD provision against these standards and adjusted some of our practices in order to make our provision as high quality and effective as possible.
- Professional development should have a clear focus on improving and evaluating pupil outcomes
You’ll notice that all of our courses highlight the expected outcomes for the students of teachers who engage with GA CPD. We also send out pre-course material so that our presenters better understand your prior knowledge, experience and goals.
- Professional development should be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise
We are explicit about the evidence underpinning our CPD. We refer to it on the booking form for each course and you will be encouraged to read one or more relevant articles as part of your pre-course preparation. Our presenters are experienced, and in many cases, practising geography teachers who will be sensitive to your particular context but will also draw out and constructively challenge your existing beliefs.
- Professional development should include collaboration and expert challenge
Most of our CPD courses will involve structured discussion built into each session and our presenters are skilled at using their external perspective to challenge current orthodoxies, raise expectations and introduce evidence informed practices.
- Professional development programmes should be sustained over time
We know that the most effective professional development encourages teachers to practice and critically reflect on what they have learnt. All teachers who engage in our CPD will be able to network with others and share examples of their practice. GA members will also have access to the GA Professional Passport, which supports the deep and critical reflection of their professional development experiences.
- Professional development must be prioritised by school leadership
We hope that, by being explicit about our quality assurance processes, highlighting the research evidence underpinning our professional development and explaining the expected outcomes for both teachers and students, that this will provide the information needed for school leaders to prioritise geography-specific CPD
Our presenters are essential to the quality and effectiveness of our CPD provision. All have a track record of developing and delivering quality sessions, often through our Annual Conference programme, and many are practising teachers. We are always interested to hear from teachers who would like to be involved in presenting our CPD. For further information e-mail Becky Kitchen.
All presenters attend an induction webinar which outlines the key aspects of high quality and effective professional development. They have access to materials, resources and support from the GA Head of Professional Development and Primary Curriculum Leader to help their planning. The course recordings are also regularly reviewed and used to further develop and quality assure our offer. Presenters are also given access to the GA Professional Passport so that they can critically reflect on the CPD which they deliver and several have achieved the GA Professional Award.
The GA offers a range of CPD courses for primary and secondary teachers as well as GCSE and A level geography students. As part of our quality assurance, we take regular feedback from delegates and our courses have an average satisfaction rating of 4.7 out of 5. You can see here what some of our delegates and presenters have to say:
“Really informative, clear and good chance for discussion with others on the course.”
“An excellent course packed full of information and very well presented. You couldn’t have packed more into the day.”
“I would like to thank all the presenters. I had an interview for a Head of Geography role 6 days after the course and I was offered the job. The course really helped me to prepare thoroughly for the interviews I faced.”
“Absolutely one of the best training days I have been on. The content was exactly what I needed for me to feel confident that I can implement it throughout our school.”
“Students love these webinars! Clear and useful messages, backed up with relevant examples and always related back to the mark scheme. After each one they have gone away with a checklist of things to review and tweaked their investigations accordingly. Bob and Dave are two very popular new members of our 6th Form Geography family!”
Our delegates regularly get in touch to let us know the impact that GA CPD has had on them and their students and we publish some of these in our ‘impact interview’ in GA Magazine. Read recent interviews below and get in touch with Becky Kitchen if you’d like to be interviewed for a future edition.
Simran Jouhal was one of the first recipients of the GA Enhanced Professional Award and used her submission to reflect on the GA CPD that she had engaged with. She now presents a session as part of our Heads of Geography eConference. In this extract she talks about the support she received from presenter David Holmes which helped her and her department to better meet the fieldwork requirements for the new GCSE specifications.
“David explained the new demands of fieldwork and how this different from previous legacy specifications. It was then understood the greater need of ‘why’ rather than ‘what’. Students needed to fully understand the enquiry led process and each steps strengths and limitations, rather than knowing ‘just’ their results from the field trips.
We created lessons to be taught before and after the fieldwork, each based on the steps of the enquiry process…and a revision session for our year 11 students, to revisit what they did on the trips and explained the steps of the enquiry. These were very well received by students.
A longer term action was to embed fieldwork into KS3. We added fieldwork around the school site on both environmental quality and microclimates, as well as one on our local area. These were added with the purpose of teaching the enquiry process from the very beginning of students secondary geography experience at our school.
Our GCSE results the following year showed an average of +3 marks for the fieldwork section for our cohort. Additionally, student voice questionnaires showcased students felt very positively about the fieldwork resources provided and experiences.”
Emma Espley presents our hugely popular ‘In the know: primary geography subject update’ course and achieved the GA Enhanced Professional Award in 2021. Below is an extract from her submission which details her reflections on her professional development experiences.
“A further event that was hugely worthwhile in terms of my own CPD was the very intensive ‘Train the trainer‘ weekend. This has since enabled me to deliver training to many teachers, both within and beyond Gloucestershire. I am delighted to have been asked to deliver another course in February and April of this year and very encouraged to see a number of teachers have registered within a week of publicising it! Whilst this will be virtual, there will be plenty of opportunity for interaction via the ‘breakout room’ facility in Zoom, as well as the chat feed and open discussions.”