Property News Colliers International kicks off the 2011 Colliers Green Focus competition

Colliers Green Focus 2011

Colliers International kicked off the 2011 Colliers Green Focus competition by hosting the first regional school workshop of the year with students from Trinity Catholic High School in Woodford Green, Greater London on Tuesday 8 March.

Now in its second three-year phase, Colliers Green Focus is an exciting national project that encourages young geographers to spend a day exploring their local community in the context of environmental change and sustainability. The scheme is supported by popular TV wildman, Steve Backshall who will present prizes to the winning students at an awards ceremony in November.

30 Year 9 students plus teachers from Trinity Catholic High School were taken on a field-trip to Epping Forest with two of the Colliers Green Focus project team, Gyles Morris (Project Geographer) and Richard Chivers (Photographer), to take a look at the impact and issues that recreation has on the forest.

On the field-trip, pupils made use of digital cameras as tools for research, exploration and documentation.  They learnt about how photography can best be applied within an environmental geography context as well as how to get the most from their cameras. As part of the post field-trip workshop the pupils are expected to add further context to their images by writing about what they have photographed.

Steve Backshall, Colliers Green Focus ambassador commented: “Colliers Green Focus offers young people a totally different learning experience.  A good photograph can tell a story more powerfully than words ever can. By using a camera students really have to think about how they capture and interpret their environment. I keep finding new details and nuances hidden in their pictures – they’re achieving something really significant.”

Paul Vockins, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Colliers International said: “The Colliers Green Focus field-trip programme has been developed by professional educational and photographic specialists to support the geography curriculum. The activities and themes covered can be tailored to reflect pupils' current topic of study within their geography class and the reward for taking part extend far beyond the field-trip itself. A range of resources are also available to enable teachers to make use of the Colliers Green Focus approach more extensively in their work with young people.”

Kathleen Reid, Head of Humanities at Trinity Catholic High School also commented: “Trinity Catholic High School is thrilled to be taking part in Colliers Green Focus and has high hopes to win the national photography competition!  It's been great to go out with our cameras, be creative with geography and look at our surroundings with fresh eyes. Woodford is on the outskirts of London and surrounded by the Epping Forest, so the students have had an opportunity to think about their sense of place in a rural-urban fringe. I've also learned some new photography skills to use in our future fieldwork.”

Schools can participate in Colliers Green Focus either by the ‘Mobile’ or ‘Compact’ approach. The ‘Mobile’ approach involves the geography teachers attending a twilight INSET session at which a professional geographer and photographer provide a step-by-step guide to running their own field-trip. The ‘Compact’ approach is where a professional geographer and photographer visit 10 schools each year, working with the school to run a one-day programme built around a field-trip and in-school workshop.

Photographs taken during the field-trips are entered into either the Colliers Green Focus Compact or Mobile photography competition. A panel of expert judges decide upon a shortlist from all the entries for each competition. Prizes are given and the winners announced at an annual national awards ceremony, which this year is being held on 22 November in central London. A selection of photographs taken during the field-trips are also displayed at an annual exhibition in London.

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