Secondary Scottish Resources

This page is a work in progress – more resources are being added all the time.


Broad General Education (BGE)

Second Level: People, Place and the Environment

I can describe the physical processes of a natural disaster (extreme weather event)
and discuss its impact on people and the landscape

  • Describes the causes of a natural disaster such
    as a volcano, earthquake or extreme weather event.
  • Describes the impact of the natural disaster giving
    at least three examples for people and one for the
    landscape. Impact can be positive or negative.

Suggested resources:

Background information:

Hurricane Katrina

2003 heat wave in Europe.

December 2011 storm from the Ordnance Survey.

Third Level: People, Place and the Environment

I can investigate the relationship between climate
and weather and be able to understand the causes
of weather patterns within a selected climate zone.

  • Demonstrates a basic understanding of the relationship
    between weather and climate.
  • Provides a simple explanation for a weather pattern
    within a selected climate zone, for example, convection
    rainfall in the rainforest.

Suggested resources:

The difference between weather and climate: Student worksheet.

The Difference between Weather and Climate Teachers’ notes and worksheet from our tree ring based resources.

Activities using weather and climate data: Student worksheet.

The difference between weather and climate:Recommended film

Simple demonstrations:Warm air rises (teabag rocket), Cloud in a bottle.

Fourth Level: People, Place and the Environment

I can identify threats facing the main climate zones,
including climate change, and analyse how these
threats impact on the way of life.

  • Identifies at least three threats facing main climate
    zones and analyses how these threats impact
    on the way of life.

Suggested resources:

Background information: – x

I can carry out a geographical enquiry to assess
the impact and possible outcomes of climate change
on a selected region and can propose strategies
to slow or reverse the impact.

  • Suggests the impact and possible outcomes of climate
    change on a chosen region and proposes reasoned
    strategies to slow or reverse the impact.

Suggested resources:

Background information:

Vegetation changes in the Amazon with an associated set of film and resources.

Flood protection in the Netherlands.

I can demonstrate an understanding of weather
and climate by explaining the relationship between
weather and air pressure.

  • Explains links between weather and air pressure

Suggested resources:

Red sky at Night, Shepherd’s Delight worksheet and Teacher’s Notes – a resource looking at how our prevailing wind direction means this saying is largely true.

a new data based resource looking at rainfall and pressure

Background information: – x

I can use specialised maps and geographical information
systems to identify patterns of human activity and physical

  • Evaluates different types of maps, and geographical
    representations of information to inform discussion
    on at least three topics.

Suggested resources:

National 5

Physical Geography

Weather : Within the context of the United Kingdom:

  • the effect of latitude, relief, aspect and distance from sea on local weather conditions
  • the characteristics of the five main air masses affecting the UK
  • the characteristics of weather associated with depressions and anticyclones

Teaching resources:

Case study worksheets of UK air masses (November 2010 – polar continental, November 2011 – polar maritime and the end of September 2010 – tropical continental) with answers for teachers . There are further worksheets for Feb/ March 2018 (the Beast from the East – polar continental), October 2018 (tropical continental), October 2017 (just before hurricane Ophelia when tropical air brought Saharan dust and Iberian smoke turning UK skies red) and January 2015 (Arctic Maritime). The case study of arctic maritime air (Jan/ Feb 2015) can also be found on our case studies page.

Air Masses – identifying them on satellite images.

Air Masses – worksheet

Air Masses revision – a Human Board Game.

Using weather data to investigate the effects of different air masses on UK weather teachers notes with  worksheets for students.

Weather Taboo – some sample Taboo cards looking at air mass and depression words. Please share any further ones you develop with us!

Identify the features of a depression on a simple weather map.

Cold and warm fronts – some activities for differentiation and revision.

Using WOW data to investigate a depression passing across the UK with  worksheets for students including isoline drawing practice.

