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The Primary Geography Quality Mark (PGQM)

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What is the Primary Geography Quality Mark?

The Primary Geography Quality Mark (PGQM) is both an award and a powerful curriculum development tool. It supports the process of school improvement - an essential part of the geography subject leader's role - and allows you and your school to gain recognition for it.

New Revised Primary Geography Quality Mark Framework

The PGQM self assessment framework has been updated in the light of recent Ofsted guidance, Teacher Standards and National College of School Leadership advice. The PGQM is also now designed to link with the Global Learning Programme.

The GA is a partner in the Global Learning Programme

Schools can take advantage of the support on offer through the GLP to develop their expertise in curriculum - making; using geography to fuel pupil achievement. Schools wanting to further develop Global Learning can follow the Quality Mark ‘Next Steps’ to join the GLP in England as a Partner School, or provide evidence of good practice and impact to become a GLP Expert Centre. QM accreditation could also lead to recognition for teachers as GLP Lead Practitioners.

All GA members have free access to a comprehensive set of documents on our PGQM VLE including the PGQM framework, action plans and exemplar materials to help you audit the quality of geography in your school and work towards a higher standard. Contact Julie Beattie to request VLE login details.

Your school can then choose to apply for the official PGQM award which recognises quality and progress in geography leadership, curriculum development, learning and teaching.

Introduction to the PGQM (PDF, 166k) summarises the award process and answers some frequently asked questions. The PGQM: Leading the way in primary geography (PPT, 3.7M) provides an introduction to the Quality Mark and is ideal for using with other staff in school.

Benefits of the Primary Geography Quality Mark

  • The free tools on the PGQM VLE help you assess the quality of geography in your school and work through a structured improvement plan
  • The PGQM process helps to improve both excellence in and enjoyment of geography among staff and pupils
  • The VLE and its exemplar materials allow you to compare yourself with other schools both locally and nationally
  • The award raises the profile of geography within the primary curriculum and in the community - many Quality Mark schools are featured in local newspapers
  • Applying for the award is excellent CPD for the subject leader who manages the process
  • Feedback from professional consultants can steer you towards making further improvements
  • Professional recognition of the quality of your geography provision from the Geographical Association, the UK's leading subject association for geography

'After I discovered that I could apply for the Geography Quality Mark, that was when the development of geography really took off! There has been no looking back and I have found this process an excellent tool to enable me to see geography progress in the direction I envisaged in my school.' - Sian Cooper Springwood Primary Cardiff

Children enjoying geography

The PGQM VLE

All GA members get free access to the PGQM VLE, a password protected website containing everything you need to know about the Quality Mark and a variety of resources to help you audit geography in your school including:

  • Self-assessment framework
  • Action plans
  • Exemplar materials from other schools
  • Updates on submission deadlines
  • Guidance on preparing your application

Contact Julie Beattie with your GA membership number to request VLE login details.

PGQM VLE screengrabs

How do I apply for the Primary Geography Quality Mark?

1. Join the GA
The first thing to do is check that your school is a member of the GA. If you're not sure, just give us a call on 0114 296 0088. If you need to join you can do this online, over the phone, or our Administrator can organise membership for you as part of your Quality Mark registration.

2. Work out which level to apply for
Visit the PGQM VLE for the full set of documentation. Use the Self-Assessment Framework and the Audit Checklist to determine whether your school is ready to apply for a Bronze, Silver or Gold Quality Mark. Contact Julie Beattie to request VLE login details.

3. Complete the registration form
Next, complete the Registration Form (Word, 72k) and return it to the Administrator before 31 October. The form tells you how much the award costs and how to pay.

4. Start gathering evidence
From this point schools generally take two or three terms to gather evidence and write and present their application. The earlier you register the more time you will have to plan ahead.

5. Work towards the award
In brief, the process asks that you perform a subject audit using the Self-Assessment Framework from which you develop an action plan. The final application consists of a presentation of your PGQM action plan, evidence of your development (text and photos) accompanied by other school documentation e.g. planning and pupil work.       

6. Submit your final application
Applications are submitted in April each year, moderation takes place throughout the summer and awards are distributed in October. Guidance can be found on the PGQM VLE.

What is the timeframe for completing the award?

Your school can start working towards the award at any time however you must register and submit your final application by the annual deadlines below.

NB - registration will close when the full quota of schools for the period is reached

Register by: 31 October
Submit final application by: end of April
Moderation during:
May-September
Notified of award by:
October

Children enjoying geography

Fees

In order to meet some of the costs of administering and moderating the award, at the point of registration a fee is payable upon the following scale.

  • Very small schools <50 pupils = £150
  • Very small schools 50-99 pupils = £200
  • Small schools 100-249 pupils - £250
  • Medium schools 250-399 pupils - £300
  • Large schools >400 pupils - £350

Current Geographical Association membership is essential when applying for the PGQM. Once awarded, schools are also requested to maintain their GA membership for the three-year period that the PGQM is valid.

Further support

Detailed guidance and sample material is available on the PGQM VLE and the Champions Ning has a dedicated PGQM Group where you can chat to other teachers and GA staff.

Contact Julie Beattie to request VLE login details or if you have any other queries.

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  • Visit the Fourth Global Conference on Economic Geography 2015 homepage
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