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GeogPod – The GA’s Podcast

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  • GeogPod – The GA’s Podcast

GeogPod is the Geographical Association’s podcast.

Each episode, our host John Lyon will be chatting to a guest from within the geography community and discussing their work and areas of interest.

GeogPod is available on most main podcast apps, including Spotify and iTunes. Just search ‘GeogPod’ to find us. Don’t forget to subscribe to receive all the latest episodes straight to your phone, completely free!

If you’ve enjoyed any of the discussions on GeogPod, you may want to consider becoming a member of the GA. GA membership gives you access to our highly respected journals, as well to member-only online teaching resources and a host of other benefits.

The views and opinions expressed in the GeogPod discussions are those of the interviewees and are not necessarily those held by the Geographical Association.


Series 13

Series 13 of GeogPod is kindly sponsored by Rayburn Tours.

For over 60 years, Rayburn Tours have been creating tailor-made school geography trips to destinations in the UK, Europe and beyond that inspire, motivate and enhance student understanding. Their expert team craft incredible itineraries of excursions and activities, with the added option of a geographical Field Study Tutor and on-tour resources. The best way to learn is through adventure!


Episode #80: Cath Rule, Rob Parker and Rhian Meara – The 50 year story of the Heimaey eruption

In this special sponsored episode, Cath Rule from Rayburn Tours, Dr Rob Parker from Time for Geography and Dr Rhian Meara of Swansea University join John to talk about their recent expedition to the island of Heimaey to complete a joint project around the eruption in 1973 and its impacts.

They talk about the tectonics of the island, the events of January 1973 and their effect not only on the island’s residents but on monitoring systems and impact management today.

They look into the process of putting together a project of this size and how Time for Geography works with academics and organisations like Rayburn tours to put together real and engaging resources for schools.



Episode #79: Fiona Sheriff – Maps, fieldwork and work-life balance

In this episode of GeogPod our host, John, talks to Fiona Sheriff about several different topics. From Fiona’s journey about how she first got into teaching, discussing her current projects and work-life balance to the direction of the geography curriculum, and something close to her heart – the importance of using maps and taking part in fieldwork.



Episode#78: Prof Jamie Lorimer and Dr Timothy Hodgetts – More-than-human geography

John is joined by Professor Jamie Lorimer and Dr Timothy Hodgetts to talk about what it means when geography is more-than-human.

In a wide-ranging discussion, they look at the crossovers between geography, environmentalism, anthropology and the sciences. They talk about the importance of multiple and situated knowledge and how geographers can think differently about our entanglements with the world, from the good life for pigeons to follow-the-thing methodologies in the classroom.


  • More-than-Human geography textbook

X (formerly Twitter):



Episode #77: Dr Philipp Horn – Urban informality

In this episode John’s discussions with Dr Philipp Horn include ‘urban informality’ and they explore terms such as ‘slums’ and ‘favelas’ which are less used in geography education these days. It is worth listening to the whole episode to understand the use of the words and how many of them have been adopted and reclaimed by some people who live in informal settlements.



Series 12

Series 12 of GeogPod is kindly sponsored by Educake.

We believe great teaching happens when teachers get the time to think.

Educake helps teachers do more teaching by saving you time setting homework, marking, and analysing results. It’s easy to get started and it only take a few clicks to set a quiz that is matched to your exam board. You get immediate insights into strengths and weaknesses, and students get instant feedback.

Your first month is free. Try Educake at


Episode #76: Donald McClean – Widening participation

This episode of GeogPod was recorded live at the GA’s Annual Conference in April 2024. Our host John Lyon talked to our guest, Donald McClean, from the Sheffield Environmental Movement. In the session they discussed the importance of fieldwork, widening participation in the natural environment, supporting diverse Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic Refugee (BAMER) community groups/organisations around Sheffield.


The Black Barbers Project on the SACMHA website
Sheffield Environmental Movement
Development Education Centre South Yorkshire (DECSY)


Episode #75: AESIG – Progression in geography

In this episode our host, John Lyon, chats with John Hopkins, Katherine Baulcomb and Luke Hinchliffe – members of the GA’s Assessment and Examinations Special Interest Group (AESIG). They discuss topics such as progression in geography, the progression and assessment guidance, sequencing, enquiry based learning and more.

Progression and assessment in geography
GCSE and A level results
Find out more about AESIG
Follow AESIG on X (formerly Twitter)


Episode #74: James Esson – Viewing the world through a geographical lens

In this episode join John Lyon and Professor James Esson from Queen Mary University of London as they discuss viewing the world through a geographical lens. They cover a wide range of topics including conspicuous margins, pedagogy and voice, inequality, social economy, and improving the future.

Professor James Esson will also be our keynote speaker at the GA Conference 2024. Find out more about Conference 2024 here.



Episode #73: Paul Chatterton – How to save the city

In this episode of GeogPod John is joined by Paul Chatterton, Professor of Urban Futures at the University of Leeds. A few topics they discuss include Paul’s book How to save the city, the climate crisis, social inequalities and the breakdown of our natural world.

Visit to find out more about the book.
Follow Paul on X (Twitter): @PaulChatterton9
Connect with Paul Chatterton on LinkedIn


Episode #72: The benefits of Educake

Join John Lyon discussing the topic of Educake with Charley Darbishire, MD and Founder of Educake, and Claire Power, Head of Geography.

John, Charley and Claire discuss retrieval practice, how Educake was founded, what it is, how it can be used and the benefits for both teachers and students.

