Places to play
With the emphasis on core subjects at key stages 1 and 2, the future of geography in the primary school curriculum is under threat. In response the Geographical Association has launched its Geography Guidance for Key Stage 1 and 2 series under the editorship of Rachel Bowles. It offers a lifeline to harassed primary geography co-ordinators and non-specialist class teachers faced with the dreaded Office for Standards in Education documentation, and, more importantly, practical and workable advice. Primary teachers yearning for someone to tell them what to do will find great help in these publications.
The two titles on locality studies follow a similar, though not identical, pattern, starting with a rationale for locality studies, a consideration of statutory requirements and a splendid pair of complementary sections defining good geography teaching.
As with most GA publications for primary teachers, the emphasis is on planning, resources, activities, progression and assessment. Illustrations and examples abound, concluding with lists of useful addresses and sources of materials as well as sets of planning grids with worked examples.
The author of Geography Through Play explains that young children come to terms with the world through play. Coming to terms with the world is a neat definition for geography at any level. From travel, airports and the Post Office to France and the rainforest, this book shows how geographical understanding can be nourished through play, with a fascinating concluding section on the creation of a weather station play environment.