Interweaving geography and history this afternoon!

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 still rather unpredictable times.

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:

  • Practical ideas to apply to geography (and other subjects).
  • Lots of interesting facts and informaton.
  • A lot to take in!
  • Lots of historical links.
  • Thanks so much!  I enjoyed that.

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

  • The image within many boxes (layers of inference).
  • Yanjin video; question generator; layers of inference.
  • Layers of inference with questions in the boxes.
  • Question generator.

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

  • We are already half way through our settlements & migration topic, but will aim to incorporate more of these ideas next time we do it.
  • Look at local settlements over time.
  • Check settlement concepts are covered across the school.


  • Lots of great practical lesson activity ideas.
  • Like all the practical suggestions.  
  • Lots of visual ideas to stimulate discussion.


  • Maybe ideas on how to teach land use and settlement patterns next time?

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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