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


Our final ‘In the Know’ webinar took the theme of ‘Grid references and map symbols’, one that links closely to geographical skills and fieldwork.

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, which is great to witness.

Maps are works of art.  There are many types of maps, but they all communicate information, spatially and pictorially, about a particular area, from a theme park to a country to the world.  Understanding maps is an important geographical and life skill, which can be improved with good knowledge of directions and compass points, distance and scale, features, symbols and grid references.

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 such demanding 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:

  • ‘Really useful map skills ideas’.
  • ‘Map projections.’
  • ‘Informative; use of grid references.’
  • ‘OS grid references make sense now!’
  • ‘Fun, cross curricular ideas for use with mapping.’
  • ‘It has given me some good ideas for activities.’
  • ‘Use map skills more frequently.’

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

  • ‘Digimap resources.’
  • ‘Four- and six-figure grid references used in story telling linked to local area.’
  • ‘Ship ahoy game with compasses.’
  • ‘Unpeeling an orange  and getting children to see how maps and globes differ.’

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

  • ‘Check map skills are in planning.’
  • ‘Revisit the curriculum with staff and provide more CPD for mapping progression.’


  • ‘The different teaching ideas.’
  • ‘Practical grid reference activities with ideas.’
  • ‘Improving my subject knowledge.  Practical ideas for the classroom.’
  • ‘Reinforcing six-figure grid references.’
  • ‘Thank you, I’ve really enjoyed these webinars.’
  • ‘Thank you so much, Emma – they have all been great and extremely useful and informative.’


  • ‘My sound had worked from the beginning!’

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 have, once again, really enjoyed delivering this set of webinars for the GA.  The feedback from participants has been really positive, which makes the whole experience all the more rewarding.  Many thanks for being such a willing and enthusiastic audience too!

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