Young People's Geographies

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My Place

Student with cameraNottingham Schools Project - 'My Place'

Three schools from Nottingham were involved in the YPG project: Bramcote Hills Sports and Community College, Arnold Hill School and Technology College and The Nottingham Emmanuel School. Year 9 students from each school worked together and with their teachers to develop a series of lessons around the theme of ĎMy placeí.

They used mobile phone technology to take photographs of their places in and around school and the City of Nottingham. They considered images of places from which they felt excluded as teenagers, as well as images of places where they felt comfortable and where they 'belonged'. These images were collated into collages representing the students' feelings of inclusion in familiar places. They were then displayed around the schools and were the focus for discussion with senior management.

Bramcote Hills Sports and Community College

Bramcote Hills is a Nottinghamshire LEA 11-18 school with about 1000 students and is located in the south west of Nottingham.

Here, Jo Cooper, Head of Department, talks about the start of a YPG approach to geography within the school with the development of a Year 7 scheme of work:

We piloted it in the summer last year (2007) with two Year 7 classes. The students were given disposable cameras, and sent round the school with the brief of taking photographs of specific areas.

Students in the school groundsOne group covered areas they felt comfortable in, areas where they felt they werenít threatened or challenged in any way, they could just go to and be comfortable in. There was a group that photographed areas they didnít use or didnít want to use. And then there was another group that photographed areas for improvement. That gave them free reign to take pictures of what they felt their geography of the school was all about.

The students produced a report and it was actually very productive; it has been passed onto the Head and it is also going to be presented to the Governors. That in itself was very productive. It has encouraged me to buy 15 digital cameras for students to use in geography.

Student†A Basically it was a project about what we did and didn't like about the school. And I think we did ways to improve it.
Student B Well what we had to do was we got the pictures back from the camera, and then we had to, like, stick them on paper, which ones we didnít like, and then we had to write a bit about each one, like, where is was, what it is, if we like it, if we donít like it, how it could be improved. And then we had to do a report about the whole project.
Student A It was interesting because normally in geography, like, you are just in the classroom, to get out and with a camera and to just sort of have freedom, and be able to do your own project was good.
Student B There were some things that we didnít agree on so we chose about what some people didnít like and what some other people did like.