The annual GA Awards ceremony recognises the achievements of individuals, schools and publishers during the previous year. The 2015 GA Awards were presented at the GA Annual Conference in Manchester.
GA Annual Award for Excellence
This award is presented for those who made a significant contribution to the GA’s work over the last 12 months. This year’s award goes to The Manchester Branch of the GA. The Branch is very proactive in contributing to the teaching and learning of geography by engaging with a large number of schools across the North West. The range of lectures provides young people and teachers alike with the opportunity to update their geographical knowledge and understanding and take their learning beyond the text book, encouraging wider reading and the sourcing of contemporary case studies and academic research.
The branch always directly engages with the Annual Conference when it is hosted in Manchester. Events and sessions give any member attending conference a unique insight into the geography of this vibrant and dynamic city. The branch has been a real asset to the success of conference and, this year, to the futures day for young people where, working in collaboration with the school of geography, 60 or more young people will directly engage in geographical laboratory work, lectures and workshops with staff and undergraduates.
GA Outstanding All Rounder Award
This award is presented to a GA member who has made an outstanding contribution to the work of the Association in furthering the learning and teaching of geography. This year’s award goes to Juanita Shepherd.
Juanita is one of the founding members of the reformed Sheffield Branch of the GA, but more importantly she is the driving force and administrator for all the Branch’s activities. This ranges from spells as treasurer, promoter, secretary and administrator to a combination of any of these four! Without her, the Branch would not be in existence. In addition to this she also organises the annual GA quiz in Sheffield, which has proved highly successful under her management. She has managed this while bringing up a family and working extremely hard in a number of different geography departments in the city.
The types of events she has organised include staff training in the use of simple GIS packages using the CLC at Notre Dame School and numerous different pupil conferences at Sheffield Hallam and the University of Sheffield, aiming to bridge the gap between school geography and higher education. She has also organised an excellent showcase event for University of Sheffield ITT students to share their experiences and best practice with teachers from across the city. Without doubt this shows how the GA can develop and expand its networks as these ITT students leave for employment all over the UK.
GA Outstanding Service Diploma
This award is presented to GA members who have made a significant contribution to fostering the aims of the GA in furthering the study and teaching of geography; given outstanding service to the GA through membership of and contribution to the work of its committees or sub-groups; and contributed to national and local GA conferences and events, to consultation documents and to GA publications. This year’s awardees are Jane Whittle and Joyce Hallam.
GA Award for Excellence in Leading Geography
This award is presented to those articles in each of our three journals (Geography, Teaching Geography and Primary Geography) which have made the greatest contribution to the development of good practice, as decided by a poll on the GA website.
This year’s winners are:
‘Do you believe in bog babies?’
Sharon Witt with Jason Cannons, Amy Brooks, Lucy Keable and Jamie Loftus
‘Where are the clouds located?’
‘Development: geographical perspectives on a contested topic’
GA Publishers’ Award
The GA Publishers’ Awards are given to resources which the judges consider are most likely to make a significant contribution to geographical education. Each entry is sent to two GA members for an initial assessment. These assessors make judgements about quality, design, originality, appropriateness and significance. The leading entries are then considered further by a judging panel.
This year’s awards are as follows:
Silver: El Salvador Education Pack
London: CAFOD schools team, 2014
Silver: Jumpstart! Geography
Mark Jones and Sarah Whitehouse – Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Silver: You, Me and Diversity: Picturebooks for teaching development and intercultural education
Anne M. Dolan
London: IOE Press, 2014
Silver: Rediscovering London’s Geography
The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
Highly Commended: Discovering Galapagos
Galapagos Conservation Trust and Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
Highly commended: Living with a Changing Coast: Primary learning and teaching programme – Exe Estuary and Poole Harbour
LiCCo Project, 2014
Highly Commended: The Rise of the BRICS in the Global Economy
Apple iBook, 2014
Highly Commended: Educating for Hope in Troubled Times: Climate change and the transition to a post-carbon future
David W Hicks
London: IOE Press/Trentham Books, 2014
Highly Commended: Collins Primary Geography
Stephen Scoffham and Colin Bridge
London: Collins, 2014
Highly Commended: Back 2 Front: The Americas
Lead practitioners in geography
This new joint award has been given by SSAT and GA to awardees of the SSAT Lead Practitioner accreditation and GA’s Geography Quality Mark. These individuals demonstrate both leadership and outstanding expertise in geography education. The three awardees are:
- Pete Flaxman from Barking Abbey School, Barking
- Marie Sweetlove from Bradfields School, Chatham
- Tony Hayes from Stamford Welland Academy
The Outstanding Geography Students Award
The Outstanding Geography Student Award is a competition from the GA and travel company Discover the World, which offers students the exciting opportunity to win a trip to Iceland. The competition is designed to promote geography as an exciting subject, encourage students to study geography post-GCSE and, of course, recognise outstanding geography students! To enter, students were required to submit an essay of 800–1000 words answering one of a series of questions and give reasons why they should win the trip to Iceland.
This year’s winner is Zachary Elliott from Castle Rushen High School.
The Frederick Soddy Awards
The Frederick Soddy Trust wishes to encourage students’ interest in field study by providing financial support. Schools often find it difficult to compete successfully for funds from the main grant-making bodies or to allocate their own financial resources to field studies. The Trust hopes to encourage field studies by providing support specifically for such work.
This year five schools have won Frederick Soddy Awards:
- Hempsted C of E Primary School, Gloucester
- Cann Bridge School, Plymouth
- Hereford Academy, Hereford
- Cockshut Hill Technology College, Birmingham
- Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, Canterbury
- Oasis Academy Brightstowe, Bristol
- St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School, Weymouth
- Falinge Park High School, Rochdale
- Sir Richard Reynolds Catholic College, Twickenham
Primary and Secondary Quality Marks
The Primary and Secondary Quality Marks recognise quality and progress in geography leadership, curriculum development, teaching and learning. With dozens of schools winning Awards in 2014–15, we are unable to list them all here, but maps showing all current Award holders are available on the Primary and Secondary Quality Mark pages.