Blog Climate Change Extreme weather Fieldwork Geography Microclimates Schools

New Resource: Heatwave Fieldwork in the School Estate

In conjunction with the Field Studies Council, we have developed a new, flexible resource for secondary geography lessons which allows students to explore the impact of, and potential for adaptation to, extreme heat events (heatwaves) in their schools – both inside and outside. 

Launched in time for the 2024 National Festival of Fieldwork, these resources can also be used to give school Sustainability Leads some of the information they need when completing their Climate Action Plans. 

Field Studies Council
National Fieldwork Festival

Balloon Launch Anniversary

In May 2013 we sent a weather balloon into the stratosphere, carrying a digital camera and GPS tracker so that the camera could be retrieved when the balloon came back down to Earth. We got some amazing images and data of the Earth and its atmosphere. The launch was from Holy Cross School in Chorley, and supported by Manchester University

Highlights of the launch, without the data, can also be seen here.


Read our guidance on launching a school weather balloon. 


Ideas for National Fieldwork Week

Here are some ideas for National Fieldwork Week which runs from 6-10 June 2022 – suitable for primary, secondary, geography, science and maths lessons. If you use some of them with your class, why not share them @RMetS #MetLink or use it as evidence for a MetMark

Use the PhyPhox app to explore atmospheric pressure variations around your school buildings – for example in a stairwell. Or use it to see how pressure changes over time. 

PhyPhox app
dark clouds

Use a lightmeter app and a greyscale colour chart to test the hypothesis that “When the clouds are darker, more of the Sun’s light has been scattered and so less light reaches the ground

Does your school have an indoor microclimate? Does it link to how comfortable students find different classrooms? Or even to behaviour

school microclimate

Where would you put …. an old favourite; use this resource or this lesson plan as the basis for your own fieldwork. 

Contrails and climate change – the clouds, contrails, that aircraft leave behind have almost as much impact on the climate as the fossil fuel the aircraft consumes. How many contrails can you see? How long are they? This old OPAL resource is a good start. 

Aircraft and contrails

Measuring raindrops… How big is a raindrop? Collect data and analyse mode, mean and median, range, interquartile range and standard deviation


Instrument Loans Restart

We are delighted to announce that, from May half term 2021, we will be able to restart our instrument loan scheme for schools. 

We are not able to take any more bookings for the summer term, but have availability of primary, secondary and sixth form kits for the 2021/ 2022 academic year. 


anemometer in fieldwork
Fieldwork Microclimates

Weather Fieldwork for A Level Geography

To make it easier for A level geography candidates to consider incorporating weather measurements into their Independent Investigations/ NEA, we have made this video.

Weather data can be used for lots of interesting investigations, and is also a useful addition to others – the weather can affect both physical processes and human ones. Are the responses people give to surveys affected by the weather? How does this extend to other forms of behaviour – how people travel, what activities they choose to do? What impact do microclimates have on land use – and vice versa?

Weather data can be obtained directly (primary sources) using instruments – which may be simple (homemade or cheaply available) or highly precise, professional instruments.

In this short film, we give an overview of what sorts of weather instruments are appropriate for you to use and how to use them correctly.

The Royal Meteorological Society can lend weather instruments to A level students for their Independent Investigation. 

To find out more get in touch.

Fieldwork Geography Microclimates

Collecting Weather Data for the A Level independent investigation (NEA)

We are delighted to have produced some resources about collecting and using weather measurements for the A Level geography independent investigation (Non-examined Assessment – NEA) which can be found as part of a more general Student’s Guide on the RGS website.

Students are able to borrow weather instruments free of charge from the Society for the NEA – more information here.

Fieldwork Primary

KS1 weather station

The simplest kind of weather station for KS1

a pinecone

Make pine cone weather stations with your class, and see how well they do at telling whether it is raining or not!

Download the instructions here

More experiments and demonstrations

Fieldwork Microclimates Teaching

Top ten ideas for weather fieldwork

We’ve put together our top 10 (ish) ideas for simple, fun weather fieldwork. You can find them here.