Geographical Association (GA) ‘In the Know’ webinar series


It was, once again, time for another ‘In the Know’ webinar; this week the focus was on ‘Rivers and the water cycle’, a theme that frequently appears on many whole school curriculum plans.

Word seemed to have spread about the first successful webinar as we were joined by even more teachers in real time, which was lovely.  If you have yet to attend one of the webinars, but wish to discover more, then further details of the course programme and overview, along with its overall aims and outcomes and fees, can be found by accessing the web-link below:

Water is constantly on the move; water from melting glaciers and water held in the ground gets channelled into tiny streams that grow and join up with other streams to form rivers.  Rivers form a major part of the water (hydrological) cycle; rivers are responsible for transferring water to the oceans.  River landscapes are often beautiful and changeable and provide many examples of physical geography at work.

I endeavoured to integrate a number of interactive activities and teaching ideas into the webinar to avoid the rather tedious ‘lecture style’ that occasionally arises and enable teachers to feel part of a supportive community, something that must be reinforced during these times of limited face-to-face contact.

Judging by the reflections in the chat feed towards the end of the session, participants found the webinar to be extremely useful; a quick, easy and cost-effective means of boosting their subject knowledge.  Some of their concluding comments can be viewed below:

Sum up your learning from today’s session in three bullet points (can be simply words/phrases).

  • Some great ideas for engaging children in learning other than the standard labelling diagrams.
  • Subject-specific vocabulary.
  • Definitions of difficult vocabulary and clarification.
  • Terminology; features of a river; ideas for activities.
  • Lots of great subject knowledge; gorges; upper, middle and lower courses.
  • Really liked the Bingo for subject specific vocabulary building.
  • Technical ‘know how’; great activity ideas; clarification of vocabulary.
  • Refresher of technical vocabulary; clarification of some technical terms; ideas for KS2.
  • Supported my subject knowledge and vocabulary.
  • Vocabulary definitions.
  • Key vocabulary; revision of river processes; use of photographs to illustrate concepts.
  • Vocabulary; processes; teaching points and ideas.
  • Traction; ideas of how to get vocabulary into classroom; Bingo terminology.
  • Teaching ideas.
  • Support with key vocabulary and the use of diagrams.
  • Activities which could be used with children with ordering parts of the processes.

List any ideas that you are going to ’give a go’.

  • All of them! (x 3)
  • Vocabulary Bingo – not necessarily with rivers, but can be applied to other themes/subjects.
  • Photographs of geographical features with the 5Ws.
  • Bingo; use of diagrams with labels.
  • Bingo is good one for a zoom/MS Teams lesson.
  • 5Ws + how.
  • Use of images; labelling; Bingo.
  • Bingo; 5Ws.
  • Definitely Bingo.
  • River Bingo.
  • Bingo for a Zoom session.
  • Photograph local river.
  • Bingo and I don’t think my school has ever done fieldwork along the River Nene near us.

Identify any changes that you will make.

  • Identify opportunities for local fieldwork next year.
  • Opportunities for fieldwork along the local river.
  • Fieldwork opportunities for next time.
  • Summer term – fieldwork.
  • More use of specific vocabulary; local fieldwork; more links to local flood events.
  • Not too much information overload; get children out looking at these river features.
  • Adding in the flow diagrams to help explain processes.
  • Going past the features of a river and talking more about the processes now that I am more confident with subject knowledge.
  • Include some of the ideas, such as the diagrams, to help children visualise processes.


  • Some more practical ideas for the classroom.  Thank you!
  • Lots of teaching ideas that can be easily implemented.
  • Great content.
  • Lots of practical ideas.
  • Activity ideas.
  • Engaging, practical ideas.


  • Keep adding in remote learning ideas too, those that do not need any resources at home.
  • Good websites to use; book suggestions; how to differentiate.
  • How SEN children can be included.
  • GA recommended videos to show these processes.
  • Ideas for remote learning; more teaching ideas.
  • More ideas for KS1 or even EYFS.

PDF downloads are also available to purchase via the GA’s shop, either as ten individual titles or as a full set (  These provide straightforward, accurate and trustworthy background knowledge, explanation, diagrams and glossary on topics in the geography National Curriculum so that teachers can develop their geography teaching with confidence.

I look forward to the third webinar next Thursday afternoon, which will explore ‘Mountains and volcanoes’, fascinating phenomena.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.