The Final Countdown is a comprehensive set of resources to support students in the run-up to exams. The work of JB GeogTeacher inspired the initiative.
The Final Countdown has been created to provide students with weekly revision activities in the run-up to the AQA GCSE Geography exams in May and June 2023. Each set contains a six-week revision plan to support students in organising their revision. In addition, each week has a QR code to online resources, guides, quizzes and exam questions (including example answers and mark schemes) for students to use to prepare for their final exams.
Feedback from an Internet Geography Plus subscriber
The image below illustrates how The Final Coundown works.
The Final Countdown overview
Internet Geography Plus subscribers can access the six-weekly revision sheets when they are published (week 1-6 is available now!).
Each week, revision is divided into three sections, revise, quiz and exam questions.
Students revise an area of the specification, and the QR code will take them to a menu of pages on Internet Geography to support this. In addition, we’ve provided A3 templates for the students to use to structure their revision. These include knowledge organisers and mind maps. The image below shows examples.
Knowledge organiser and mind map templates are provided for each week
Internet Geography Plus subscribers can download the first batch of knowledge organisers and mind maps for lessons 1-3. More are coming this week!
Review is an opportunity for students to revisit their learning by completing online multiple-choice quizzes to test their knowledge. These are all available on Internet Geography for free. Alternatively, Plus subscribers could direct their students to the Internet Geography Plus MS/Google forms quizzes to monitor progress (and completion!).
Finally, students complete exam questions based on the area they revised the previous week. To support students, we’re putting together a guide to completing each question and an example answer.
We’ve published the first couple of student pages if you want to see an example here.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll add many resources to support The Final Countdown. Internet Geography Plus subscribers can access the resources here. However, if you’re not a subscriber, why not join to access this and hundreds of other resources? Please take a look at our subscription options.
https://www.internetgeography.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/The-Final-Countdown.png6701200Anthony Bennetthttps://www.internetgeography.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/IG-logo--1030x115.pngAnthony Bennett2023-01-24 20:34:512023-01-24 20:34:51What is The Final Countdown?
We’re excited to announce that we’ll soon be launching Internet Geography Primary Plus. As you might have guessed, we’re extending our Plus family to include resources specifically developed for the primary school curriculum. Our team of writers are currently developing editable resources for use in your classroom!
We want to make sure Internet Geography Primary Plus works for you! So, we’d love to hear your views about the types of resources you’d like to see made available on Internet Geography Primary Plus. As a thank you for taking the time to share your views, we’ll make sure you’re the first to know about the launch of Internet Geography Primary Plus and will throw in a discount on your first annual subscription!
At least 1,036 people have died, and another 2,949 were injured in an earthquake that struck Afghanistan’s Paktika province on the morning of Wednesday 22nd June 2022. The earthquake struck about 44km (27 miles) from the south-eastern city of Khost shortly after 01:30 local time (21:00 Tuesday GMT), when many people were asleep at home.
Earthquakes are common in Afghanistan’s mountainous province of Khost — nearly 50 have been recorded over the past five years, according to the US Geological Survey.
Afghanistan is earthquake-prone because it is located on the Alpide belt, the second most seismically active region in the world after the Pacific Ring of Fire.
The Alpide Belt
The Alpide belt runs about 15,000 kilometres, from the southern part of Eurasia through the Himalayas and into the Atlantic. Along with the Hindu Kush, it includes a number of fold mountain ranges, such as the Alps, Atlas Mountains and the Caucasus Mountains. It has been formed by the collision of a number of tectonic plates.
The Arabian, Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates meet In Afghanistan and create earthquakes when they shift against each other at their borders. The boundary between the Indian and Eurasian plates exists near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan.
The earthquake in Afghanistan formed when the Indian plate crashed violently with the Eurasian plate. Collisions like this shake and squeeze the ground upwards. Along with causing earthquakes, this movement creates mountains like the Himalayas or the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges in northeast Afghanistan.
What were the effects of the Afghanistan earthquake?
The most recent figures put the death toll at 1,150 people with at least 1,600 injuries. The number of dead and injured is expected to rise as remote areas are reached and rescue workers are able to search collapsed buildings.
The earthquake destroyed critical infrastructure — including homes, health facilities, schools and water networks.
In the areas that have been accessed so far, as many as 1,900 homes have been destroyed including 1,028 in Giyan, 450 in Barmal and 416 in Spera. Many homes had large families of seven or more people, so the number of people affected is significant. This is well over half of Giyan’s housing stock.
As many as 10,000 more homes have been damaged extensively and risk imminent collapse. Many of the homes were comprised of mud bricks, making them very susceptible to damage and destruction. Ongoing assessments of the conditions of the housing are continuing.