Mid latitude weather systems basics: Teachers Notes, Introduction to the formation of a depression
and Student Worksheet, more detailed PowerPoint about the formation of a depression, Student Worksheet – passage of a depression and
practise drawing a cross section through a depression PowerPoint exercise.

Impacts of a depression – PowerPoint and Student Worksheet.

Background information:

Air masses and fronts – introductory text

Air Masses – an introduction to the major air masses affecting the UK

The Met Office’s air mass video .

The battle of the weather fronts – from the BBC.

Global Issues

Climate Change

  • features of climate change
  • causes — physical and human
  • effects — local and global
  • management strategies to minimise impact/effects

Background material:

Updates for Geography teachers from the 2013 IPCC Climate Change Report

A summary of the 2018 IPCC 1.5 Degree Report

Suggested resources:

Past climate change teaching resources looking at solar, volcanic and human causes of climate change over the past 2.6 million years.

Using tree rings to teach weather, climate and climate change.

Environmental Hazards

  • the main features of tropical storms
  • causes of each hazard
  • impact of each hazard on people and the landscape
  • management — methods of prediction and planning, and strategies adopted in response to environmental hazards

Suggested resources:

Tropical Cyclones worksheet looking at locations, climatology etc.

Tracking Hurricane Irma an online research exercise.


Geographical Skills

Mapping skills

  • interpreting contour patterns

Contour drawing exercises:

Isotherm and Isobar drawing exercise based on a depression: student worksheet. A simpler version of the T/ isotherm map can be found here or the full version including solutions may be found on the A level page.

Urban heat island isotherm drawing exercise: notes for teachers, idealised weather station data for isotherm drawing, satellite image of Birmingham and solution for teachers.

Extracting, interpreting and presenting numerical and graphical information which may be:

  • graphs
  • tables
  • diagrams
  • maps

These skills are embedded in many of our resources.


Physical Geography


  • global heat budget
  • redistribution of energy by atmospheric and oceanic circulation
  • cause, characteristics and impact of the Intertropical Convergence Zone

Teaching resources:

Global atmospheric circulation drawing practice

Background information:

Our short video on YouTube the Global Atmospheric Circulation

Global heat budgets (on Earth and other planets).

nullschool (a live map of surface winds, temperatures etc. – see where the ITCZ is right now and ocean currents)


  • Hydrological cycle within a drainage basin

Background information: The water cycle

Deforestation and the water cycle in the Amazon

Global Issues

Global Climate Change

  • physical and human causes
  • local and global effects
  • management strategies and their limitations

Within the Global Climate Change topic, the course must cover:

  • Explain the human factors that may lead to climate change.
  • Discuss a range of possible effects of climate change. You should support your answer with specific examples.
  • Explain the physical causes of climate change.
    a) Explain possible strategies for managing climate change.
    b) With reference to strategies you have studied, comment on their effectiveness.
  • There has been an increase in the average global temperature in the last 150 years.
    a) Describe the human factors that may cause the increase in average global temperatures.
    b) Explain how these factors may lead to climate change.

Teaching resources:

Past climate change teaching resources looking at solar, volcanic and human causes of climate change over the past 2.6 million years.

Climate negotiations resource – simulating a World Climate Conference in your classroom.

Background information:

Updates for Geography teachers from the 2013 IPCC Climate Change Report

A summary of the 2018 IPCC 1.5 Degree Report

Carbon, water, weather and climate a PowerPoint presentation focussing on recent changes to the carbon and water cycles, and how the two cycles interact – including the various type of technologies which can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.



Resources for fieldwork, including information about borrowing instruments from the Society, can be found at Top 10 ideas for fieldwork and Instruments and Fieldwork pages.

Other Materials

Older resources: You can find 4 lessons to teach climate with links to the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence level 3 here.

Please also have a look at the resources on our Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14), Key Stage 4 (ages 14-16) and A level (ages 16-18) pages as many will be relevant.

Book Reviews

Experiments and Demonstrations

Useful Links