What Makes an Area Good or Bad?
Name of Teachers
Brian Jeffery and Claire Willis
Key Stage 3, Year 8 Mixed Ability
Year 8 students looked at comparing houses in Burnley and Cambridge, and at suggesting solutions to their perceptions of Burnley’s urban issues. The sequence of learning and examples of student work (Student 1, Student 2, Student 3, Student 4) illustrate how students were supported in thinking carefully about where they live.
Concepts and Big Ideas
- Sustainable Communities
- Reasoning with Maps
- Geographical Imaginations
- Geographical Communication
Burnley and Cambridge
Adapting this scheme for your own school
All areas have local issues. All students have views. There is much to be gained by thinking about how the students’ perceptions of familiar and distant locations have been informed. It is purposeful for the geography teacher to introduce a range of different information. Students can then explore how geographical information might empower (improve?) their thinking and ultimately their actions.
The scheme of work may provide a useful scaffold for a similar unit of work based on your locality. You may wish to make a comparison with an area that on average has higher/lower house prices than the one that you are in, and start to tease out some of the reasons for this. The key here is not to see the places as being in competition with each other, rather each place represents a different spatial outcome of housing market and design issues.
Files available to download
Examples of student displays:
Examples of student work:
- Student 1 : How our areas could be improved
- Student 2 : Prices of houses in Burnley and Cambridge
- Student 3 : More for Less
- Student 4 : House prices in Burnley and average
We enjoyed the opportunities presented by geography and citizenship teachers working in collaboration and learning from each other.
The sequence of learning benefited from an emphasis on personal and group work that drew on pupils’ experiences and involved then in actually taking their own photographs, conducting their own internet research and creating their own posters and display work.
We noticed a reduction in discipline problems due to a slower work pace.
We made some useful links with the Building Schools for the Future programme.
The pupils were enthusiastic about the focus on their ideas and spaces.
One thing that was particularly successful was asking the pupils to focus on solutions to the particular housing issues in Burnley and the wider issues across the country.