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 times with still 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 (summing up their learning in five words or a sentence or two) can be viewed below:

  • ‘Many questioning activities and opportunities.’
  • ‘The development of settlements.’
  • ‘Challenging and developing my own knowledge.’
  • ‘Developing and consolidating previous knowledge.’

When asked to list any of the suggested teaching ideas that they might ‘give a go’, many stated the following:

  • ‘Question generator.’
  • ‘All of the activities!’
  • ‘Odd one out.’
  • ‘Questioning grid; layers of inference.’

Attendees were also encouraged to consider any changes that they might make to current teaching and learning in their school.  These included:

  • ‘Work with subject leaders/teachers to include some of the activities in their planning.’
  • ‘CPD with staff about teaching strategies.’
  • ‘I need to look at the progression of settlement learning and ensure the development of knowledge throughout the Key Stage.’


  • ‘The range of activities demonstrated.’
  • ‘Pace and activities.’
  • ‘Practical activities and developed subject knowledge.’


  • ‘Nothing!’
  • ‘Thank you, Emma, as always a super hour.’

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 our final webinar of the series next Thursday afternoon, which will explore ‘Grid references and map symbols’.

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