Posts Tagged ‘Geography’

Google Classroom Roll-Out

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum, Important Announcements

This session staff and pupils at Charleston Academy have been trialling out innovative use of our 100 iPads in a variety of lessons. While the iPads give students access to thousands of educational apps, some classes have also been making excellent use of Google Classroom on these too.

In recognition of some of the excellent innovation in the school, our Geography Department has recently been awarded some 50% of an innovation fund from Highland Council to trial out and develop Google Classroom further. The department has taken stock of a class set of Chromebook to develop use of Google Classroom further and share good practice across the school. This is in preparation for the rollout of Chromebooks for all pupils over the next 18-24 months.

Higher Geography Success

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Achievements, Curriculum, Personal

Congratulations to former Charleston Academy pupil Arianne Ross. At the weekend Arianne attended the annual conference of the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers where she was awarded the SQA Prize for the highest overall mark in the SQA Higher Geography examination for 2015. Arianne was delighted with such an accolade and was equally impressed to receive her award from adventurer, broadcaster and author Mark Beaumont.

Geography Fieldwork on Skye

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

On the 20th and 21st of September pupils in S5/6 taking National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Geography had the chance to visit the Isle of Skye to carry out fieldwork. This was a great opportunity for them to see at first-hand many of the spectacular environments studied in class. In addition, pupils were able to gather fieldwork data vital to their Added Value Units.

Despite variable weather and ever present midgies, it was an immensely enjoyable trip and the pupils involved were a credit to the school and the department. It is hoped that this trip will run again next year.

Mr Stuart Buchanan & Miss Sali Massey, Geography Department

USA Trip 2015 & Rome/Naples 2016

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum, Important Announcements, Wider Curriculum

The Parent Information Evening for the 2015 USA Trip takes place in the staff room at 6:00pm on Monday 27 April. Please let the school know if you are unable to attend. Thank you.

Our Geography Department is organising two trips over the next year. The first, to Washington and New York takes place in June this year. A Parent Information Evening will take place in the school staff room at 6:00pm for the parents of all pupils taking part in this trip. It is important that all attend. If for any reason you are unable to attend please phone the school office and let us know.

The second trip will be fantastic opportunity to visit the Bay of Naples Area in Italy and will involve excursions to Pompeii, the Phelegrean Fields, the Pertosa Caves, all of the sites and sounds of Rome, the Vatican City, and the Sorrento Coast. The visit to Naples and Rome will be more of a curricular visit and the trip is being jointly led by our Biology and Geography departments. The attached leaflet covers all the details everyone needs to know. Such is the popularity of this trip that we have increased the student places to 40.

If you have any queries about these trips please contact:

USA Trip: Mrs Lyndie Cameron, Principal Teacher of Geography.

Rome / Naples Trip: Miss Sali Massey, Geography Department OR Mr Shaun Foster , Principal Teacher of Biology.

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Download the Rome & Naples information leaflet


Geography: S2 Hazards Topic

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum


Over the last term our S2s have been learning about environmental hazards around the world. They looked at Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Volcanoes. This unit has produced some imaginative coursework and the S2s rose to the challenge at every step. The creation of volcanoes took a leap forward at Charleston with several erupting, edible volcanoes being created along with an imaginative array of added extras ranging from Lego men to dinosaurs. These homework masterpieces were then erupted outside on the blaze with the aftermath of soggy papier-mâché and cardboard bringing our topic to a close.

It seemed fortuitous at the end of our topic that a new movie about Mt Vesuvius’s eruption that covered Pompeii came out. Thanks to Eden Court the Geography department was able to offer all of the S2s who had completed their coursework a trip to the cinema to experience pyroclastic flows and the warning signs that would have preceded the event.

On Thursday the 22nd of May over 100 second years headed out of the school gates walking towards Eden Court. Even with prior reminders about the Scottish weather many were surprised when the heavens opened.

With popcorn bought and seats selected the film began. It will never win prizes for story but the effects were impressive with noticeable features of a volcano that we had learnt about in class. After spontaneous applause during the film, repeatedly, the film came to an end and we headed back to school. Thankfully the weather had cleared and all made it back in time for their buses.

Special thanks to the staff who accompanied us as well as Dan, Ali and Laura from S6 for all their help in the planning and escorting.

Miss Sali Massey, Geography Department

Geography and Biology Cairngorms Field Work

Written by Charleston Academy on . Posted in Curriculum

UntitledOn Monday the 28th of April 23 S3 pupils went on a cross curricular residential fieldtrip to the Cairngorms. The trip was open to all of those taking Biology or Geography at National level and aimed to help pupils get an understanding of fieldwork techniques and prepare them for their Added Value Projects later in the year.

Pupils arrived at school for an early start on Monday with the mini buses scheduled to leave at 8.15am. Sometime closer to 9am we set off to Cairngorm Mountain for a visit with the ranger and trip up the funicular. Once there Biology students took a walk from the car park to investigate the biodiversity of the mountain, whilst Geographers remained at the Ptarmigan Centre to take in the fantastic scenery and complete field sketches to be used back in class. At this point the sun was shining and we were pushing towards 20 degrees.

After Cairngorm we headed down to Badaguish to get settled into our lodges and prepare for the afternoon river sessions. Pupils were in charge of all the catering for the two days and signed up for shifts of cooking and cleaning to make sure everyone was well fed.

In the afternoon the Geographers went to Loch Morlich to conduct river fieldwork and a soil transect. By this time the temperature was well into the 20s and the water became a welcome relief from the heat.

The Biology pupils completed a study further upstream and collected data about the invertebrate animal species thriving in the river by carrying out a kick sample, which confirmed that the river was clean and pollution free.

In the evening pupils cooked pasta Bolognese under the careful supervision of master chef Jessica. The military operation saw all pupils and staff well fed.

After dinner pupils prepared for the next days outings to Balliefurth Farm, Aviemore and a super early Capercaillie watch organised by Mr Foster and attended by 3 pupils who did not mind being up and out of the lodges by 6am. Pupils also worked on preparing questions to ask the farmer and developing some ideas for Research Questions that were relevant to the fieldwork they had carried out.

Breakfast soon followed and pupils were rushing around preparing for their departure making sure that packed lunches were made for all, including teachers and that they had cleaned the lodges to perfection. (That was until someone found Mr MacLeod’s shoes.) Sun still shining we were ready to leave at 9am to make our way towards Feshy Bridge having survived a night of self sufficiency.

We were greeted by Alastair the farmer and taken for a walk around his cattle and dairy farm. Pupils were introduced to the finer points of farming and the detailed management schemes that are required to keep farmers in business. The biologists were also treated to several areas of the farm that cater to the areas natural biodiversity and aim to restore native woodlands. Pupils were given the opportunity to practise their interview techniques and were encouraged to explore the farm.

After the farm our afternoon session for the Geographers meant a trip to Aviemore where pupils conducted several gathering techniques including: traffic counts, questionnaires, land use surveys and environmental quality surveys. The Biologists headed to Rothiemurcus estate to complete some quadrat studies and identify species diversity within a native and managed pine forest.

At 3pm we all headed back to the minibuses and made our way back to school. Pupils and staff had a great but tiring time.

Many thanks to all who helped with the trip including Maggie Wormald of RHET, Alastair Maclennan of Balliefurth Farm, Nick Bullivant of Cairngorm Mountain and all the staff and pupils who made it such an enjoyable trip.


Miss Sali Massey, Geography Department