Joy as Sheffield secondary school scoops national award for work in geography

A Sheffield secondary school has become the first in the county to scoop a prestigious accolade for its work in geography.
The geography department at Forge Valley school are overjoyed with the awardThe geography department at Forge Valley school are overjoyed with the award
The geography department at Forge Valley school are overjoyed with the award

Forge Valley School, in Stannington, was awarded the Secondary Geographical Quality Mark (SGQM) this month by the Geographical Association.

It is currently the only secondary school in South Yorkshire to hold the accolade, which recognises the quality of learning, teaching, leadership and curriculum development in the subject.

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The SGQM award also encourages and supports schools to reflect on their work and strive for the highest quality in their geography teaching.

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Dale Barrowclough, Headteacher at Forge Valley School, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have received this award and I am extremely proud of the dedicated Geography department, and our enthusiastic, hardworking students.

"I think that we can all agree that both physical and social geographical contemporary matters are shaping humanity with more influence than ever before.

"This award helps acknowledge that pupils at Forge Valley School are equipped with a suitable understanding of geographical issues in order to shape the geography of future generations.”

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Samantha Walker, subject leader for Geography at Forge Valley, applied for the award in December 2019.

She said: “I was asked to provide evidence to meet a number of criteria on a variety of areas linked to teaching and learning in geography.

"This included evidence of field work, student and staff feedback, careers progression and examples of student work, which represented our delivery of the curriculum and the diverse range of engaging topics that students study.”

In July 2020 the evidence was submitted to the panel for consideration, and in September Samantha received confirmation from the Geographical Association on successfully achieving the award in ‘recognition of the excellence in teaching and learning in geography’ at the school.

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The Geographical Association said the standard of submissions had been especially high this year, particularly considering the disruption to the normal working environment and related logistical challenges surrounding Covid-19.

Parents and students can find out more about the award winning Geography department during a virtual opening evening hosted by the school on on Thursday, October 1.

For more information visit the Forge Valley website.

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