Get your first month free, try Educake here.

Follow Educake on X (formerly Twitter):




Episode #71: Navigating EDI through geography

In this episode you are invited to listen in on a conversation held earlier this year as part of our Navigating EDI through geography course.

Course presenters Kit Marie Rackley, Akhera Williams, Alice Hoy and Sarah Hayden sat down together to discuss their thoughts on integrating EDI into everyday geography lessons and the challenges teachers might encounter in their curriculum.

More from the presenters:

Kit Marie Rackley’s blog and podcast are available online here –

Geogramblings blog

Coffee and geography podcast

Akhera Williams Voices Project 

Alice Hoy’s presentation for the GA Annual Conference 2022 – Finding the rainbow in the geography curriculum

Sarah Hayden speaks about the Universal design for learning.

The course was also supported by Iram Sammar, who you can find here – Salaam Geographia

To book for the next run of this course and get involved in conversations like these you can find out more on the GA website.


Episode #70: The Chalk Stream Challenge

In this episode John Lyon discusses the Chalk Stream Challenge with Hazel Metcalfe and Sarah Smith.

Hazel and Sarah created The Chalk Stream Challenge as part of the Watercress and Winterbournes Landscape Partnership Scheme. They discuss how the challenge began, who the challenge is suitable for, some of the activities involved, features of a chalk stream and how the activities can be used and adapted.

Find out more about the Chalk Stream Challenge

Watercress and Winterbournes provide more background information and resources

Watercress and Winterbournes YouTube videos

The Conservation of Water Meadows PDF

The Wessex Rivers Trust have many other Chalk Streams in their area

Other Wildlife Trusts may be able to help with river dipping expeditions and rivers in their area


Episode #69: Richard Philips – The meaning of place

OCR - Oxford Cambridge and RSAIn this episode John Lyon discussed the topic of place with Professor Richard Phillips from the University of Sheffield. Richard was joined in this podcast by Tariq Jazeel and Maddy Starzak in the first ever live recorded episode from our Annual Conference 2023.

Richard Phillips, Professor of Human Geography at the University Sheffield, discusses some of his work on place, writing and fieldwork. His publications in this area include Fieldwork for Human Geography (2012) and Fieldwork for Social Research (forthcoming in 2023), both written with Jennifer Johns and published by Sage, and Creative Writing for Social Research (2021, Policy Press).

Changing Place; Changing Places – An accessible resource for schools and teachers, available on RGS website here.

Georges Perec’s Geographies – Free-to-download book which includes readings of Perec and geographical fieldwork inspired and informed by Perec, including a chapter by postal worker and poet Kevin Boniface, featured in the podcast here.

This episode of GeogPod was kindly sponsored by OCR.

OCR provides a range of GCSE, A Levels and vocational qualifications to schools and colleges. They are committed to supporting teachers and students to achieve their full potential.

As a not-for-profit organisation, their success is measured through the impact and reach of their activities and contribution to helping students achieve their goals. One area of particular importance is addressing issues of equality, diversity and inclusion in education. At OCR they’ve already stepped up to this challenge – discover more about what they are doing, and how you can support them on their journey, visit their website.


Series 11

Series 11 of GeogPod is kindly sponsored by Hodder Education.

Hodder Education work with expert authors to produce the very best Key Stage 3, GCSE and A level geography resources for you and your students, and on their website, you’ll discover exam board approved textbooks, revision guides, teaching support and more.


Episode #68: Helen Mazalon – Leaving nobody behind

In this episode John is joined by Helen Mazalon, a GIS Technician at Alcis.

They discuss many topics surrounding GIS for example: Who Alcis are and what they do, the difficulties students face getting into the entry level job market, the 30 day map challenge, the accuracy of data, and more.

Visit the Alcis website here

Here are Helen’s top 5 suggestions for GIS resources:


Episode #67: Alex Densmore – Learning from the landscape

In this episode John is joined by Professor Alex Densmore, Deputy Head of Geography at Durham University. Focusing on his research in Nepal, they talk about how investigating tectonically active landscapes can reveal chains of linked hazards, and why it is important to link international humanitarian efforts with local communities.

Find information on the post-Gorkha landslide here.

View the Government of Nepal’s portal for hazard and risk information.

Visit the CEOS website.


Episode #66: Daanish Mustafa – Critical geography

In the 66th episode, John Speaks to Daanish Mustafa, Professor in Critical Geography at King’s College London. The episode centres on what critical geography is and how Daanish’s thinking was shaped. They also touch on the concepts of structuralism and post-structuralism before discussing the 2022 Pakistan floods and flood management.

Find Gender and Social Vulnerability to Climate Change: A Study of Disaster Prone Areas in Sindh here.

Find Gender and Violence in Urban Pakistan here.


Episode #65: Chris Winter and Dan Whittall – Research for teachers

In this episode, John speaks to Chris Winter and Dan Whittall, both Research Engagement Leads at the GA. Their conversation centres on the projects in which they are currently involved and their hopes for the future of research within geography education. They also touch on areas such as diversity and inclusion and de-colonising the curriculum.

Find the GA’s Developing Classroom Research and Writing retreat here.

Decolonising Education for Peace in Africa.

Margaret Wilkinson’s Planning for Real.

The website of Decolonising Geography.


