Close this search box.

Making Geography Happen



Making Geography Happen was an Action Plan funded project about good quality, innovative curriculum-making. These pages showcase the work that was done by teachers and students in geography lessons and how this contributed to their wider understanding of the world.

As a result there are a number of teaching ideas and resources on a variety of topics, which are outlined in the menu below.

Five schools participated in the project and their work is available on these pages. In addition, King Edward VII School, Sheffield was used for a longitudinal study, tracking four students through the whole of their key stage 3.


Project summary

About the Making Geography Happen project

Background information on this Action Plan for Geography funded project and what it hopes to achieve. You can can also read about the participating schools and find out what materials are available on these pages.


Thinking about progression in geography

A key aim of the Making Geography Happen project is to understand progression in geography. This page explains progression in more detail and contains additional information about curriculum planning and assessment.


The school projects

A Village Comparison

Perton First School, Staffordshire – Year 4
During this unit the children compared their own place – a new, modern, urban village – to Brewood, an old, traditional, rural village approximately seven miles away. The main focus was a full day’s field visit to Brewood.


Saudi Arabia

North Reddish School, Stockport – Year 4 & 5
This unit aimed to develop the children’s idea of place through the people who live there and built upon an existing school link with Saudi Arabia. It was extremely cross-curricular and included literacy, art, drama, DT and science.


Australian Outback

Stopsley High School, Luton – Year 7
The ‘School of the Air’ unit helped students explore the key underlying concept of place by thinking about life in remote areas of Australia. It also incorporated the geographical concepts of space and physical and human processes.


Uneven Development

King Edward VI Five Ways School, Birmingham – Year 9
In this unit of work Year 9 students focused on uneven development in different places and at different scales. They were encouraged to be critical about what they saw and consider why it is important to learn about development.


Understanding the Local Area

St Peter’s Smithills Dean CE Primary School, Bolton – Years 3 & 5
This unit aimed to help students develop a greater knowledge and understanding of their local area, Barrow Bridge. It incorporated elements of place, interdependence and connectedness within a wider cross-curricular context.


Investigating Coasts

Bottesford Primary School, Leicestershire – Year 5
Year 5 pupils were introduced to the Lincolnshire coastal town Skegness. Through field visits and classroom activities, the pupils learned about coastal environments, erosion and sea defences in a contrasting locality.


Violent Earth

High Arcal School, Dudley – Year 8
In this series of lessons, students learned about the basics of plate tectonics, how and why earthquakes happen and how countries can minimise their impact. The activities included creative writing, practical tasks and drama.


Teacher tips

Thoughts and advice from teachers who participated in the project including their opinions on curriculum-making, progression, how to involve students, encouraging creativity, combining geography with other subjects and fieldwork.


Project Evaluation

The Making Geography Happen project was evaluated by Geoff Bright from the Education and Social Research Institute of Manchester Metropolitan University, in December 2012.


  1. Overall conclusions p.2
  2. Introduction p.3
  3. Project aims p.3
  4. Project strengths p.4
  5. Areas for development p.6
  6. Appendix p.8

Project Evaluation Report

Become a member

GA membership provides specialist support and expert advice for geography teaching

Geography Quality Marks

Register for the 2025 Quality Mark before 31 July and receive a 20% discount off your fee

National Festival of Fieldwork 2024

The GA encourages everyone to take part in June 2024