The progression from GCSE to AS-level geography always presents difficulties, so I tend to cover "rebranding places" as the first topic. This focuses on the re-imaging and regenerating of rural and urban spaces.
Beginning with this subject allows me to roll out an icebreaker - I'm always keen to get new classes talking to each other and working on group tasks in the early lessons.
So after handing out books and giving an introduction to the course, I split the students into four random groups. Each group is assigned a profession and a project. For example:
- Council workers have to rebrand our local high street.
- Publicists have to rebrand the chef Nigella Lawson - or another celebrity who has been in the news.
- Advertisers have to rebrand funding body Sport England.
- Developers have to rebrand mobile phone company BlackBerry.