Annual Conference

University Place, The University of Manchester - Thursday 7-Saturday 9 April 2016

From 7–9 April 2015 we welcomed more than 750 delegates from all over the world to take part in a range of lectures, workshops, field visits and social events and find out about the latest ideas, resources and support in primary and secondary geography. Many of the session presentations/handouts will be posted on this page over the coming weeks.

Find out which publishers, schools and individuals won GA Awards at the 2016 event.

We would like to ensure that Conference is as successful as possible for all delegates. If you haven’t already completed an evaluation please take a few minutes to leave feedback.

In order to gain a Pathway Certificate of Attendance you will need to have attended a minimum of four sessions from a pathway. Please take a few minutes to provide feedback about the pathway you attended. A certificate will be issued where an email address is provided.

We have a fantastic set of Conference photographs courtesy of Bryan Ledgard. View a selection on Flickr.

“This conference has been invaluable – can’t wait to get back to school!”

“Best value CPD around”

“GA Conference is the highlight of my professional year”


Session downloads

PowerPoint Presentations and workshop handouts for many of the sessions at the 2016 Annual Conference are available to download below. Please note that some materials may have had images removed for copyright reasons.

Material will continue to be uploaded in this area over the following weeks.


Public lecture - Bumpy Road to Zero: Tackling Ebola in Sierra Leone

All KS
John Raine, Head of Ebola command centre

John was on the frontline dealing with the Ebola epidemic. As part of the UK Joint Inter-Agency Task Force, he was running an operations command centre in Sierra Leone responsible for identifying the sick, burying the dead, quarantining affected communities and facilitating treatment. He will explore how a variety of agencies and strategies combined to tackle the outbreak and thereafter develop hostnation capacity to maintain a 'resilient zero'.

Sponsored by OCR

Download: Presentation (PPT)


Presidential lecture - Making geographical connections

All KS
Steve Rawlinson, GA President 2015–16

By its very nature geography is a ‘connected subject’, and this lecture will celebrate and explore some of the links that give geography its dynamism and relevance to the lives of our students, whatever their age and ambition. In addition it will ask important questions about the nature, development and future of our subject.

Download: Presentation with annotations (PPT)


Lecture Plus 9 - Planning and delivering the new Edexcel GCSE geography A and B specifications

Andrea Wood, Geography Subject Advisor, Pearson

This interactive session will provide practical guidance on how to plan and deliver Pearson’s new Edexcel GCSE geography specifications, and an introduction to our free Edexcel GCSE geography qualification support for teaching new subject content, the new fieldwork requirements and understanding the new assessment requirements.

Sponsored by Pearson

Download: Presentation (PPT)

Lecture 17 - Students as partners, not just stakeholders

Steven Rackley, Director of Geography, Framingham Earl High School, Norwich

‘Students as stakeholders’ is not new, but embedding them into the fabric of the department through leadership, decision making and peer support can breed creativity and energy. This lecture will report on a case study from a high school in Norfolk that shows that, from leading lessons and fieldwork groups to steering department policy, all that is needed is trust in your students.

Link: Presentation 


Lecture 20 - AQA: Meeting the challenge of GCSE geography reform

Steve Durman, AQA Senior Associate, and Brian Taylor, GCSE Geography Chair of Examiners

This lecture will focus on approaches to delivering the new AQA GCSE geography specification, including ways of delivering the UK element, selection of case studies and examples, issue evaluation and fieldwork practicalities.

Sponsored by AQA

Download: Presentation (PPT)


Lecture 21 - Cambridge's alternatives to geography A level

Peter Monteath, Regional Director, UK and Ireland, Cambridge International Examinations, and Peter Price, Head of Geography, Charterhouse School, Godalming

As we near first-teaching of the new geography A levels, many schools are considering Cambridge’s tried-and-tested qualifications as alternatives to the new syllabus. This lecture presents the Cambridge Pre-U and the Cambridge International A levegeography syllabuses, with support from a geography assessment specialist and a head of department teaching Cambridge in the sixth form.

Sponsored by Cambridge International Examinations

Download: Presentation (PPT)

Download: Presentation 2 (PPT)


Workshop 2 - Critical thinking in geography

Dr Paula Owens, Consultant to the GA, and John Hopkin, Head of Accreditation, Geographical Association

What does critical thinking look like in geography? And what is the difference compared with other thinking? This workshop will explore what we mean by critical thinking through hands-on activities and examples of practice, and consider the support offered British Council’s Connecting Classrooms Programme.

Download: Presentation (PPT)


Workshop 4 - Writing with confidence: purposeful assessment questions

Erica Pilkinton, Geography Teacher, Sir Harry Smith Community College, Peterborough

In this time of evolving curriculum change, teacher assessment will be more pivotal, particularly without the bank of past examination papers to utilise. This workshop will equip teachers with confidence in setting their own assessment questions at key stages 3, 4 and 5.

Presented by GA Assessment and Examinations Special Interest Group

Download: Presentation (PPT)


Workshop 6 - The WOW factor: national parks and the geography curriculum

Pete Feetham, Learning and Discovery Officer, Peak District National Park Learning and Discovery

How do you make the most of your trip to one of our iconic landscapes? Join us to experience a range of hands-on activities and practical classroom ideas, which will promote discussion and thinking skills; explore the value of National Parks as learning resources for visits and case studies; and discover the range of free resources available.

