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Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

FSC Nettlecombe Court awarded Centre of Excellence - again!

FSC Nettlecombe Court have once again been awarded Centre of Excellence status by the Geographical Association. The award is part of the associations Secondary Geography Quality Mark (SGQM) process.

FSC Nettlecombe Court was the very first field centre to be awarded the Centre of Excellence and is delighted to have reachieved this status again. The SGQM is a prestigious award which recognises quality and progress in geography leadership, curriculum development and learning and teaching in schools. All the award winners undergo a rigorous moderation process, and the team of assessors were hugely impressed by the manner in which all are continuing to embrace new and innovative approaches to teaching geography. The SGQM recognises student attainment, progress and achievement in geographical knowledge, understanding, values and skills, and sets expectations about the quality of teaching in geography. It promotes effective subject leadership and management, helping subject leaders raise the standards of geography in their schools.

In 2017, 16 schools (inc 10 Field Studies Centres) were awarded the coveted Centre of Excellence status. These hubs of excellence are pivotal to the GA’s desire to spread good practice through the development of local networks of teachers. The Centre of Excellence award recognises a school’s contribution to disseminating quality approaches to the teaching of geography, global learning and fieldwork. In these centres geography is managed by enthusiastic curriculum leaders who are able to inspire their colleagues.

476 SGQMs have been awarded since its launch in 2006, and with many active Centres of Excellence there is an increasingly widespread support network for teachers.


GA Centre of Excellence logo

Rebecca Kitchen, Secondary Curriculum Leader at the GA, says:
‘It is vital for young people today to experience an engaging, relevant and quality geography curriculum which helps them to make sense of an increasingly interconnected world and to negotiate their place within it. Yet, in a time of curriculum change and performance indicators it is sometimes easy to lose sight of this. The SGQM enables schools to focus critically on what they are doing and why, in order to provide their young people with the knowledge and understanding they need to live in the modern world.’

Alan Kinder, GA Chief Executive:
‘There has never been a more important time for all children and young people to study geography. Growing up in the 21st century means living in an increasingly interconnected world, one facing a growing number of global challenges such as climate change and the need to live our lives sustainably. Geography not only fascinates and inspires young people, it provides them with the knowledge and understanding they need to live in the modern world. Geography is, as we say in the GA’s Manifesto, ‘fundamental to everyone’ and I am delighted that a growing number of primary schools are teaching their students to fully engage with the subject.’

Head of Centre, Nick Lapthorn:
'FSC Nettlecombe Court is rightly proud of the high standards it sets for itself and is delighted that this has been recognised by an external organisation such as the GA. We pride ourselves on the the opportunities we provide to students who come to the centre, but also work hard to share our knowledge, skills and expertise as widely as possible.'

Further information about the award can be accessed at www.geography.org.uk/secondary/secondaryqualitymark/