At least 65 children have been orphaned or are unaccompanied in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Of the deaths, at least 155 were children, including 134 in the Giyan district, and 250 were injured. Seven schools in Khost and Paktika provinces were damaged by the earthquake (5,135 students) with additional damage reported in Gani Khil and Dor Baba districts.
The risk of communicable diseases, such as acute watery diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera, and malaria increased due to the fragile living conditions in the affected communities and high temperatures in summer. There was an upward trend of AWD cases following the earthquake (Between 3 to 10 July, a total of 464 AWD cases were reported).
What were the responses to the Afghanistan earthquake?
Since the take over of government by the Taliban in 2021, Afghanistan has experienced a humanitarian crisis, especially since many countries cut diplomatic ties with the country. The new regime has struggled to get to grips with food shortages and a flailing economy. More than a third of people cannot meet their basic needs, women’s rights have been restricted and foreign aid has evaporated.
Dr Orzala Nemat, an Afghan researcher and human rights activist based in the UK, fears that the response could quickly become chaotic without “systematic governance” structures in place since the Taliban takeover.
In a rare move, the Taliban’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzadah, who almost never appears in public, pleaded with the international community and humanitarian organisations “to help the Afghan people affected by this great tragedy and to spare no effort”.
Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers pledged not to interfere with international efforts to distribute aid to tens of thousands of people affected by the earthquake.
Humanitarian aid has continued, with international agencies, such as the United Nations, operating.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said Afghanistan had asked humanitarian agencies to help with rescue efforts, and teams were being sent to the quake-hit area.
Afghanistan military provided support in search and rescue operations.
Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates all offered to send aid. Supplies from neighbouring Pakistan crossed the border.
On July 12, the Government of Japan decided to extend Emergency Grant Aid of 3 million US dollars to Afghanistan in response to the damages caused by the earthquake that had occurred in eastern Afghanistan on June 22. The Government of Japan offered to provide assistance in areas such as health and medical care, shelter, and water and sanitation through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to the Afghan people affected by the devastating earthquake.
Non-Government Organisations (NGOs)
The World Health Organisation’s polio team was on the ground joining forces with UN agencies and NGOs to ensure an effective and coordinated relief effort. The team’s invaluable experience and local knowledge gained from more than 2 decades working among local communities in both Paktika and Khost provided the foundations of an assessment tool to map communities (the Open Street Map Humanitarian team issued a request from arm-chair mappers to use satellite images to create and update maps in the area) and assess the number and extent of casualties as well as the destruction to homes and buildings. This ensured accurate data guided a focused response in the immediate aftermath, including the rapid construction of tents for shelter, as well as housing ad hoc health camps.
Polio teams turned a helping hand wherever needed including digging for survivors, building tents, unpacking trucks and distributing shipments of WHO emergency and surgical kits, medical supplies and equipment, and the heartbreaking task of preparing and assisting in transporting the dead for burial.
A new EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight delivered 36 tonnes of life-saving cargo consisting of medical equipment, medication, and relief items to support WHO, UNICEF and Médecins Sans Frontières delivering earthquake response and other humanitarian needs in Afghanistan.
Below is the start of a collection of resources to support educating students about the earthquake in Afghanistan. Please let us know about other resources in the comments below.
Afghanistan Earthquake Relief
While many relief agencies are currently not providing support to Afghanistan there are a number of organisations providing support. These include:
If you are aware of other aid agencies providing support or are able to provide a link for donations to aid agencies please send us an email.
Below we have included links to websites that provide support in teaching events such as this in a considered way, after all, there are a number of children from Afghanistan being educated in schools outside of the country and may be in one of your classes.
His post shared a piece on The Guardian website by Fiona Harvey exploring the findings of a YouGov poll which suggests Britons want the quality of life indicators to take priority over the economy. The results of the survey suggest eight out of 10 people would prefer the government to prioritise health and wellbeing over economic growth during the coronavirus crisis, and six in 10 would still want the government to pursue health and wellbeing ahead of growth after the pandemic has subsided.
The campaign group that commissioned the research, Positive Money, has suggested the government should publish statistics on social indicators, health, the environment and quality of life give a truer reflection of the UK’s status and should be used by policymakers to meet the needs of the population.
The group have produced a report entitled The Tragedy of Growth, backed by politicians from several parties, including Clive Lewis of Labour, the Green party MP Caroline Lucas, and the former Conservative environment minister Lord Deben, who chairs the committee on climate change. The report calls for a shift away from GDP as the government’s core measure of success. The reasoning behind this is that economic growth, through measures such as GDP, masks the impact economic development has on people’s health and well being, the gap between rich and poor and its environmental impact.
Having read the initial article and report I returned to the original tweet and trawled through the replies to the original post. I found myself descending a late-night rabbit hole that led me on a journey exploring changes to how development is being measured in countries such as Iceland, Bhutan and New Zealand.
This included watching a thought-provoking video called the Gross National Happiness The Paradigm (see below) produced by the Schumacher College and the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan. In it Tho Ha Vinh, program director at the GNH Centre, Butan explains how this paradigm shift involves redefining what we mean by development, making a comparison with the natural world, through the growth of a seed, leading to the development of its own nature. He goes on to discuss how foreign ideologies have been forced on countries, and economic development has been prevalent in measuring the ‘success’ of countries to the expense of other indicators. He raises an interesting point that the economy is a mean, not an end. The end is satisfying human needs. He argues that the goal of an economy should be to bring humans happiness and well-being. Additionally, he raises the point that it is not enough for an economy to focus purely on human needs and that the needs of the natural environment should also be met. He finishes by discussing the need for each country to have its own organic development, based on traditions and culture, that it should meet the needs of the whole (humans and environment).
I then went on to discover New Zealand’s new well-being budget that seeks to expand mental health services, reduce child poverty and homelessness, promote Indigenous rights, fight climate change, and expand opportunities and watched Iceland PM Katrin Jakobsdóttir talk about GDP or well-being.
Is it time to change how we measure development? I may be late to the party on all this, but having reflected over the last 24 hours I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a fantastic opportunity to explore the issues raised in these sources with students, particularly given the results of the YouGov poll which are likely influenced by the Covid-19 outbreak. We have been presented with an opportunity to reflect on what is really important to both the human and natural world. As geographers, we are in the perfect position to investigate this question, given the multitude of synoptic links the question draws on from our discipline. The underlying themes of sustainability, conservation, interdependence, international development, the use of natural resources, spatial variation and change over time could provide a wonderful opportunity to pull together the geography curriculum. The question has the potential to be an amazing enquiry to investigate with learners. If you fancy joining me down the rabbit hole, throwing some ideas about for a unit of study, please let me know!
https://www.internetgeography.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Is-it-time-to-change-how-we-measure-development.png6701200Anthony Bennetthttps://www.internetgeography.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/IG-logo--1030x115.pngAnthony Bennett2020-05-12 16:39:332020-05-13 13:52:40Is it time to change how we measure development?
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Geographical enquiry is a fundamental element of geography and is now firmly established in the geography curriculum, at least on paper, across Key Stages 2-5. There is little or no doubt that students who are involved in geographical enquiry will develop essential skills for learning. However, perhaps more importantly to us, geographical enquiry helps students in constructing geographical knowledge. There is general agreement that this implies an active approach to learning geography which encourages pupils to ask questions about real issues, to search for answers using a wide range of skills and information and to think critically about issues rather than accept the conclusions, research and opinion of others passively. (Davidson, 2006; Naish et al., 2002).
The new GCSE specifications all have an element of geographical enquiry. Take the AQA specification as an example, which assesses the enquiry process in the following ways:
Questions based on the use of fieldwork materials from an unfamiliar context.
Questions based on students’ individual enquiry work. For these questions, students will have to identify the titles of their individual enquiries.
In practice, however, opportunities for geographical enquiry are often missed as we plough through the copious content of the new GCSE specifications.
Like many geography teachers across the country, I have been guilty of focussing on the individual enquiry’s students need to complete while paying limited lip service to addressing fieldwork from an unfamiliar context. Having asked geography teachers on Twitter how they prepared students for unfamiliar fieldwork enquiry questions, the results did not surprise me.
It is probably fair to say, even based on this limited sample, geography departments across the country tend to focus on the two compulsory fieldwork investigations but spend little or no time on other aspects of geographical enquiry. Having re-read the AQA GCSE geography examiner’s report for paper three, it is clear that enquiry skills, particularly in the unseen context, is an area for development. Misunderstandings such as the difference between data collection technique and data presentation technique are also highlighted.
In all honesty, and after considerable reflection, I think we are doing both our students and our discipline a disservice if we are not including geographical enquiry throughout the curriculum. However, we face significant challenges in addressing this. Many are finding the increase in the content covered in the new GCSE curriculum a problem to get through. Additionally, an increasing number of schools are reverting to a two-year key stage 4.
Despite these challenges and without ripping up the curriculum and starting again, simple tweaks can be made to the curriculum, our practice and delivery that will allow us to better address geographical enquiry. We should do this not just for the sake of meeting the needs the expectations of the specification but more importantly, to make our students better geographers.
Let’s get tweaking…
In the AQA specification students will be questioned on fieldwork from an unfamiliar context including, but not limited to:
identifying geographical questions/hypothesis
identifying risk and strategies for managing this
identifying appropriate investigation techniques
identifying appropriate presentation techniques
completing unfinished data presentation
completing data analysis (mean, median, mode etc.)