Episode #64: Dave Petley – Landslides and earthquakes

In this episode, John speaks to Professor Dave Petley, the new Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hull. Their conversation centres of Dave’s work on landslides, their relationship to earthquakes, the evolution of slopes and how they can be better taught in the classroom. Dave has a wealth of knowledge, recounting his work in Taiwan as well as discussing events like the Sichuan Earthquake in 2008 and its after-effects.

Follow Prof. Petley on Twitter here.

Sign up for the Inaugural Lecture here.

Watch the lecture Things are going downhill fast: Understanding massive landslides here. 

Follow Prof. Petley’s blog here.


Episode #63: Clarry Simpson – NQTs and ECTs

In the first episode of Series 11, John speaks with Clarry Simpson, a geography teacher and ECT Induction Lead in Brinsworth.

Their discussion centres on the NQT & ECT programs, the problems affecting new teachers, how the programs have changed and the importance of subject and curriculum knowledge.

Follow Clarry on Twitter.


Series 10

Series 10 of GeogPod is kindly sponsored by AQA.

Everyone has the potential to achieve, AQA make sure their qualifications give all students the opportunity to show what they can do and progress to the next stage of their lives. Their UK qualifications are highly valued by employers and universities around the world.

As an independent education charity, their income is reinvested back into AQA’s charitable activities, funds cutting-edge research and supports initiatives to help young people facing challenges in life realise their potential. Visit AQA for more info.

Episode #62: Richard Bustin, Alice Matthews and Charlotte Milner – Writing your first article in Teaching Geography

This week, John speaks to Richard Bustin, Alice Matthews and Charlotte Milner to discuss getting involved with Teaching Geography and how to write your first article for Teaching Geography.


Episode #61: Ilan Kelman – Disasters and diplomacy

This week John speaks with Ilan Kelman, to discuss why disasters aren’t natural, and why it is up to us to make the positive changes so that diplomacy can work for everyone.

They look at a range of events and their impacts across the last decades and how political and social conditions can turn a vulnerability into a ‘disaster.’

Follow Ilan on Twitter or Instagram

Read Disaster by Choice

Read his papers:  Axioms and actions for preventing disasters and Does Nature Play Disaster Games?

See Ilan’s talks on: What makes it tick? and The Curious Geographer on YouTube.


Episode #60: John Lyon – Drunk parrots, arterial routes, and finding your way through geography

In this special, 60th episode of GeogPod, we hand over the guest seat to our stalwart presenter, John Lyon.
As a longstanding member of the GA community, he answers questions sent in by staff and members about his experiences, and about what makes him passionate about geography.

Follow John at


Episode #59: Gemma Sou – The human geography of the climate crisis

Gemma Sou is the Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow at RMIT University in Australia. Gemma and John talk about the human geography of the climate crisis, and how she uses graphic novels to represent her research into human-environment relationships and the gendered impacts of climate change. They look into the value of using different media for representing the personal, and giving students a portal into a different worldview.


After Maria with teaching resource

Everyday stories of climate change with teaching resource



Episode #58: Narinder Mann – Geography teacher training and what makes a good geography teacher

In this episode, John chats with Narinder Mann: lecturer of geography and humanities education at the University of Manchester. Their conversation centres on what makes a good geography teacher and what a good geography curriculum looks like.


Episode #57: David Lambert – Thinking geographically and making powerful knowledge relevant

In the first episode of Series 10, John catches up with David Lambert, Honorary Professor of geography education at the UCL Institute of Education and former GA Chief Executive.

They look back together at the recent history of the GA, and key concepts which helped to build its manifesto for geography: A Different View.

Their discussion looks closely at what it means to “think geographically” and why it is important for teachers to understand and get to know who they are teaching and how they see the world.

View David Lambert’s article Rediscovering the Teaching of Geography with the Focus on Quality 

View The Geography of It All 


Series 9

Series 8 of GeogPod is kindly sponsored by Cambridge Assessment International Education.

Cambridge Assessment International Education is growing. More than 10,000 schools in over 160 countries are part of our Cambridge International learning community.

Episode #56: Ryan Ing – High altitude weather balloons and marine terminating glaciers

Listen in to the final episode of Series 9 to hear Ryan Ing, current GA postgraduate intern, talk to us about what geography means to him and how he progressed from A levels in physics and geography to a research career in glaciology.

John and Ryan discuss the transition from A level to University and beyond, the future of glaciers in Greenland and why it’s important to connect with the environments you study.

Episode #55: Dr Joe Usher – Getting children involved in local places

Joe Usher is Assistant Professor in Primary Geography Education and Social, Environmental and Scientific Education at Dublin City University. He joins John to talk about how to get teachers and pupils to recognise the threads of geography running through everyday spaces and places, and how to implement tools like Minecraft to get them to consider issues such as sustainability and accessibility.

They discuss his own projects in Ireland getting children involved in town planning and why looking at the local area is vital to geographical teaching.

Episode #54: Dawn Gessey-Jones – Know where you are, know who you are

In this episode, John chats with Dawn Gessey-Jones: teacher and geography co-ordinator at Two Rivers School, a special school providing for pupils and students with a wide range of educational needs and recipient of the Gold Primary Geography Quality Mark from 2009-2021.

They talk about the school’s approaches to making the subject relevant and inclusive, and how to give it meaning for individual students by being creative with existing geographical tools and techniques. They also look at the idea that “geography is about the world around you” and how it can be used to foster independence.

