At KS1, key questions such as "Where is it?", "What is it like?" and "How is it different to where we live?" (PoS 3 a, b and d) will help children understand more about a place that they see and hear a great deal about in the media.
At KS2, there is a requirement to teach about places in the news (PoS 3b), supported by Unit 16 of the QCA scheme of work for geography. Upper Junior children could also address "recognising how a place fits within a wider geographical context" (PoS 3g) by investigating Iraq's situation in the Middle East - Jits restricted access to the Gulf, its limited road network and its reliance on Syria and Jordan for links with the outside world are all easily apparent from a junior school atlas.
At KS3 and beyond, this article indicates a number of possibilities:
* Iraq's importance as an oil producing state, and the wider importance of the Middle East to western oil needs - Jdevelopment (PoS 6i) and resources (PoS 6k)
* The impact of sanctions on trade (PoS 3e)
* The effects of Iraq's recent history on the quality of life of different groups of people (PoS 6i ii)
* The impact of climate on human activity (PoS 6d) - Ja disturbing reminder of our relationship with the physical environment is the need to complete any military action before the unbearable heat of the Iraqi summer.
A teaching challenge is to avoid stereotypes and negative images; it is important that pupils know that this region saw the "invention" of farming, of cities and of wheeled transport - Jall key geographical themes.