Schools & College News - Geographical Association recognises Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Geography at Harrow Way

Harrow Way Community School is one of only 52 schools nationally who have been awarded the coveted Secondary Geography Quality Mark (SGQM) 2014 from the Geographical Association. The SGQM, now into its fifth year, recognises student attainment, progress and achievement and sets expectations about the quality of teaching.  In short, it is a quality mark for excellence in teaching and learning in Geography.

The award aims to promote effective subject leadership and management, helping subject leaders raise the standards of Geography in their schools.  For the students, this means greater geographical knowledge, understanding, values, skills and concepts.

Headteacher Michael Serridge said: “We have transformed Geography in the last 18 months and I am delighted to see the impact of this in this year’s results which saw 75% of students achieve A* to C for GCSE Geography.  The SGQM award encourages and supports schools to strive for the highest quality in teaching in the subject which is an ethos we already apply across the entire curriculum here.  Geography continues to go from strength to strength and I am very excited about its future at Harrow Way.”

The SGQM award process encourages and supports schools to reflect on their work and strive for the highest quality in their teaching. All the award winners undergo a rigorous moderation process, and the team of assessors were hugely impressed by the manner in which all are continuing to embrace new and innovative approaches to teaching Geography.

Over 321 schools have been awarded the SGQM since it began in 2006, and with a total of 44 current Centres of Excellence there is an increasingly widespread support network for teachers. Furthermore, this year’s awards have also been granted to three overseas schools in Singapore, Dubai and France.

Alan Kinder, Chief Executive of the Geographical Association, said: “There has never been a more important time for all children and young people to study Geography. Growing up in the 21st century means living in an increasingly interconnected world, one facing a growing number of global challenges such as climate change and the need to live our lives sustainably. Geography not only fascinates and inspires young people, it provides them with the knowledge and understanding they need to live in the modern world. Geography is, as we say in the Geographical Association’s manifesto, “fundamental to everyone” and I am delighted that a growing number of primary schools are teaching their students to fully engage with the subject.”

Each school that has achieved the Secondary Geography Quality Award is actively working to raise the standards of geography teaching and learning for their students. Further information about the award can be accessed at

Harrow Way will be hosting an Open Evening on 23 September 6.30pm to 9.00pm for prospective families wishing to learn more about the school.  Open Mornings will also be held 24 and 25 September 2014, 9.15am to 10.30am.

For further information on Harrow Way Community School, please call 01264 364533 or visit Visits to the school by appointment are always welcome.

Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via or alternatively called at