Episode #53: Alan Parkinson and Paula Richardson – Fieldwork: a shared experience for everybody

In this episode, John speaks with Alan Parkinson, President of the Geographical Association 2021-22, and Paula Richardson, of the GA Fieldwork and Outdoor Learning Special Interest Group, as we head into National Fieldwork Week.

They look at all aspects of fieldwork: why it is necessary, what teachers can do to get pupils and students involved, and the benefits of engaging with fieldwork, whether personal, social or environmental. Listen in to hear their recommendations for making the most of National Fieldwork Week (and beyond) to create memorable experiences.

Episode #52: Gill Miller – Live your geography!

In this episode, John speaks with Gill Miller, Senior Lecturer Emerita at University of Chester.

They talk about Gill’s history in the field of geography education, from examining to assessment and specification development, and look into geography’s potential to widen perspectives and inspire pupils to become informed, concerned and ethical citizens.

Subjects covered include fieldwork, the importance of individual viewpoints and the development of the New Curriculum for Wales.

Episode #51: Dr Sarah Greene – Past climates, fieldwork and belonging

In this episode, John is joined by Dr Sarah Greene, Associate Professor of Palaeoclimates at the University of Birmingham. Their discussion covers the importance of field teaching across schools and universities, and working to make fieldwork practices inclusive and accessible.

They also look at Sarah’s research into the carbon cycle, and how looking to the geological past can provide insights on environmental changes we are seeing today, such as ocean acidification.


Series 8

Series 8 of GeogPod is kindly sponsored by Hodder Education.

Hodder Education work with expert authors to produce the very best Key Stage 3, GCSE and A level geography resources for you and your students, and on their website, you’ll discover exam board approved textbooks, revision guides, teaching support and more.

Episode #50: Natasha Dowey – The importance of geoscience in a more sustainable society

In this episode, John is joined by Dr Natasha Dowey – Senior Lecturer in physical geography at Sheffield Hallam University specialising in volcanology and the editor of Geoscience for the Future. Their discussion centres on geoscience, its decline at A level and equity in geoscience.

Links from the Pod

Twitter: @DrNatashaDowey

Geoscience for the Future

Geology for global development


Episode #49: David Gardner – Planning a coherent curriculum

In the fifth episode of Series 8 of GeogPod, John is joined by educational consultant and author, David Gardner.

Their conversation includes topics such as the intricacies of geography curriculum planning and the importance of sequencing; how teaching has changed through the years as the result of technology; the advantages of using Hodder resources; climate change and COP26.

Links from the Pod

Planning your coherent 11-16 geography curriculum : a design toolkit by David Gardner

Progress in Geography Key Stage 3

The Ofsted research review for geography (17th June 2021)

Designing a coherent geography curriculum for 11-16 year olds Planning for pupil progress in the use of Ordnance Survey maps by David Gardner

Progress in Geography video interviews Ellie Barker and David Gardner explaining an overview of the textbook and curriculum structure of the course:

Episode #48: Sylvia Knight – Royal Meteorological Society

In the fourth episode of Series 8 of GeogPod, John is joined by Dr Sylvia Knight, Head of Education at the Royal Meteorological Society.

Their discussion centres around the COP26, climate change, the IPCC and some of the resources teachers can use in the classroom.

Links from the pod

Find the Royal Meteorological Society on social media@

Episode #47: Dr Tim Daley and Kate Stockings – Climate change and the climate crisis

In the third episode of Series 8 of GeogPod, John is joined by Dr Tim Daley, Association Professor of Physical Geography at School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at Plymouth University and Kate Stockings, Head of Geography at Hampstead School.

Their discussion centres on climate change and the climate crisis, touching on their work the new Top Spec edition, the history of climate change in education and resources educators can use within the classroom.

Episode #46: Shenona Mitra

In the second episode of Series 8 of GeogPod, John speaks to Shenona Mitra, who is a climate activist and vice-chair of the Youth Climate Ambassadors (YCA) Wales, to discuss climate change and what it feels like to be a youth activist and how young people can change the world of climate activism.

Links from the Pod

Youth Climate Ambassadors for Wales social media: @ycawales on Twitter and Instagram

Youth Climate Ambassadors for Wales

Youth Climate Ambassadors for Wales at COP26

Size of Wales website

Size of Wales education resources

Episode #45: Michila Critchley – InterClimate Network

In the first episode of Series 8 of GeogPod, John speaks to Michila Critchley, Associate and Programme Coordinator for InterClimate Network, which is a registered charity with a mission to inspire young people in the UK to become leaders and advocates for action on climate change.

Links from the pod

A Climate Action Guide

Consortium of Development Education Centres

COP26 › Global Dimension

COP26 Climate Conference Resources › Global Dimension

Youth Climate Action report on the climate action survey

Examples of action by participating schools:

St Mary Redcliffe and Temple, Bristol

Balcarras School, Gloucestershire (scroll down)

Lyndon School, Solihull

Example of young people’s ‘climate correspondent’ article – How drought linked to climate change helped cause the Syrian civil war – InterClimate Network

Series 7

Series 7 of GeogPod is kindly sponsored by Britannica.

Take Britannica’s LaunchPacks GCSE for a spin with history and geography lessons, built with Shireland Academy educators and mapped to UK curriculum needs. Within each KS3-4 topical pack, find a learning route, learning journey instructions, printable activities, and corresponding Britannica LaunchPacks articles and multimedia resources. 10% off for GeogPod listeners!

