Of all the contributions which key stages 1 and 2 can make to geographical education, it is in the understanding and use of maps that the greatest progress can be made. But this does not always happen. Perhaps teachers lack the confidence, which these two books could well provide.
Each includes around three dozen photocopiable activity sheets which build progression into the development of map skills for primary pupils. Checklists for pupils and teachers, plus short notes and a list of curriculum links, give the briefest of contexts for structured planning.
Some of the activities, particularly in Book 2, are challenging, with six-figure grid references, latitude and longitude and time zones sitting more easily in the next key stage. Pupils will only see the sheets that teachers make available to them, which makes the approach admirably flexible.
But worksheets of this nature are no substitute for real OS maps and suitable atlases. Additional resources, referred to by the author, are essential.
Colin Harris is a geography inspector and consultant