Young People's Geographies

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Comparing Areas

Graffiti on benchYear 9 students from Tapton School in Sheffield set about developing a more informed understanding of each other's places.

Drawing on ideas from ĎPhilosophy for Childrení (P4C), teacher Ian Gaunt helped his class develop their own enquiry into two very different places in Sheffield.

With Ianís support, the students decided what they would pursue and why they wanted to pursue it. The class accepted that they had very stereotypical views of certain places in and around Sheffield based upon rumour, the media and their own poorly-informed perceptions. They wanted to use the time they had in geography to question their own assumptions and to find out more.

The students had quite a lot of leeway in what they investigated and how they conducted their enquiries. These are some of the themes investigated:

  • The geography of the withdrawal room in school
  • Why Crosspool has its 'posh' reputation
  • What students really think about Upperthorpe and Crosspool, conducting interviews using Flipcams
  • How where you are from may influence what people think of you, again by conducting interviews

Ian kept a personal blog recording the planning, student work and findings of the Tapton School YPG project.

Tapton SchoolIntroducing the School

Tapton School is a large secondary comprehensive school (11-18) in the western suburbs of Sheffield (between Crosspool, Ranmoor, Fulwood and Lodge Moor). There are approximately 1700 students with around 500 in the Sixth Form.

The catchment area is made up of the immediate surrounding areas of Crosspool, Fulwood, Lodge Moor and Sandygate, as well as more distant areas such as Crookes, Upperthorpe, Netherthorpe and Lower Walkley. The catchment area is diverse, with the majority of students being from middle-class white families in the local area. Around 20-25% of students are from ethnic minority backgrounds, particularly Somali, Yemeni and Arabic families from the Upperthorpe and Netherthorpe areas.

The school has 2 specialisms, in Science and Performing Arts.


Final Project Video

"... The 'comparing graffiti in two areas of Sheffield' project found that both areas had quite a bit of graffiti when you actually looked closely, which surprised the group as they thought the 'more dodgy' areas would have had more. They produced an excellent and very funny film with music and quirky comments to show this. ..." - Ian Gaunt

Please note: music has been removed from this video for copyright reasons

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