Thursday, 17 December 2015

1 in 100 year floods every 5 years?

Thinking about the increasing frequency of 'rare' climate events, there was a good explanation of what '1 in 100 year' event actually means. 

This Christmas the people in Cockermouth are clearing up after the 1 in 100 year flood caused by Desmond with a very bitter taste in their mouth. They were told that the last flood was a 1 in 100 year event ... And that was in 2009.

'More or Less' is a great little radio programme on the World Service that tries to explain colloquial expressions and news stories that involve numbers. In this episode they explain 1 in 100 year floods well.

Click Here:

The Desmond Effect: Malham Cove

The huge volume of rain brought by Storm Desmond caused water to fall over Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales for the first time in living memory. 

Read the story by following the link below and then have a little think about whether or not the recent agreement on climate change in Paris, although an amazing achievement, is just a bit too little too late. These 'once-in-a-lifetime' weather events are happening more and more often.

Thank you to Peter Price at Charterhouse for bringing the story to my attention.

Read the story:

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Y7&8: CE Global Location I

The British Isles

These are all of the Global Location features for the British Isles on the CE Syllabus. Print out the map below and mark these places on it. 
You might find it easier to print two copies and complete one physical map and one human one ...

Map of the British Isles

Physical Features:

 1.    Sea areas:    
  a.       English Channel
  b.      Irish Sea
  c.       North Sea
 2.    Rivers:           
 a.    Severn
 b.    Thames
 c.     Trent
 d.    Clyde
 e.    Shannon
3.     Highland Areas:             
a.    Grampians
b.    Lake District
c.     Pennines
d.    Snowdonia

Human Features:

1.    Countries:    
a.    England
b.    Wales
c.     Scotland
d.    Northern Ireland
e.    the Republic of Ireland
2.    Major cities
a.    Belfast
b.    Birmingham
c.     Cardiff
d.    Dublin
e.    Edinburgh
f.     Glasgow
g.    Liverpool
h.    London
i.      Manchester
j.      Newcastle

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Scholars' Curry

Below is a chloropleth map showing which areas in the UK like the spiciest curries: it is a curry 'heat' map.

How was the data collected?
This is an interesting question and the first one that you should ask if you are looking to see if this data means anything  useful.

According to the Independent, who published this map, the data was collected by monitoring the location of social media posts that mentioned names of curries. These were then given a spice rating and were then collated to give each area a score out of 1000.

What questions could you be asked?
Describe the pattern on the map?
Where do people like the hottest and mildest curries?
If you could find another chloropleth map (e.g. average wealth, average age) to compare with this one in order to investigate a possible cause or relationship, which would you choose and why?

Thank you Dr Lee for forwarding the map!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

8S Christmas Work: Part I

With some of you having exams early in the New Year, we need to keep your Geographical brains ticking over. I have printed you all a resource pack and all of the questions can be answered from that ... although it would do you no harm at all to keep abreast of the news and what is going on around the world.

Please choose a question from below and email me your answer (send your essay as the text of the email rather than attaching a word/Pages document ... it is easier to mark and return)

Scholarship Style Questions:

1. For a recent flood;
     a) Where and when did the flood occur?   (2)
     b) Outline the key reasons why the flood occurred.    (4)
     c) Describe the main primary effects of the flood on people.   (6)
     d) What were (or will be) the secondary effects of the flood.    (6)
     e) How could the effects of future floods be reduced in the area? (7)

2. "Floods cause more damage in MICs than LICs."
     To what extent do you agree with this statement? (25)

A full set CE/CASE notes can be found here.
For those who asked: the CE/CASE syllabus that we follow can be found here.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Geography Cryptic Crossword 2015

It's here the antidote to post Christmas lunch depression: Mr Miller's Cryptic Christmas Crossword 2015.

There are over 150 clues all pertaining to geographical locations ... some real, some less so. As always there will be prizes for each Brambletye family that manages to complete this crossword and hand it in to Mr Miller during the first week of the Spring Term 2016.

To download a copy: click here ... share and enjoy.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Weather Station back online

 We can have weather again!

At the start of this term an electrical surge caused the computer running the weather station to die. The replacement computer, being a newer model did not have a socket to plug the old serial cable into: we needed to upgrade to the newer USB interface with the station. A huge thank you to Mark at Geopacks/Mapmarketing for his support. The screen in my classroom is once again showing up to the second accurate weather data.

So, how can you see the weather data outside of the Geography Room ... apart from the little widget on the left of this blog?

Our Personal Weather Station ID is iwestsus39.

There are several ways to link to our station: here are four.

1: Weather Underground website

Click here

This will allow you to see the weather data in any browser. Our station pumps out data every second to the Wunderground site. It stores our data too, so you can check weekly, monthly and yearly averages and totals. There are quite a lot of ads, but that is how they make their money to develop the site further.

2. The Wunderground App

This is the Apple Store link: Click here
This is the Google Play link: Click here
Just type in our Station ID (IWESTSUS39) as the location.

This includes some Weather Underground forecasting tools in addition to our data ... and a lot of ads!

3: PWS Monitor

This is a simple app that just shows you the live data feed from our station: type in the station id (IWESTSUS39) and it will do the rest.

This is the am IOS app: Click here
For Android, there are widgets and apps so just search for PWS Monitor in Google Play

The rolling day graphs are good.

