TOP students have put their school on the map after helping it win an award.
Hard work by youngsters and staff at Bay House School has seen its geography department named as a centre of excellence.
The school, in Gomer Lane, Alverstoke, Gosport, is just one of 12 nationally to get the recognition from the Geographical Association.
The department sent examples of students’ work along with lesson plans to the association.
It was then assessed on how geography was being taught at the school – not just what GCSE and A-levels the pupils have achieved.
Moira Duffy, the head of geography at Bay House, said looking beyond pupils’ exam grades is important.
She said: ‘We had to go through quite a rigorous process, providing lots of student work and exam results and schemes of learning.
‘One of the things we do is have close university links with Southampton and the students come and work within the department.
‘One of our teachers went and worked in a school in Malawi, which we are twinned to.
‘Lots of our staff are involved in sharing practice beyond school.’
She added Bay House had re-applied for the award after winning in 2010.
The recognition lasts for just three years.
And it is not just the teachers who have a passion for the subject.
Keen geography buff Tom Winter, 16, is now studying it at A-level after achieving an A* in his GCSE.
He said: ‘I really enjoy learning about the world.
‘The best topic was when we learnt about Hurricane Katrina in the climatic hazards module.
‘It was really interesting finding out about all of the social and environmental impacts of the hurricane.
‘Next year I’m hopefully going on a trip to Iceland to see some amazing geographical sites.’
Fellow pupil Katie Walters, 16, said she enjoys how classes are taught.
She said: ‘I hope to go to Iceland next year too and I’m looking forward to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of swimming in the Blue Lagoon.’