Award for Bancroft’s Teacher

Dr Simon Oakes of Bancroft’s Geography Department has been recognised for his work in education.  On Monday 9 June 2014, he was presented with the Ordnance Survey Award for Excellence in Geography Education at Secondary Level at the Annual General Meeting of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), at the Society’s headquarters in Kensington.  Since 1832, the RGS (with IBG)’s medals and awards have celebrated excellence in geographical research, fieldwork, teaching and public engagement. They are presented annually to those who have made outstanding achievements.

Dr Oakes, who has taught at Bancroft’s for 8 years, is a well-respected member of the School’s teaching staff.  Lower Sixth pupil Henry Meech, who plans to read Geography at University, said, “Dr Oakes is an inspirational geography teacher who encourages us to look beyond the syllabus and develop strong perspectives on important issues.” 

The RGS acknowledged Dr Oakes' achievements, “His thoughtful and academic approach to teaching reaps huge rewards in his pupils. He epitomises the ‘bridge’ between secondary and higher education. His A Level students are encouraged both to think holistically and to think critically about the world and he always helps them to see the relevance of the subject.  Simon is well known and highly respected in the wider teaching community for sharing his knowledge through his regular writing and also in the teaching resources which he has prepared, including those for the RGS’s website Geography in the News.  His links with Edexcel and the International Baccalaureate demonstrate a support for examining, and he is currently Chief Examiner of the International Baccalaureate Geography syllabus.”

Dr Oakes said, "I think it's fair to say that a lot of the work I've done over the last 8 years in curriculum development, specification writing, assessment design and publishing owes a huge debt to the cohorts of Sixth Formers I've taught at Bancroft's. They've been both my collaborators and guinea pigs (both knowingly and unknowingly!) for a whole range of materials; and their experiences of learning have helped me greatly to engage critically with the UK schools' geography curriculum."

(Photo courtesy of Mark Earthy)

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