Perse Head of Geography awarded prestigious professional status
14 Oct 2019
Perse Head of Geography James Riley has been awarded Chartered Geographer (CGeog) status by the Royal Geographical Society.
CGeog is the only internationally recognised professional accreditation for those with competence, experience and professionalism in the use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills in the workplace.
Mr Riley was awarded CGeog status in recognition of the geography work he carries out in the wider community.
He said: “It’s a real honour. There are only a handful of geography teachers who have been awarded Charted Geographer status.
“Part of it comes through my role here as a teacher, which includes putting on field trips and running clubs, but I’ve been involved in a lot of CPD (continuing professional development) delivery through speaking at the Geographical Association conferences for the best part of 10 years and delivering local teach meets.”
Mr Riley is a member of Cambridge & District Geographical Association committee, where he helps oversee the running of the Worldwise Quiz – an annual geography competition for Year 9 and 10 pupils from around 20 local schools – and the Student GeogMeet, which sees Sixth Form students and staff from local schools give presentations highlighting the diversity of the subject’s A level curriculum. The Perse hosted the inaugural Student GeogMeet in May and will provide the venue for the next event in the series.
Most notably, he is part of the team which organises monthly public mapathons in and around Cambridge to help the Missing Maps programme. These events map communities in crisis-prone areas of the world so that aid can be effectively distributed by organisations such as the Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres.
Mr Riley also launched student mapathons at The Perse in 2017. Ten events have taken place so far, with around 250 pupils in total doing their bit to support aid efforts in countries such as Ghana, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and the Philippines.
He has also led World Challenge expeditions to Nepal, Uganda and the Silk Route as well as many field trips in this country and abroad, including biennial trips to Iceland.
Mr Riley, who has begun developing a book of travel writing, added: “I guess my passion for geography comes from a love of travel and I think that comes through in the classroom. “