Bespoke CPD (Lympne C of E Primary School)


No rest for the wicked!  Supposedly my Easter break, but I succumbed to a demand for some bespoke CPD from a school in Kent whose holidays fell in slightly different weeks.  I am glad I did too as those at Lympne C of E Primary School ( were a very friendly, enthusiastic and appreciative bunch!

Steven Owen, the Head Teacher, had approached Leigh Brothwell at Primary Teachers CPD ( about some support for geography.  After several e-mails between Leigh, Steve and myself, we identified a suitable format and stance for their INSET Day on Tuesday 19th April 2022.  We decided to explore the question, What are the features of a high-quality geography education?, and I was very keen to make the session as interactive as possible; participants were warned to bring along a laptop, notebook and plenty of pens/pencils in advance of the session and a webcam and microphone had to be installed in the room where the virtual training was to be delivered.

After welcoming everyone and introducing ourselves, I outlined the aims and structure of the day:

We then began with the following activity, which generated much discussion too:


  • Local area and environment.
  • Adding to Vehicle so they link – good for revisiting continent/country/oceans knowledge.
  • Children enjoy it.
  • Cross-curricular.
  • ICT – Google Earth Pro.
  • It is being taught across all years.
  • Staff knowledge.
  • Lots of walks in the local area.


  • Limited time for consolidation for the children.
  • Not consistent across the school.
  • My own subject knowledge.
  • My subject knowledge.
  • Lack of resources/areas to explore.
  • Fieldwork not as strong as I would like it to be (for me!).
  • Subject knowledge and resources.
  • TAs not in lessons.


  • Use our local area.
  • Local school trips.
  • Tie in with local history.
  • Local walks and surroundings.
  • Local access to fieldwork (only tried once to date).
  • Make it more specific.
  • Staff travel and backgrounds.
  • Linking to other curriculum areas.
  • Forest school.
  • Make it more practical.


  • COVID-19.
  • Risk assessments.
  • Rising costs.
  • Timetabling.
  • Staffing.
  • Lack of time.

Next, I highlighted a recent article relating to inspection ( and links to Ofsted on the web and social media.

Staff were then asked to have a go at the activity below.

There were some very interesting statements added to the chat feed too.

  • Knowledge is important because it underpins all learning.
  • Knowledge is important because it provides the foundation to open eyes to infinite possibilities.
  • Knowledge is important because it builds confidence and self-worth.
  • Knowledge is important because it stops misconceptions and going off task, makes you become passionate about a topic and then question ideas (higher order thinking) and allows application to other subject knowledge areas so you can become confident in daily life.

Afterwards, I spent some time looking at ‘knowledge‘: what it allows us to do; what knowledge pupils need to learn; why a focus on curriculum is necessary; what happens when pupils do not learn the knowledge that they need.  I then shared some slides from Ofsted’s south west roadshow linked to geography in particular, before we delved into Ofsted’s blog post about ‘Geography in outstanding primary schools’ ( and their recent research review on geography (  I felt it important to direct participants towards related material released by the leading subject associations too, namely the Geographical Association (GA) ( and Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG) ( (;; Chris Ives’ article, entitled ‘Taking a fresher look at the curriculum‘, which appeared in the Summer 2021 edition of the GA’s Primary Geography journal []).  I paused for ten minutes, so that individuals could dip into any resources that were of particular interest to them or ask any questions that they had.

We then continued by tackling the following activity:

I provided direct links to the suggested documents for quickness and ease (–2;–2;;;; and, which then ensured that we had ample time for a whole group discussion.

A short break for refreshments called.  Feeling revitalised, I then worked with EYFS and Key Stage 1 teachers to address questions that they had and gave them pointers to relevant websites and resources that they could later explore independently.  Afterwards, it was the turn of Key Stage 2 teachers.

Finally, we all reconvened for a spot of reflection.  Participants were asked to complete the following activity, before providing some feedback.

Immediately/by the end of the week:

  • Look at ‘People, culture and communities’ within the ‘ELG: Understanding the World’.
  • Print off and read the ‘Stay at home stories’ planning.
  • Have a look through Digimap for Schools’ support and resources.
  • Print & laminate old/new OS map of Lympne ready for WWII Vehicle in November.
  • Use OS Bing maps to adapt six grid reference work for SEND children.
  • Look at the GA’s ‘The UK: Investigating who we are’ book.

By the end of Term 5:

  • To look at old maps and compare with new maps to see how land use has changed.
  • Get to know Digimap for Schools better.
  • Go for a walk around Lympne again, revisiting fieldwork skills from earlier in the year – showing progression in their mapping knowledge.
  • Use Google maps within our Ancient Greece unit.

By the end of the academic year:

  • Add new subject knowledge and planning from what I have learnt today and over the coming weeks into my yearly planning and Term 1’s medium term planning.
  • Use the GA’s ‘Food for Thought’ in ‘Inspire’ – Term 6 for Fairtrade unit.
  • Refine my coverage of geography across my yearly plan to fit in with my Vehicles.
  • Plan North and South America and human geography into my yearly overview.
  • Use Digimap for Schools to encourage an understanding of ‘scale’ and size.

Some of their ‘concluding comments’ can be viewed below:

  • This afternoon has been really helpful and useful for my teaching.
  • Really useful to have expert knowledge of where to find the relevant information.
  • Good resources to improve subject knowledge for me and the children.
  • Helpful websites, resources and direction.
  • Has provided useful websites and resources to help develop teaching and subject knowledge.
  • I have enjoyed the time to research and find lots of new and exciting ideas.
  • Great resources to support increased understanding of key aspects of human geography, thank you

The consensus seems to be that it was a pretty useful way to spend an INSET Day!

I look forward to hearing about, and seeing evidence of, their experimentation during Terms 5 and 6.  Go on, be brave, and, above all, enjoy teaching some rigorous geography and witnessing some very rewarding outcomes!






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.