There are many opportunities to embed unfamiliar fieldwork throughout the AQA GCSE Geography course, providing students with multiple opportunities to hone their enquiry skills. Students exposed to unfamiliar fieldwork, little and often, are more likely to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to complete effective fieldwork investigations and improve their enquiry skills.
Most units in the AQA GCSE Geography specification provide opportunities for addressing unfamiliar fieldwork. At an appropriate point within a unit, when students have acquired a strong foundation of subject knowledge, geographical enquiry can be introduced.
So, how might this look in practice?
If the first GCSE unit covered is ecosystems, introduce an unfamiliar fieldwork enquiry by showing your students an image of a deciduous forest ecosystem (once they have studied this aspect of the course). Next, model several examples of geographical questions/hypothesis for this environment, then ask them to develop more. Paired or group work might be appropriate at this stage. You could also address the risks associated with completing fieldwork in this environment and examine risk management along with some basic data presentation and interpretation.
Identify enquiry questions and risks associated with the deciduous forest
In the next unit, present the students with another image and ask them to formulate questions independently, identify risks along with strategies for managing the risk and complete data presentation and interpretation. Next, spend time examining the fieldwork techniques that will support investigating the geographical question(s)/hypothesis. The students can then select appropriate data collection techniques for their enquiry questions/hypothesis (perhaps from a list of methods suitable for the environment) and justify their choice.
River fieldwork techniques
For homework, they can re-visit their ecosystems enquiry and identify suitable data collection techniques (again, from a list of possible approaches), explaining their choice.
As you move through units, expose your students to further aspects of the enquiry processes, including:
describing, analysing and explaining data
In addition to addressing unfamiliar fieldwork in class, assessments should include unfamiliar enquiry questions from the beginning of the course. Start small and build throughout the course.
Unfamiliar fieldwork questions – rivers
Below is an outline of resources available to Internet Geography Plus subscribers to support with the enquiry process.
I will be sharing further thoughts on how to embed enquiry in the geography curriculum in future posts.
Comments are welcome below!
Internet Geography Plus resources to support with enquiry
To support the above approach, we are developing a range of resources for AQA units that cover fieldwork in unfamiliar contexts. These will include:
• exam questions and mark schemes covering unfamiliar fieldwork contexts
• a PowerPoint resource to support the process of tackling unfamiliar fieldwork contexts in a range of units
• examples of techniques used in a variety of fieldwork investigations
• example fieldwork enquiries
Our first set of resources, available to Internet Geography Plus subscribers include:
Did you know? Our Geography Curriculum Tracking Tool allows you to plan for progression in developing enquiry skills. The tracking tool is useful, not just for planning for progression, but is handy if you suffer a ‘deep dive’.
If you have any resources to share in this area, please send them over to [email protected].
Questions based on students’ individual enquiry work
We are currently developing resources to support students in the enquiry process. These guides will take the students through the enquiry sequence and will provide examples of what they need to consider. The A3 resources are fully editable so you can customise them to meet the needs of your students. Each resource pack also contains an overview of the enquiry process and a summary document they can complete at the end of the investigation to support revision.
Fieldwork investigation guide – rivers (available to download in the Internet Geography Plus area)
https://www.internetgeography.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Identify-enquiry-questions-and-risks-associated-with-the-deciduous-forest.png697927Anthony Bennetthttps://www.internetgeography.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/IG-logo--1030x115.pngAnthony Bennett2020-02-23 18:49:112020-02-24 14:35:23Strategies for embedding geographical enquiry into the GCSE curriculum
If you’ve not seen 7.7 Billion People and Counting Horizon documentary by Chris Packham, you really should. Chris presents the causes and effects of exponential population growth on Earth in a way that is accessible.
The episode is full of synoptic links and effectively brings together many units of the GCSE specification including development/economic challenges, urban environments, resources and ecosystems.
It really is worth showing this programme to GCSE groups to help them see the big picture of their GCSE course. No other programme, to my knowledge, does it as well as this one.
The diagram below provides a breakdown and timings for the episode if you want to ‘cherry-pick’ elements of the programme.
Outline and timings for 7.7 Billion People and Counting
A more detailed break down is provided below.
Detailed outline and timings for 7.7 Billion People and Counting
We’ve also developed an exercise for students to investigate synoptic links explored in the programme.
7.7 Billion People and Counting Synoptic Links
In this exercise, students are to complete the unpopulated circles around key concepts and case studies. Once they have done this they are to develop links between the different aspect of geography covered in the programme. An example of this has been included (see line 1 above). The students then discuss how these different elements are connected.
https://www.internetgeography.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/7.7-Billion-People-and-Counting-2.png5451052Anthony Bennetthttps://www.internetgeography.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/IG-logo--1030x115.pngAnthony Bennett2020-01-22 15:24:262020-01-22 15:39:377.7 Billion People and Counting
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