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


This week’s ‘In the Know’ webinar took the theme of ‘Settlements’, one with strong links to history too.

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:

Settlements are places where groups of people live and work.  While settlements can vary tremendously in size, they often share a range of characteristics that are influenced by similarities in the landscape, the background or history shaping a settlement over time and the sources that influence its growth.  There are reasons why settlements developed as, and where, they did: without looking at the history of a place it is impossible to see how it has developed and changed over time.

Again, 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, I think I had quite a positive impact and 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).

‘Historical progression; questioning; higher-order thinking.’

‘Interesting; helpful; engaging.’

‘How Medieval England changed; higher-order questioning; new ways of introducing settlement learning into the curriculum.’

‘Insightful – it has identified my lack of historical knowledge!’

‘Key facts; specific knowledge; useful teaching ideas.’

‘Critical; informative; knowledgeable.’

‘Historical subject knowledge; teaching ideas; importance of changing and comparing.’

‘Types of settlement; development through history; linking geography and history.’

‘Historical treasure trove of facts; understanding of growth of settlements; teacher/child-led activities.’

‘Teaching ideas; how settlements have changed; subject-specific vocabulary.’

‘Informative; expansion of key vocabulary; links to history.’

‘Refresh of historical knowledge; clarified understanding of terminology associated with settlements; refreshed understanding of UK/Great Britain/British Isles!’

‘Overview; checking terminology; activities to try.’

‘Informative; recap subject knowledge; key vocabulary.’

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

‘Question generator.’

‘Question generator; triangle of reflection.’

‘Odd one out activity will definitely be one to use and not just for geography.  The changing landscape will be good for upcoming fieldwork in Year 3.’

‘The 5Ws activity.’

‘The question generator and the triangle, not just for geography.’

‘5Ws + how; question generator.’

‘The triangle of similarities and differences; really like it for other curriculum areas.’

‘Before/now and virtual settlement trip.’

‘Odd one out; question generator and virtual trips to places.’

‘5Ws + how; identifying settlements on maps; linking settlements with history.’

‘Triangle and question generator.’

‘Odd one out activity.’

 Identify any changes that you will make.

‘Links to history and vocabulary.’

‘More practical ideas with real life examples close to school.’

‘More of these ideas will be added to our short-term planning.’

‘Encourage staff to do more of the 5Ws + how activities in lessons to develop an enquiry approach.’

‘Revisit year group planning and ensure complete coverage of key information.’

‘I will use a new settlement that is being launched near to me very soon.  One I am very excited about.  Google Chester Farm Estate.’

‘Look at changes of landscapes in more detail.  More children lead questioning.’

‘Need to look at planning across Key Stage 2 to specify aspects of settlement that fit within established aspects.’

‘Stronger links to history; can be a topic taught annually; show progression.’

‘Subject-specific vocabulary; links between history and geography; looking at local area before going further afield.’

‘Links to the local area and using fieldwork to support the children’s learning.’

‘Make sure I get the terminology of the UK correct!’

‘Quick quizzes. Local settlements, rather than just the main materials.’

‘Share ideas with colleagues.’


‘Session was great!’

‘Enjoying the sessions.’

‘Loads of classroom ideas to share with staff.’

‘Lots of information and developing my understanding of how settlements have changed over time.’

‘Lots of subject knowledge provided and ideas for use in the classroom.’

‘Lots of key facts and information.’

‘Session is pacy and practical.’

‘Loads of really great teaching ideas, as always.  Strong links with history.’

‘Lots of practical ideas.’

‘Ideas for activities (a range); I like the question generator.’

‘Great teaching ideas; active participation.’

‘Lots of practical ideas for the classroom.’

‘As before, informative and interactive – thank you.’

‘Good to have activity suggestions that work online and in class.’

‘Lots of great ideas.’

‘Thank you. I worked my brain today.’

‘Thank you.  Lots to think about.’

‘Thank you.  Lots of good ideas for use in the classroom.’



‘Can’t think of anything – thank you!’

‘Not quite so long spent on each practical activity.’

‘More links for case studies to see how other schools have developed their geography curriculum.’

‘More teaching ideas.’

‘Quite word/text heavy on the slides this week, which was difficult to read and follow.’

‘Suggested further reading.’

‘More ideas for KS1/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 final webinar next Thursday afternoon, which will explore ‘Grid references and map symbols’.


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.