Episode #44: Kirstin Coughtrie – Technology in education, Gaia Learning and Britannica

For the final episode of series 7 of GeogPod, John spoke to Kirstin Coughtrie, founder of Gaia Learning about the use of technology and AI in teaching, the advantages and challenges of home-schooling, and how Britannica’s resources can help pin a home school programme to the specification.

Episode #43: David Alcock – ‘Hopeful geography‘

David Alcock, is a geography teacher, teaching and learning champion at Bradford Grammar school as well as a writer and presenter.

David joined John to discuss, among other things, his concept of ‘Hopeful geography’, which he has developed over a number years of work of and reflection.

Links from the pod

David’s blog

Optimism, progress and geography – celebration and calibration‘ – David’ article for Teaching Geography


Episode #42: Caiti Walter – The building blocks of curriculum design

This week John sat down with Caiti Walter to discuss her route into geography teaching and to explore her views and strategies when it comes to designing a geography curriculum (plus much more).

Links from the pod

Caiti’s blog

Deep curriculum thinking – Part 1: building blocks

Map Chart


If It Were My Home

The Queen’s Green Canopy

Episode #41: Dr Simon Carr – ”Our eyes are the most sophisticated piece of geographical equipment we have”

This week, John spoke to Dr Simon Carr. Simon is Associate Professor of Geography and the University of Cumbria, specialising in geomorphology and climate change.

Much ground was covered in the pod, including Simon’s work in geomorphology, the Anthropocene, what constitutes a truly natural environment and the importance of getting out and seeing a landscape for yourself.

Episode #40: Dr Amber Murrey – Geographies of race and racialisation and designing an anti-racist curriculum

This week John was joined by Dr Amber Murrey. Amber is an Associate Professor in Human Geography, Fellow and Tutor at Mansfield College, Oxford University.

John and Amber touched on many issues in their chat, including confronting the silence on racism in school geography, what an anti-racist curriculum could look like, the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline and witchcraft!

Links from the pod

Amber’s article in Geography with Steve Puttick

Amber’s article with Nicholas Jackson on ‘Localwashing’

Amber’s Twitter


Episode #39: Professor Ben Hennig – Iceland, Worldmapper, Trump tweets and more

Ben Hennig is Professor of Geography at the University of Iceland, an honorary research associate at the University of Oxford and also the founder of Worldmapper.

Ben sat down with John to talk about his career to date, his work at the University of Iceland, the origins of the Worldmapper project, Trump tweets and much more.

Series 6

Series 6 of GeogPod is kindly sponsored by Collins. Collins produce a wide selection of popular primary and secondary geography resources as well as a trusted range of world atlases for all ages. Find out more about their KS3 Geographical Enquiry series (developed with the GA), Fieldwork for GCSE Geography, revision materials and more here.

Episode #38: Jamie Woodward – Understanding climate change during the Quaternary and microplastic transport and storage in river catchments

This week John spoke to Professor Jamie Woodward from the University of Manchester about two key global issues; our developing understanding of climate change during the Quaternary and microplastic transport and storage in river catchments.

Both are major examples of how physical geography research has impacted on national and global policy. Jamie’s research on microplastics in rivers is now feeding directly into the Parliamentary Inquiry into Water Quality in Rivers.

Jamie Woodward is Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Manchester.

Links from the pod

The Ice Age: A Very Short Introduction

Microplastics in Rivers

Jamie’s Ted Talk, ‘Changing Rivers’

Free resources

Quaternary ice age poster from Geography Review

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – the Keeling Curve and the carbon cycle

Full text view-only version of the Nature Sustainability paper

This work was discussed on the BBC Radio 4 programme Inside Science

Film clip here from the BBC News report

Guardian article

Policy at Manchester blog that explores some of the policy implications of this work

Episode #37: Stephen Scoffham – Quality geography, atlases, capital cities and making geography fun!

This week John spoke to Dr Stephen Scoffham, former GA President, Visiting Reader in Sustainability and Education at Canterbury Christ Church University and author of atlases, text books and much more besides.

John and Stephen covered a lot of ground, including why geography matters, what makes good quality geography teaching, tackling controversial issues, capital cities, whether geography should be taught as a single subject or integrated, and the Collins Atlas series.

Purchase the Collins Atlas series on the GA Shop.

Some of the recent GA publications Stephen has been involved in:

Leading Primary Geography

Geography Plus: The UK: Investigating who we are 

Episode #36: Rachel Kay – preparing for an Ofsted inspection and ‘deep dive’

In this week’s episode, John spoke to Rachel Kay about how to prepare your department for a deep dive visit from Ofsted.

Rachel is Head of Geography and Lead Practitioner at a Yorkshire school as well as being a member of the GA’s Secondary Phase Committee.

Rachel’s articles in Teaching Geography:

The deep dive geography experience: intent, implementation and impact‘ (2021)

Mark my words‘ (2016)

Episode # 35: Professor Tamsin Mather – Volcanoes, a ‘fundamental fascination’

This week John was joined by Professor Tamsin Mather from Oxford University. Tamsin is professor of Earth Sciences and her research centres around volcanoes and volcanic behaviour.

Links from the pod

Public Lecture: Volcanoes and past climate: adventures with deep carbon

Blog about Masaya and volcanic gases

Volcano watching: weapons of ash eruption

University of Oxford Earth Sciences undergraduate course

The Geological Society university pathway page

Teaching resources Tamsin helped create:

Your science out there – Oxford Sparks

Using your science to understand volcanic eruptions – Oxford Sparks

Episode #34: Professor Johanna Waters and Dr Maggi Leung – Geographies of education

This week John was joined by Professor Johanna Waters from University College London and Dr Maggi Leung from Utrecht University to discuss examples of students travelling across borders for education.

