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Where Will I Live? Westholme School

A Geographical Mystery

Name of Teachers

Annie Woodhouse and Elizabeth Brown

Key Stage

Post 16
AQA B AS Module3 12.1 Option S.
Urban change in the UK and the Wider World with particular reference to inner city decline and regeneration.

Here is a Key Skills Audit for the scheme

Focus

Why do two similar houses in different areas of Blackburn have such widely differing values?

House 1: Mellor £167,500
House 2: Darwen £40,000

The introductory PowerPoint sets the scene of this mystery whilst the Activity Plan outlines the students’ tasks and learning experience. Their assessment was through a presentation task. The students were encouraged to use statistics about both areas. These can be obtained for any place by visiting National Statistics.

Concepts and Big Ideas

  • Place
  • Space
  • Scale
  • Interdependence
  • Sustainable Communities
  • Reasoning with Maps
  • Geographical Imaginations
  • Geographical Communication

Places

Darwen and Mellor
St Peters Regeneration area

Adapting this scheme for your own school

The mystery activity could easily be adapted for learners in both Key Stages 3 and 4. Many areas have houses in close proximity that are of widely different prices for a variety of geographical, reasons. Websites such as Rightmove could be helpful here as is Bing Maps and Google Earth. If you have access to a GIS then you may like to think about how you could use the GIS to support such an investigation. Alternatively you may wish to use this scheme as a case study.

Files that can be downloaded to support this scheme of work

Evaluation

The teachers were extremely positive about the motivation and engagement of their students:

“Being immersed in a topic was wonderful”

“It showed us how valuable conference style project work is for 16-18 students”

“We were amazed at how independently the students work when they can for the final task”

“The big issue for us was exploring sensitively with students the issues that they may be faced with concerning house prices. Many find that local homes were likely to be in excess of their potential salaries”

If we had our time again we would…

– make the follow-up more IT based
– allow more time for presentations by visiting professionals and local residents
– focus more on making stronger national connections

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