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


Thursday afternoon soon comes around again … time for another ‘In the Know’ webinar.  This week the focus was on ‘Mountains and volcanoes’, one of my favourite themes to teach when I was in the classroom.

Word seems to have spread about our weekly webinars as our audience continues to grow, both in real time and for listening/viewing when time allows.  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:

Mountains can be tourist attractions, national symbols, a country’s borders, the source of a country’s mineral wealth, inspirational, spiritual and challenging, as well as loved by artists, climbers and engineers alike.  The connection between mountains and volcanoes lies at the molten core of our planet, where the gradual cooling of the Earth’s core over millions of years has formed the mountains and volcanoes we see today.  This geological formation of Earth is constant.  Often, in the News, volcanoes demonstrate the raw power of nature and are a stark reminder of how our world was so violently created and how our human existence is dependent on a thin crust of the Earth’s surface that lies above these primal, elemental forces beneath.

I endeavoured to integrate a number of interactive activities and teaching ideas into the webinar as previous feedback suggested these were features that participants had particularly enjoyed and appreciated.  It also helps teachers feel they are part of a supportive community, something that must be reinforced during these challenging and dynamic times with 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).

‘Types of volcano/new vocabulary/fun activities.’

‘Interesting; informative; useful.’

‘Informative, helpful and interesting.’

‘Subject knowledge; vocabulary, cross-curricular ideas (English writing).’

‘Informative; helpful; practical ideas.’

‘Informative; useful ideas; interesting.’

‘Vocabulary; different types of volcanoes; interesting facts!’

‘Improved technical knowledge; fascinating; applicable across KS2.’

‘Different types of mountains; subject-specific vocabulary; teaching ideas.’

‘Better understanding of volcanoes and mountains; specific vocabulary; lots of ideas.’

’Informative; helpful ideas; interesting facts!’

‘Information on both types of mountains and volcanoes.’

‘Interesting; clarification; helpful.’

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

‘3-D volcano model!’

‘3-D model of a volcano.’

‘Pin the tail on the map.’

‘Mountains link to literacy (the picture to create a bank of words and sentences).’

‘Hot seating; imaginative sentences; continuum line.’

‘Hot seating and describing pictures.’

‘English writing on mountains and volcanic eruptions.’

‘Cross-curricular observational tasks to describe pictures.’

‘Use of Digimap for Schools to locate UK mountains; use of photos.’

3-D model of a volcano; why do people live there.’

‘All of them, hoping to share with colleagues. Continuum line is good.’

‘Photos to expand technical vocabulary; locational mapping.’

‘English writing and the continuum line activity.’

Identify any changes that you will make.

‘Greater variety of activities.’             

‘Being more knowledgeable and confident to answer children’s questions; using images to help explain.’

‘Volcanoes to have more coverage.’

‘Inclusion of more detail when we cover mountains/volcanoes.’

‘More use of subject-specific vocabulary; more use of maps to find where the mountains and volcanoes are.’

‘Include more images and descriptive language.’

‘Finding more interesting ways of introducing technical vocabulary – your ideas for this are great.’

‘Increase the volcanoes technical terminology shared with the children.’

‘Ideas to secure subject vocabulary; improved subject knowledge!’

‘Use specific examples and locate on maps.’


‘Lots of information; good ideas.’

‘Enjoyed learning more subject-specific knowledge.’

‘Useful suggestions for activities.’

‘Nice and compact training sessions, get straight to the points.’

‘Gained lots more knowledge, vocabulary and a range of interesting/exciting activities for the children.’

‘Increased subject knowledge.’

‘Subject knowledge; practical teaching ideas.  Teaching ideas transferable across subjects.  Thank you.’

‘Improved my knowledge; great ideas for activities.’

‘Facts and specific knowledge.’

‘A great session again, thank you.’

‘Thank you  – I am really enjoying these sessions.’

‘Thank you! Really helpful session.’

‘Really enjoying the webinars – they’re fun, informative and really engaging.  They’ll be a real help with developing the geography teaching in school.  Thank you.’


‘Be good to see examples of how the children in schools show some of this knowledge in their learning (if possible).’

‘Can you advise on any good volcano webcam to visit?’

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 fourth webinar next Thursday afternoon, which will explore ‘Latitude, longitude, day and night’.


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.