Geographical Association (GA) In the Know webinar series


It was time for the final webinar in this series of six linked to the Geographical Association (GA)’s In the Know online resources and one that is closely related to geographical skills and fieldwork.

These webinars are a quick, easy and cost-effective means of updating your subject knowledge, whether you are a Geography Subject Leader, experienced classroom teacher, ECT or trainee.

Further details about the series can be found by accessing the web-link below:

The aim is to make these webinars as interactive as possible by challenging participants to different activities that they could replicate in the classroom, introducing a competitive element from time to time, opening up the floor to discussion, inviting input via the chat feed and making use of ‘breakout rooms’ when larger numbers are present.  They are also fast-paced as no one wishes to remain for very long at the end of a busy school day and when they may have additional work or external commitments to attend to.  I am also happy for individuals to contact me by e-mail with any questions that they have at a later date once they have had time to digest the content of the webinar and reflect fully on the teaching and learning that currently takes place within their school.

Today’s webinar focused upon ‘grid references and map symbols‘.

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.

Towards the end of the webinar, delegates were asked to consider the following points via a Google Form.  Some of their answers can be viewed below.

Sum up your learning from today’s session in five words or a sentence or two.

  • Revisiting grid references and useful teaching ideas.
  • Very helpful and visual.
  • Compass points, four-figure and six figure grid references and scale.
  • Useful; engaging; interesting; thought-provoking; insightful.
  • Informative and practical activities (still struggling a bit with six-figure grid references).

List any ideas that you are going to ‘give a go’.

  • I will look through the resource with teaching ideas highlighted.
  • Telling a story when using a map grid.
  • Making own acronyms; practise using four-figure grid references.
  • Map symbol dobble and using more references to map orientation.
  • Will definitely have a go at preparing stories using grid references.

Identify any changes that you will make.

  • Help support staff who don’t feel so confident.
  • Sign up to Digimap for Schools.
  • See if I can get a local map for classes to use.
  • Provide more training to enhance subject knowledge within my own school.


  • Helped me consolidate my knowledge of grid references.
  • All went well.
  • Activity ideas.
  • Really enjoyed mapwork today – really did not know where to start with grid reference activity in our curriculum.


  • Meeting in person for more teaching ideas.
  • I need to revisit map projections.
  • It was hard to see how to use six-figure grid references and I could not follow.  I will have to look into it again to try and make sure I get it! :)

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 teaching with confidence.

I shall miss our geography Thursday afternoons!  Hopefully, you have all enjoyed the sessions as much as I have and found them to be engaging and inspiring.

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