Lancaster schoolgirl scoops top geography competition award

Faatimah Ali with her certificate.Faatimah Ali with her certificate.
Faatimah Ali with her certificate.
A pupil at Lancaster Girls' Grammar School has won a national geography contest for her age group.

Faatimah Ali was the Key Stage 3 (11-14 years) winner of the Young Geographer of the Year competition, which is run by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) to encourage pupils to engage with geographical issues.

Each year, the competition receives entries from thousands of pupils from hundreds of schools.

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This year’s competition was an opportunity for students to explore how their lives have been shaped by the Covid-19 pandemic by producing entries on the theme Remapping our lives.

Steve Brace, the society’s Head of Education and Outdoor Learning, said: “We were extremely impressed by the overwhelming quality and volume of entries to this year’s competition, with thousands of pupils taking part from across the UK and beyond.

"We were looking for – and found – original entries showing how the Pandemic had led to the young peoples’ lives being ‘remapped’, and we’re sure that our winners have great geographical futures ahead of them.”

Prof Joe Smith, director of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), said: “Geography plays a crucial role in our understanding of place and space. Given the extraordinary obstacles faced by pupils again this year, we’re delighted to see so many submissions cleverly reflect the adaptations made by pupils to their lives on both local and global scales.

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"They’ve also demonstrated how their lives are interconnected and influenced by these locations and revealed how both human and physical geographical processes interact with them. The standard was exceptionally high, and the work was produced in a thoughtful and knowledgeable way. Congratulations to all who took part.”

Young Geographer of the Year recognises the best entries across four categories: Key Stage 2 (pupils aged 9-11); Key Stage 3 (11-14); Key Stage 4 or GCSE (14-16); and Key Stage 5 or A-level (16-18).

Pupils in the first three categories were asked to submit an annotated diagram or poster, while A-level pupils were asked to create an Esri UK StoryMap containing a maximum of 1,500 words.

The Young Geographer of the Year competition is run by the Society in conjunction with Geographical magazine and is kindly supported by Esri UK, Ordnance Survey, Philip’s Atlases and Cotswold Outdoors.