Download: Presentation (PPT)


Workshop 8 - Let WorldWise work for you

All KS
Sue Lomas and Mark Higginbottom, CoChairs, Worldwise, Geographical Association 

Worldwise is the GA’s suite of activities for young people. This workshop will give practical advice on how you can grow your students’ enthusiasm for geography through a variety of quizzes and other strategies, such as essays and photo competitions, including the ever-popular Worldwise Week.

Download: WorldWise at a glance (PPT)

Download: WorldWise challenge - What the judges will be looking for (Doc)

Link: WorldWise website page


Workshop 15 - Quality criteria for geography ITE

Dr Charles Rawding, Chair, and Andrea Tapsfield, Member, GA Teacher Education Special Interest Group

In light of recent changes to ITE, the GA Teacher Education Special Interest Group is aiming to develop quality criteria for geography teacher education. This workshop will take the form of a forum to consider the Group’s proposals and to suggest how such proposals might be further developed to secure the future of high-quality, geography specific initial teacher education.

Presented by GA Teacher Education Special Interest Group

Download: Presentation (PPT)


Workshop 20 - Cross-phase connections: transition in fieldwork

Stephen Schwab, Consultant to the GA and Co-Chair, GA Secondary Phase Committee

This workshop explored how fieldwork experiences and skills can be connected across the KS2-3 phases. Delegates shared ideas and good practice, and helped to set an agenda for GA Special Interest Groups to do further planning and then sharing of connected fieldwork.

Download: Presentation (PPT)

Download: 5-minute fieldwork plan (PDF)


Workshop 32 - Europe and Africa talking: young people on the global stage

Elly Lengthorn, Geography Teacher, Nunnery Wood High School, Worcester and GLP/EcoSchools Co-ordinator, and Ben Ballin, Project Co-ordinator, Tide global learning

For the past two years young people and teachers from Kenya, The Gambia, UK, Spain and Germany have been exchanging questions and ideas about international development as part of an EU-funded projecThis workshop shares some of what has beelearnt, the intercultural processes involved, and reflects on the young people’s emerging ideas and concerns.

Download: Presentation (PPT)

Download: Global lenses activity (PDF)


Workshop 35 - Co-teaching the new Edexcel AS and A level geography specifications

Daniel Mace, Geography Subject Advisor, Pearson

This workshop will provide practical guidance on Pearson’s new Edexcel AS and A level geography assessment requirements and advice on how to co-teach the new Edexcel AS and A level specifications. Delegates will create and share teaching strategies that develop the higher order thinking skills needed.

Sponsored by Pearson

Download: Presentation (PDF)


Workshop 37 - Where did that thing come from? Understanding global trade

Ben Ballin, Consultant to the GA

Where did my mobile phone get made? If Tesco were a country, what would it be like? Asking these and many other questions, this interactive session, based on a new GA SuperScheme book, enquires into global trade and makes critical connections to pupils’ lives in an era of globalisation.

Download: Presentation (PPT)


Workshop 45 - Making the field work using GIS online

Jason Sawle, GIS in Education consultant, Esri UK

From using a simple spreadsheet to creating a bespoke Web App (no coding required) to using the Collector for ArcGIS app, in this workshop you will get practical ideas for using the latest GIS technology for fieldwork.

Sponsored by Esri UK

Link: Conference app, map and storymap collection


Workshop 52 - An individual investigation: how to get it right

Philip Monk, Member, and Nick Lapthorn, Chair, GA Fieldwork and Outdoor Learning Special Interest Group

The new A level specifications place emphasis on the individual enquiry and independent study. Preparing students from KS3 onwards is essential to meet this new challenge. The workshop will offer guidance on how this can be developed in practical fieldwork activities and provide delegates with the opportunity to share good practice and develop new ideas.

Presented by GA Fieldwork and Outdoor Learning Special Interest Group

Download: Presentation (PPT)

Download: Session material (PDF)

Download: Session material (PDF)


Workshop 55 (Student/NQT) - You might as well face it, you’re addicted to maps

Paul Berry, Head of Geography/Assistant Vice Principal, South Molton Community College, Devon

Maps are perhaps the core tool of the geographer, adding context and depth to learning. This workshop will examine how to source different types of map, and also explore a range of creative and practical ideas on how to use both paper and digital maps to support learning in the classroom.

Link: Presentation and information

Official 2016 Conference Sponsors

Comment on this page

Comments made by GA members appear instantly and don't require security words to be entered - make sure you're logged in! Guest comments will be sent to a moderator for approval.


GA Member

I read somewhere that the exhibition is fully booked. Is this the case? I had really hoped to have had the opportunity to talk to examination boards during my stay.

Lucy Oxley

Lucy Oxley GA Staff


The exhibition is fully booked to stall holders wishing to book a stand but not to delegates wishing to attend! You'll be pleased to hear all awarding bodies have a stand along with over 50 other organisations. The exhibition is open to delegates from 08.30-18.30 on Friday and 08.30-16.00 on Saturday.


Mandy-Lynn Stoole

Mandy-Lynn Stoole GA Member

can you please put the 80 lessons in 40 minutes. I have been waiting for that and the pace was much too quick to be able to take adequate notes.

Thank you

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