And, now for number 2!

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.

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.

I 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 after the somewhat challenging 18 months or so that we have all had.

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

  • Lots of new vocabulary.
  • Informative; interesting.
  • My river vocabulary has improved.
  • Levee!
  • Lots of new terms.
  • Interesting; useful.
  • I have gained more vocabulary.
  • High quality, subject-specific training.  Lots of geographical terminology.
  • Levee!  Different kinds of erosion features.

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

  • Labelling activity.
  • Bingo was great for recall.
  • Matching captions to diagrams.
  • Bingo game; matching labels to diagrams.
  • Mix and match activity; Bingo.
  • Pictures asking which part of the river it related to.
  • Bingo.
  • I really liked the picture activity.
  • Bingo to reinforce vocabulary.
  • The 5Ws + how? activity.

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

  • Share my learning with other staff.
  • I can use this alongside English and looking at the course of the river down to Niagara Falls.
  • Ensure correct vocabulary is used.
  • Only one year group teaches rivers, but may need to be covered by other year groups.
  • Add key vocabulary to planning.


  • I like how you explain things clearly as it makes much more sense.  The games are good too!
  • Interaction; activities.
  • This was great – but so fast!  I am very aware that I do not know a lot!
  • I will be watching back and pausing!
  • Taking part in the activities.
  • Activities.
  • Bingo.
  • Interactive.
  • Looking at the course of a river.


  • None!

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 third webinar next Thursday afternoon, which explores ‘Mountains and volcanoes’, very apt with all that is happening on La Palma at this moment in time (‘geography in the News!’).


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