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, and was kindly delivered by Jon Cannell on my behalf.

Word seemed to have spread about the first successful webinar as we also welcomed a few ‘newbies’ on board today.  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.

Jon endeavoured to integrate a number of interactive activities and teaching ideas into the webinar to avoid the sometimes rather tedious ‘lecture style’ that ensues and enable teachers to feel part of a supportive community, something that must be reinforced during these times of still 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:

‘Creating a river with items to practise what they have learned.’
‘Great information!  I will definitely use bingo to reinforce vocabulary.  Thank you very much.’
‘Ideas for activities based on knowledge taught.  Loved the comparison of river lengths.  Good ideas for getting kids to generate own questions.  Thanks so much.’
‘1. Developing knowledge and understanding.  3. Much greater use of subject specific vocabulary.  WWW. All great thanks!’
‘Will use 3-D river activity with sheet in class.’
‘Use of games and activities.’

‘1. I learnt about the formation of rivers in more detail, especially the detail about how each part of a river is formed.  2. I thought all the teaching ideas were good and I particularly liked the modelling a river, which gave me some ideas about how to model the formation of different parts of the river too.  3. I probably wouldn’t have previously gone into as much depth as was suggested with KS2 in fear of stepping on the toes of secondary, but I will be more challenging now.

WWW- the lesson ideas and improvement in my subject knowledge.  I’m enjoying being able to watch the webinars back and pause so I can make notes.

EBI – Not really an EBI, but I didn’t mind that Jon ran over a bit.’

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 hope to be up and running once again to present the third webinar next Thursday afternoon, which will explore ‘Mountains and volcanoes’, fascinating phenomena.


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