Students should also understand the UK's geography and study changes to the landscape in the 21st Century which includes looking at cities, urban areas and the climate.
EDINA's Digimap for Schools - a safe, online mapping service for children to use. Annotate different maps: draw polygons, add text, photos and point markers to plot routes.
Students can also use the historical maps to study how urbanisation and climate change has affected landscapes.
Watch some helpful videos on using Digimap for Schools.
- The National Grid:
- Map reading made easy PDF - your students can refresh their understanding with this guide.
- How the National Grid works - background information for teachers.
- Map reading videos with wildlife presenter, naturalist and #GetOutside Champion Steve Backshall - a series of short one-two-minute videos suitable for using in the classroom: map symbols, grid references, using a compass, contour lines, magnetic north.
- Coordinate converter (e.g. eastings, northings, longitude, latitude).
Don't forget map symbols...
- 1:25 000 scale OS Explorer legend PDF (and the Welsh version PDF).
- Unique symbols on 1:25 000 scale mapping PDF.
- 1:50 000 scale OS Landranger legend PDF (and the Welsh version PDF).
- Map abbreviations PDF.
- Watch video by Steve Backshall: understanding map symbols.
Election maps resources
- Election maps for GB and Northern Ireland - find electoral boundaries using these online maps.
- Useful facts about elections - a summary for teachers.
Activity 1: Perfect or pants at politics?
Get pupils to design a questionnaire to find out how much teachers know about electoral areas surrounding your school.
Activity PDF (104kb) | Word doc. (126kb).
Activity 2: Euro expo
Your pupils are on the Euro region committee and are off to the Euro Election Exhibition. They will need to research where fellow exhibitors are from by producing an annotated map of EU electoral regions in the UK.
Activity PDF (113kb) | Word doc. (128kb).
Activity 3: EU and me
Your pupils will need to understand the EU's democratic process, know which organisations make up the EU, and what it all means for us and other countries. Get them to create a 'mind map' of this information
Activity PDF (100kb) | Word doc. (140kb).
Geographic information systems (GIS) hold information about something's location. For example, they can tell you how frequently an area has been flooded, crime rate and population density. It's more than just map data.
These interactive exercises look at the bigger picture. How location information plays an important role in our day-to-day lives.
Control flood damage - help Bridgefordshire Rivers Agency to choose the best flood defence scheme:
Identify wind farm sites - help Green Energy Ltd find suitable sites to build new wind farms:
Respond to emergencies - help Tom McKay, Chief Ambulance Officer for East Bridgefordshire Health Authority, to deliver a top quality ambulance service by responding to emergencies quickly:
Increase retail profits - help Maxine Walton, Managing Director of a supermarket, to launch a new mini store in Bridgefordshire. Investigate potential sites to build on.
Farm for profit - help to manage Home Farm in South Bridgefordshire for one year to turn it around and make a profit. To do this pupils will need to grow crops on the right type of land:
Stop crime - help Bridgefordshire Constabulary to investigate crime patterns and decide which areas need the most support:
- #GetOutside - encourage your students to get outside in between homework and revision. We've got lots of adventure ideas.
- OS Locate - get your students to download this digital compass app. It's ideal for field trips and outdoor explorations.
- Duke of Edinburgh Award website - read advice on how to run the D of E Award in your school. Your students who are taking part will be able to log in and access OS maps to plan routes.
- Buy OS paper maps - great for field trips.
- OS blog - get your students to browse our blog for useful geography-related information: GI explained and using GI and maps. Perfect for that extra bit of coursework help.
Lots of organisations learn map reading skills ready for exploring the great outdoors. Here are a few: