I won a Silver Award for Excellence in the use of Technology in Education in 2016. As technology has advanced over the last decade there have been a wealth of opportunities for teachers to use this to enhance our teaching. I made an effort to keep up to date with a range of tools that enabled me to integrate technology into the teaching of geography, including use of live quizzes, collaborative activities, immersive visual environments and interactive webtools. I also specialised in developing the use of computerised mapping (GIS) to add sophistication to analysing spatial data with students.

Winning the award was a great honour and helped raise the profile of my work amongst the teaching community. Following the award I was able to set up and run a global online mapping event where over 6,000 students from around the world added data to a shared map to analyse the variations in views about climate change. I also gained a promotion, taking on a new role as a Consultant Teacher across our Girls Day School Trust network of 26 schools and academies. Through I was able to visit schools to train teachers and share best practice across the whole organisation. I also had articles written about my work, including in ATL’s Report magazine. The award helped me to gain a Goldsmith’s Educational Grant, which funded a trip to California to attend a week long training course in using computer mapping technology in education, run by the world’s largest provider of these technologies to industry.

Our geography students have done lots of amazing things. One of our students was selected as part of the UK’s team at the international Geography Olympiad held near Moscow. She gained a bronze medal in the competition. A team of our students won the Geographical Association post 16 competition by creating an interactive resource about why geography I an amazing subject. Another team were presented with an award at Esri UK’s national conference for their work using GIS to examine global inter-relationships with our local area. One of our year 9 students won the Royal Geography Society young Geography of the Year award for her work on why Antarctica matters.  Another sixth form student won the Trinity Essay Prize for her piece about the value of mapping in the modern world. Last summer 86% of our A level students gained a B grade or higher, with almost 40% gaining an A*.

Gaining the Pearson Award has helped to raise the profile of our department. We are highly regarded by students and parents, which helps with recruitment for the subject, and raises the aspirations of students.

Raphael Heath, head of geography, The High School Bath
Winner, Outstanding Use of Technology in Education, 2016.