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Quality Mark accreditation (GA, 2006), seeking to have their school awarded a gold, silver or bronze mark as a reference point for developing and achieving a high standard of geography teaching in their school. This involves clarity of understanding about geography. There were variations in how the teachers perceived and understood sustainable development. While most related it to recognising people’s use of and impact on envi-ronments and to be about developing responsible attitudes to environ-mental activity locally and globally, several viewed it more narrowly as related to locally evident concerns such as litter and traffic issues. It was evident that there were variations in appreciating what a level of subject knowledge and understanding meant. Overall, teachers considered their subject knowledge had an positive impact on how they saw the potential of their topic and recognised that to provide the fullest and deepest learn-ing opportunities they needed to be knowledgeable and well-informed themselves. A few teachers realised they needed to enhance their under-standing of sustainable development, and that subject knowledge was a key aspect of curriculum making which affected the quality of their teaching. The Project involved aspects of local study, an element of its ‘living geography’ dimension. This connected with the children’s familiar envi-ronment, providing the opportunity for teachers to draw on the children’s everyday geographies (Catling, 2005, 2011b; Martin, 2008; Catling & Martin, 2011):

Do younger children value their environment? Absolutely, but not only this, they can also see the link between actions and consequences – they dislike muddy carpets and appreciate plant life and grassy areas and can accept that sliding down a bank to reach the classroom may no longer be acceptable. [F/Yr1-2]

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