The conversation focuses mainly on the China/Hong Kong border but also cited other examples of this phenomenon and various push and pull factors related to it.

Johanna and Maggi’s Geography article with the photos mentioned in the pod

Episode #33: Alistair Hamill – Using GIS to bring divided communities together, plate tectonics and photography

In this week’s episode John spoke to Alistair Hamill, geography teacher by day, astrophotographer by night.

Alistair talked about how to use GIS in the classroom and how Alistair used it to bring divided communities in Northern Ireland together. John and Alistair also talked about plate tectonics and Alistair’s photography.

Links from the pod

Alistair’s YouTube channel

ESRI Usher Conference – video about breaking down barrier in Lurgan, Northern Ireland


Series 5

Series 5 is kindly sponsored by Eduqas. Eduqas is a leading awarding body, offering Ofqual accredited GCSE, AS and A level geography qualifications to all secondary schools and colleges across England. Proud to be part of WJEC, we provide qualifications that inspire learners and enhance student achievement. At the heart of this is the direct access our centres get to subject officers and the regional team, all of whom have been teachers themselves. This is underpinned by an extensive range of online resources, endorsed textbooks, and a variety of training opportunities.

Episode #32: Alan Kinder – Talking to the GA’s Chief Executive

This week our GeogPod guest was the GA’s very own Chief Executive, Alan Kinder. Alan spoke to John about his path to becoming the GA’s Chief Executive as well his reflections on the Association’s work and upcoming priorities.

Episode #31: Iain Freeland – Understanding Ofsted and what makes ‘good geography’

This week John spoke to Iain Freeland, Her Majesty’s Inspector and National Lead for Geography. Iain talked us through his career path so far and some of things Ofsted are looking for in terms of ‘ good geography’ with some key takeaways for teachers.

Many thanks to Eduqas for sponsoring season 5 of GeogPod.

Links from the pod

Iain’s article for Primary Geography entitled ‘Empowering geography – a view from Ofsted‘.

2019 Ofsted Inspection Framework

Episode #30: Janine Maddison – Virtual fieldwork

This week John spoke to Janine Maddison about virtual fieldwork, how it compares to ‘traditional in field’ fieldwork, how the two can be blended and some quick wins for teachers to take away.

Janine is a researcher at Newcastle University and previously worked as a tutor for the Field Studies Council.

Links from the pod:

#fieldworklive- FSC and Encounter Edu

Fieldcasts from the Open University

ThingLink- creating virtual tours

Sharing practice- collated tweets under #fieldworkfix

Inclusivity in the Outdoors- Institute of Outdoor Learning

Episode #29: Dr Margaret Byron – Caribbean communities in the UK

This week John spoke to Dr Margaret Byron, Associate Professor in Human Geography at the University of Leicester, about the different waves of migration from the Caribbean to the UK and the experiences of those communities.

Episode #28: Paul Turner and John Huckle – Teaching critical school geography

This week John spoke to Paul Turner and John Huckle in a far-ranging episode which covered teaching critical school geography and what is it to be a radical school geographer.

Links from the pod

John’s website, where his book Critical School Geography can be downloaded.

Paul’s website where you can find some of his great teaching resources + more.

Episode #27: Elizabeth Rushton, Charlotte Arulseelan and Darcy Beardmore-Crowther – Training to be a teacher during a pandemic

Dr Elizabeth Rushton of King’s College London and two of her PGCE students, Charlotte Arulseelan and Darcy Beardmore-Crowther spoke to John about the challenges and opportunities of training to be a geography teacher during a pandemic.

Series 4

Series 4 of GeogPod which been kindly sponsored by Pearson, who provide a blend of content, curricula, assessment and training to make the teaching and learning of geography at GCSE and A level more engaging and effective.

Episode #26 – Dominic Dyer: Wildlife protection and animal welfare activism

In this episode, Wildlife Protection and Animal Welfare activist and Pearson World Changer ambassador Dominic Dyer talked us through some of his varied and influential work and activism. Dominic also touched on the Dasgupta Review, how young activists can become the decision makers of tomorrow, the badger culling debate, bees, and lots more besides!

Links from the pod

Pearson World Changer Awards

Badgered to Death: The People and Politics of the Badger Cull

The Dasgupta Review

Episode #25 – Simon Collis and Leanne Chorekdjian-Jojaghaian: SDGs, the primary curriculum and more!

This week John spoke to primary school teachers Simon Collis and Leanne Chorekdjian-Jojaghaian, about sustainable development goals, the challenges for non-specialists teaching geography at primary, their approach to the primary curriculum and many other things!

Some links from the pod: 

Leanne’s BSL YouTube channel

GA publications that Simon has authored:

SuperSchemes: Investigating Climate and Biomes

SuperSchemes: Investigating Latitude & Longitude


Episode #24 – Alastair Owens: Religion in inner cities and how COVID-19 has changed our relationship with home

This week John spoke to Alastair Owens, Professor of Historical Geography at Queen Mary University, London about his research on the role of the Church and religion more generally in the inner cities. Alastair also spoke about how the Covid pandemic has changed our relationship with our homes as well as some of his other projects.

