The week seems to have flown by. How was it now time for Session 2 of this ‘In the Know’ webinar series?
Further details about the whole series can be found by accessing the web-link below:
The aim of these sessions is to enhance delegates’ subject knowledge of several key geographical themes, as well as increasing their confidence to teach such topics both in and beyond the classroom. Many teaching ideas are suggested and participants are given the opportunity to trial some of these during the sessions too. There is also a chance to ask questions, discuss issues, either as a whole group or in ‘breakout rooms’, and add contributions to the accompanying chat feed.
As we had a couple of additional attendees, I, once again, introduced myself, provided some background information about the Geographical Association’s website (https://geography.org.uk/), its Professional Award (https://geography.org.uk/events-cpd/cpd-toolkit/ga-professional-award/) and Primary Geography Quality Mark (PGQM) (https://geography.org.uk/quality-marks/). I then moved swiftly on to explore ‘Rivers and the water cycle‘ with participants, a theme frequently visible on many whole school geography curriculum maps. 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. Later, I paused for fifteen minutes to allow individuals to peruse the suggested resources and web-links that were of particular interest or relevance to them and answer any pressing questions.
After a short comfort break, our attention was directed towards ‘Settlements‘. 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. This webinar clearly demonstrated geography’s cross-curricular links, especially with history. Again, I allocated a few minutes for teachers to digest the content on the accompanying slides and investigate websites and materials further. I responded to comments added to the chat feed or from those that unmuted themselves.
Following a brief screen break, we reconvened for the third webinar, which took the theme of ‘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. I attempted to incorporate a number of practical activities here, which delegates seemed to really enjoy and actually ended up becoming rather competitive!
Some of their ‘concluding comments’ can be viewed below:
Sum up today’s webinar in five words or a sentence or two.
Informative and provided a bank of resources.
The session was informative and provided good subject knowledge.
Fantastic subject knowledge.
Really informative, thank you.
What did you enjoy the most today and why? (WWW)
I liked seeing all the different resources/websites to access different maps and would like to look into Digimap for Schools.
Very informative. Very clear presentation, which was well-paced and full of useful teaching ideas and activities.
Learning new activities/games to use with children.
I really enjoyed the rivers topic. It provided good CPD and I could check my new curriculum content against the information you provided.
Rivers and settlements.
The activities as they can be used in school.
What did you enjoy the least and why? (EBI)
Settlements, although I learnt a lot.
I enjoyed the settlement topic, but it would have been good to see how this is taught within a topic. I understand, however, that the historical understanding of this is important and will provide good information for our teaching.
OS maps – needs to go at the start.
The speed of information sometimes.
Consider your next steps. List three things that you intend to do. (These may include activities/ideas that you wish to ‘give a go’ or changes that you feel you need to make to your whole school geography curriculum or teaching and learning approaches used).
Explore Digimap for Schools further. Send useful resources to year groups. Watch GeogLive! Fieldwork webinar.
Watch GeogLive! Fieldwork webinar. Meet with the History Subject Leader to find cross-curricular links. Explore Digimap for Schools so can confidently share with colleagues.
Create a bank of resources to share with staff. Look into Digimap for Schools.
Speak to class teacher regarding rivers – check vocabulary. Speak with Year 6 class teacher who teaches six-figure grid references. Hand out enquiry activities to staff.
Implement these fantastic activities.
I am writing a scheme of work so I can implement ideas from this. Show staff some resources. Lead a staff meeting.
How has attending this webinar series supported you in your role as a Geography Subject Leader/classroom teacher?
I feel more aware of what children should know at each stage of school and how their geography knowledge progresses.
It has made me feel more confident and able to share ideas about possible teaching activities and encourage some higher order thinking.
It has increased my subject knowledge and gave me some good ideas to use in the classroom.
It has supported my CPD and our new curriculum content.
Improved my subject knowledge.
Given me more knowledge.
Additional comments inserted in the accompanying chat feed or from follow-up e-mails:
Thank you Emma. I have really enjoyed this course and have lots of great practical takeaways.
Thank you. Awesome training … helped a lot.
I have just participated in the In The Know course and it was absolutely brilliant. Emma was a fantastic presenter. Please do pass on my thanks to her if you get the opportunity to.
PDF downloads are also available to purchase via the GA’s shop, either as ten individual titles or as a full set (https://portal.geography.org.uk/shop/index?profile=In%20the%20Know). 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 look forward to hearing about, and seeing evidence of, you all putting the teaching ideas into practice in the not too distant future.
Enjoy the remainder of Term 1.