4. WunderMap

 This plots our weather station on a Google Map base, with radar rainfall data too.

IOS link from Apple Store: click here
Weather Underground include it in the Wunderground App: click here

Brambletye Weather Data
The WunderMap

In the words of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation: "Share and Enjoy!"

Friday, 13 November 2015

Geography Photograph Competition: Results

After much deliberation, Mr Sanderson, the Head of Geography at The King's School, Canterbury has managed to whittle down the excellent entries in the photograph competition down to a winner and two runners up in each category.  Below are the winning entrants and Mr Sandersons comments.

To order a 2016 calendar with all of the winning photographs on it click here.

Year 1 and 2: My Favourite Place

Second Runner Up

Archie: The back of my house.

"Good use of the portrait shape of the photo, and well done including the garden in the foreground (the foreground is often ignored in a photo, and you have done well to include it here). I like the inclusion of the football which shows that this is a garden well used!"

First Runner Up

Olivia: Sky Pond.

"An excellent photo, in thirds, with an interesting use of reflection. I also like the grasses leaning into the photo from the bottom right corner."


Ben: Big Castle.

"Nicely framed in thirds. Puts the main subject (the castle) to one side of the photo which draws the viewer in to the rest of the landscape. Definitely a photo I’d like to have on my wall. It shows me the vast openness of the surrounding countryside and the excitement of what it might be like to live in a castle like this. Crisp, clear and fresh, with space to allow the observer to dream."

Year 3 and 4: Landscape

Second Runners Up

"Both excellent photos that I struggled to choose between. Both need praising ... Lovely photos worthy of being postcards."

Tabby: The Grand Canyon

"Tabby’s is spot on with the horizon flat, and successfully deciding how much sky to show – a truly jaw dropping landscape"

Miette: Krabi on Fire

"Miette’s photo is also well composed, with the sun off centre, and the light brilliantly reflecting itself in both the sky and the water."

First Runner-Up

Gabriela: Sunset in Denmark

"Very nearly first place. A superb photo that leads the eye from the bottom right corner, up to the sun in the middle left section. I like the windmill/lighthouse building, but it’s just a little bit squashed to the side. Nevertheless, a photo that would work well as a postcard"


Beatrice: Patchwork in the Pyrenees.

"An excellent photo following the rule of thirds. Fabulous sky, with rain in the top right corner, neatly countered by the grass area in the bottom left corner. Lovely horizons – a photo that could easily be overexposed, but is not. Best viewed on screen (not paper). Also the photographer has gone to some significant trouble to get to this altitude to take the photo. Well framed with hills either side drawing the observer into the landscape and towards the rain. Well captioned too."

Years 5 and 6: Colour and Texture

Second Runner-Up

Mya: Thistle and Bee

"This photo is very nearly perfect. I love the texture of the flower, all sharp and pointed. The bumble bee gives a sense of peace and enjoyment in ones work. It’s just a shame the colours weren’t a little more vibrant and the stem of the flower wasn’t totally clean. I love the leading of the colours from left to right – very enchanting"

First Runner-Up

Alexander: Sunset spectrum

"What a moment to have witnessed! Impossible not to praise this photo. A fabulous capturing of both the colours of the rainbow, and also the blues in the sky, with the silhouettes of the trees. A difficult photo to adjust the exposure for – and an excellent slice of different clouds at different altitudes. I wonder what treasure there was at the foot of the rainbow ..."


William: Inside Vulcania

"A truly superb photo that offers the observer to perspectives – either to focus on the building texture, or to focus on the flue sky that looks like a neck and head of a bird. The texture is fabulous, and the blue colour and shaft of sunlight bring the photo added interest. Perfectly composed with the blue sky coming from the bottom left corner to the two-thirds level with the beak leading to the light. Would make an excellent poster."

Years 7 and 8: People

Second Runner-Up

Rosie: Cowboys

"This photo is perfect in its composition, and frankly would be hard to improve. Often people forget to include people’s feet in full-length photos, but here we have 12!! The use of a small aperture to allow the distance to be in focus, as well as the nearby subjects is excellent, and there is a good amount of sky included (but not too much). This could definitely be used as a postcard or advertisement for the area. Well done!"

First Runner-Up

Archie: Lost in Time

"This was so close to coming first – a very tough and difficult call. It is a very professional photo and is superbly composed (and captioned), making the observer ask so many questions and contemplations. It’s brilliant that the person is not in the centre of the photo, but is looking out – making you want to dream and wonder what he is looking out at. It is a photo that could easily be used as a greeting card, postcard, poster, or DVD front cover. Perfect for a spy movie! Well done."


Tallulah: Blood is thicker than water

"A truly awesome photograph. It took my breath away immediately. The heart is fantastic – and must have taken ages to perfect. The focus is crisp, and yet the water and hair is superbly captured to show movement, energy and fun. The horizon isn’t perfectly straight, however the reflections in the water are lovely, and I like the blue line leading in to the centre of the photo from the bottom right corner. The idea of creating a heart is perfect for the caption of this photo, and offers an additional personal element. Blood is thicker than water, and this photo encapsulates the topic “People” (plural) by showing humanity, family, life and fun. Action photography is very difficult. I love it. I would not be surprised to see this in a magazine or advert on a billboard. Superb."