Some links from the pod

Urban Vicarages project

Museum of the Home

Stay Home: Rethinking the Domestic during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Alastair’s article on the archaeology of poor Victorian households

#23 – Harriet Ridley: Learning about the climate’s future from its past

This week John spoke to Dr Harriet Ridley, palaeoclimatologist and Production Coordinator at Time for Geography about how we can learn about the future of the climate from its past, her love of rock climbing and much more!

Some links from the podcast:

Harriet’s article in The Conversation

Time For Geography videos:

Evidence of climate change – Time For Geography

Natural causes of Quaternary climate change – Time For Geography

Episode #22 – Kit Rackley: Why climate change is a safeguarding issue

This week John spoke to Kit Rackley about why climate change is a safeguarding issue, eco-anxiety, how to navigate the politics of climate change, and teaching students to think critically about the climate.

Kit Rackley is a former geography teacher turned activist, consultant, author, blogger and most recently higher education champion. Take a look at more of Kit’s work via the links below.

Links from the pod

Geogramblings – Kit’s blog

‘Climate change – a safeguarding issue’, GA Magazine, p.20 

Why Not Now? – Kit’s poem for the Youth Climate Summit 2020

GeogPod series 4 has been kindly sponsored by Pearson who provide who provide a blend of content, curricula, assessment and training to make the teaching and learning of Geography at GCSE and A level more engaging and effective.


Episode #21 – Joseph Kerski: How to incorporate GIS into your teaching

In this episode John spoke to GIS advocate and enthusiast Joseph Kerski. They discussed what GIS is, explored terms such as ‘geospatial thinking’ and ‘the geographic perspective’, as well as detailing a host of free GIS tools teachers can use in their lessons today.

Joseph Kerski is a geographer with a focus on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in education. Joseph gave a TED Talk on ‘The Whys of Where’. He holds 3 degrees in geography and has served as geographer in 4 sectors of society, including government (21 years at NOAA, US Census Bureau, USGS), academia (Penn State, Sinte Gleska University, University of Denver, others), private industry (as Education Manager for Esri for 14 years), and non-profit organisations (as President of the National Council for Geographic Education, and others). Find out more about Joseph’s work on his website.

Resources mentioned in the podcast:

Joseph’s ‘Our Earth’ video channel.

Joseph’s Twitter

Joseph’s ‘Thinking Spatially’ podcast.

Esri UK schools site.

ArcGIS Online, 2D maps and 3D scene viewer and analytical tools.

Essays on spatial data, data quality, ethics, societal issues.

Wayback imagery app.

Story Maps.

Water Balance app.

Elevation profile app.

Joseph’s walkability map, survey, dashboard, and story map.

Series 3

Series 3 is kindly sponsored by Oxford University Press. 

Episode #20 – Kate Stockings: How to speak like a geographer

Kate Stockings is head of geography at a London school as well as being an active blogger and sharer of ideas on Twitter. Kate joined John on the pod to discuss geographical literacy – teaching students how to speak and write like a geographer.

Links mentioned in the pod:

Episode #19 – Mark Maslin: How to deal with climate change deniers and reasons to be hopeful.

Mark Maslin is a professor of climatology at University College London

Mark and John discussed dealing with climate change deniers, how climate change relates to human evolution and migration, and reasons for optimism in the fight against the climate crisis.

Mark’s new book, How To Save Our Planet: The Facts is available to preorder now. Read Mark’s article for The Conversation, ‘The five corrupt pillars of climate change denial’  as well as his interview with his own daughter about why she was striking for the climate.

Episode #18 – Dr Patricia Noxolo: “Everybody who is here, belongs here. That is a geographical statement.”

This week, John had a far-reaching discussion with Dr Patricia Noxolo, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Birmingham University.

John and Patricia covered a lot of ground in the pod, talking about Patricia’s work on dance and laughter in post-colonial Caribbean spaces as well as her role on the RGS-IBG’s Race, Culture and Equality Working Group. They finished up by tackling the question, ‘what is Black British geography?’

Episode #17 – Tom Highnett: “Being a geography teacher is a superpower.”

In this week’s episode, John spoke to Tom Highnett, a geography teacher now Assistant Principal and Director of Post-16 at a South Yorkshire school.

Tom spoke about the challenges of senior leadership, curriculum planning, progression as well as some thornier issues such as future of GCSEs, how to teach divisive topical issues and, of course, Covid-19.

Some links mentioned in the episode:

A link to Tom’s (work in progress) 7 year curriculum here.

A link to the Team Geography blog.

Episode #16 – Agatha Herman: Wine, food security, ethical commodity networks, and did we mention wine?

In this episode John was joined by Dr Agatha Herman, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Cardiff University, specialising in the geography of ethics and justice. Agatha talked about her work in South Africa, empowerment, wine, food security and Fairtrade.

Agatha is the author of Practising Empowerment in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Wine, Ethics and Development

Episode #15 – Tony Champion: urbanisation, migration, elevators and escalators

This week, John spoke to Tony Champion, Emeritus Professor of Population Geography at Newcastle University about urbanisation, counter urbanisation, migration trends and demographic change (as well as touching on, inevitably, Brexit and Covid-19).

Season 2

We are proud to be partnering with Flooglebinder for season 2 of GeogPod. Flooglebinder curate educational programmes to create change for people and planet. Carefully designed audits, workshops, lectures and sustainable school trips help to educate students on global issues and through first-hand experiences create positive change for a more sustainable future.

