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

(Webinar 3: Mountains and volcanoes)


Thursday afternoon soon comes around again … time for another ‘In the Know’ webinar.  This week the focus was on ‘Mountains and volcanoes’, one of my favourite themes to teach when I was in the classroom.

Word seems to have spread about our weekly webinars as our audience continues to grow.  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: 

Sessions always include a degree of interactivity and the opportunity to trial different teaching ideas, so do try and attend in ‘real time’ if you can as you stand to gain so much more from the series.

Mountains can be tourist attractions, national symbols, a country’s borders, the source of a country’s mineral wealth, inspirational, spiritual and challenging, as well as loved by artists, climbers and engineers alike.  The connection between mountains and volcanoes lies at the molten core of our planet, where the gradual cooling of the Earth’s core over millions of years has formed the mountains and volcanoes we see today.  This geological formation of Earth is constant.  Often, in the News, volcanoes demonstrate the raw power of nature and are a stark reminder of how our world was so violently created and how our human existence is dependent on a thin crust of the Earth’s surface that lies above these primal, elemental forces beneath.

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:

  • Built on knowledge and have enjoyed listening to teaching ideas.
  • Built my knowledge of how mountains are formed.
  • I have reinforced my existing knowledge and learned more too.
  • Improved my subject knowledge.

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

  • I loved the ideas surrounding photo and vocabulary generating and the volcano webcams and websites are a great idea.
  • Paired work with descriptions.
  • Continuum line; visit sites to watch current volcanoes and webcams etc.; more classification discussion.
  • Describe the picture.
  • Use the web-links to track volcanoes.

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

  • Just include some of your idea suggestions, I think.
  • I want to give teachers other ideas for activities rather than colour a diagram.


  • Thank you – lots of practical suggestions today.
  • Thank you – lots of great ideas to take away.


  • 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 our fourth webinar of the series during the second week in June, which will explore ‘Latitude, longitude, day and night’.

Enjoy the half-term break and marking the Platinum Jubilee!

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