This year we identified geography as an area to develop and have given the subject a high profile both in school and the community, with our own Geographer of the Year award. Nine primary schools were invited to participate and more than 1,000 projects were entered, from Reception children up to Year 6. We began by sending a letter to children and parents outlining instructions for the award. The project had to be completed by the child, although parents could help with ideas. The final article could be a piece of writing, a drawing, a video, a computer presentation, or a model. We suggested some questions for each key stage, though children could also choose their own, for example, "How is the seaside different from our locality?" (KS1) and "Where does water come from?" (KS2).
Children were given eight weeks to complete the project and teachers gave them less homework during this time. The projects were judged by our county geography adviser who chose one winner and 25 runners-up. The winner, from Year 3, chose as her question "Do I live in the town or the countryside?" and produced a written piece with photographs and maps. Other work included models, a handful of digital presentations and some videos.
All 200 finalists were shown in an exhibition and the children were thrilled to see their projects on display. The exhibition was featured on local news and provided parents with a greater opportunity to be part of their child's learning. As it was homework-based and the children had the freedom to choose their own title, they became more independent and are continually asking "What is our award going to be next year?"
Emma White. Geography co-ordinator, Boughton Primary School, Northamptonshire.