Episode #14 – Brad Frankel and Fearghal O’Nuallain: Flooglebinder, sustainable travel and the coolest geography teacher in the country?

This week, John spoke to Brad Frankel from Flooglebinder about the company’s history and his views on sustainable tourism and also to Fearghal O’Nuallain, once dubbed the ‘UK’s coolest teacher’ about his journey to becoming a geography teacher and his new book The Kindness of Strangers.

Links mentioned in the podcast:

The GA Study Tour for Nicaragua

The Non-Human Interest Story: De-Personalising the Migrant – Anita Howarth

The Nature Fix

Blue Mind



Episode #13 – Hina Robinson and Tariq Jazeel: Defining and decolonising geography

In this episode John had a very insightful conversation with Hina Robinson, a secondary geography teacher and Tariq Jazeel, Professor of Geography at UCL, about defining and decolonising geography.

Why not check out Hina’s excellent blog post on how she teaches the development gap, or  download the materials from Tariq’s eConference session, “The world is sound: geographies of British-Asian dance music”?

Many thanks to our sponsor, Flooglebinder.

Episode #12 – Simran Jouhal: Leading a department, diversity in geography and blogging

In this episode, John spoke to Simran Jouhal who is head of Geography in a north London school and the founder of the fantastic Geographia blog.

Simran talked about how she ended up becoming a geographer teacher, the challenges of leading a department, and also the issues around diversity within geography.

Simran will also be one of the presenters at the GA’s upcoming CPD event ‘Heads of geography eConference: Leading a successful department’. More details here.

Epsiode #11 – Dr Fiona Ferbrache: Citizenship, migration and Brexit

This week, John spoke to Dr Fiona Ferbrache, Lecturer in Geography at University of Oxford about her work in citizenship, migration and Brexit.

Episode #10 – Dr Bethan Davies: Glaciation and climate change

This week, John spoke to Dr Bethan Davies, Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography at Royal Hollaway University of London about her work in glaciation and climate change.

You can visit Bethan’s brilliant Antarctic Glaciers website here. You may also be interested in taking a look at the BritIce Glacial Map which was mentioned in the podcast.

Episode #9 – Stephen Legg: Global governance, internationalism and colonial India.

Welcome to Series 2 of GeogPod! This week, John spoke to Stephen Legg, Professor of Historical Geography at Nottingham University. Stephen discussed his work on globalisation, internationalism and colonial India.

Some links to websites mentioned in the podcast.

Season 1

Episode #8 – Chris King: Plate tectonics, rubber ducks, and the toilet roll of time

This week, John spoke to Chris King, Emeritus Professer of Earth Science Education at Keele University, plate tectonics, geology, and generally his life and career in education.

Take a look at the Earth Learning Idea website for a huge archive of earth-related teaching ideas and activities.

Episode #7 – Mary Gearey: English wetlands, COVID-19 and more

Mary Gearey is a human geographer and research fellow at Brighton University. In this episode, John asks Mary about her new book, “English Wetlands: Spaces of Nature, Culture, Imagination“, as well as how Covid-19 might impact our attitudes to outdoor spaces among other things.

John and Mary also mentioned the website WetlandLIFE which you can find here.

Episode #6 – Katy Salter: GCSE strategies ready for take off

Another episode where we look back at one of the sessions from this year’s GA eConference. This time we bring you the audio from Katy Salter’s session from the GCSE pathway which focused on using assessment data and evidence-based strategies to boost attainment in key stage 4.

You can download the PowerPoint from Katy’s session here in case you want to follow along (but it will still make perfect sense without the PowerPoint).

Episode #5 – Geography from home eConference panel discussion

This special episode of GeogPod takes the audio from a panel discussion held over Zoom during the GA’s recent eConference. GA President Gill Miller was the chair as the four panelists discussed how to continue geography education during the current challenging circumstances.

For support in teaching geography in the home, why not check out the GA’s new ‘Geography from home‘ web section?

Episode #4 Dr Daniel Hammett: Development and geopolitics in sub-Subharan Africa

In episode 4 of GeogPod, John spoke to Dr Daniel Hammett, a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield University, about development and geopolitics in sub-Saharan Africa and questions of the representation and perception of developing countries.

Episode #3 – Peter Jackson: Food security and sustainability

In this GeogPod, John spoke to Professor Peter Jackson about food security, the origins of the food we eat, and whether the UK could ever be self-sufficient in terms of its food production.

In the pod, Peter mentioned the Desert Garden project. You can find out more about the project and donate to the appeal here.

Episode #2 – Margaret Roberts: A life in geography education

Margaret Roberts was responsible for the PGCE course at Sheffield University for almost 20 years, is a former GA president (2008-2009), the author of the influential publications Geography Through Enquiry and Learning Through Enquiry, and a former editor of the Teaching Geography journal. In this episode, Margaret takes us on a fascinating journey through her career in geography education to date.

Episode #1 – James Pollard: Climate change and coastal policy

In this episode, John spoke to James Pollard, a PhD Candidate at the Department of Geography at Jesus College, Cambridge, about the article he wrote for Geography on climate change and coastal policy. For reference, you can read James’ journal article here for free.

Episode #0 – Rebecca Kitchen: Critical Thinking for Achievement

In this pilot episode of GeogPod, John chats to the GA’s very own Rebecca Kitchen about the Critical Thinking for Achievement programme.

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Geographical model making competition

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