Books Climate Climate Change CPD Geography Microclimates Schools Secondary Teaching Weather

Weather and Climate: a Teachers’ Guide

weather and climate teachers guideIn this teachers’ guide and the accompanying online teaching resources, we aim to give UK geography teachers all that they need to deliver relevant, engaging and thorough weather and climate lessons to 11–14+ year old students. They are not linked to any specific curriculum but should be easily adaptable to all.

The book is accompanied by high quality online background information/professional development resources for teachers.




The Royal Meteorological Society believes that:

  • all students should leave school with basic weather literacy that allows them to understand the weather that affects them, their leisure activities and the careers they choose to follow
  • every student should leave school with basic climate literacy that would enable them to engage with the messages put forward by the media or politicians and to make informed decisions about their own opportunities and responsibilities.

To this end, we have embedded a climate change thread throughout the online resources, showing its relevance to both weather and climate. An understanding of weather and climate is fundamental to an understanding of climate change.

There is a progression of knowledge through the topics, supported by review and assessment activities. The resources also progressively develop key geographical skills such as data, mapwork, GIS, fieldwork and critical thinking.

In this guide, we include common misconceptions which should be challenged in the classroom.

There are 20 topics or chapters. Across these, there are three threads or paths which can be taken through the online resources, depending on the teaching time available:

Basic weather: Weather in our lives, weather measurements, weather and climate, global atmospheric circulation, global climate zones, air masses, pressure and wind and water in the atmosphere

Climate: Weather and climate, global atmospheric circulation, global climate zones, past climate change, polar climate, hot deserts, changing global climate, UK climate, changing UK climate, the climate crisis

Extending weather: Anticyclones, depressions, microclimates, urban weather, tropical cyclones.

Many of the online teaching resources are available with standard or easier versions, as well as extension or alternative activities.

Find the scheme of work, teaching resources, background information for teachers, as well as the Teachers’ Guide (copies of which may be printed on request), here

All the online resources will be updated and revised regularly.

Blog Schools

3D Print the Central England Temperature Record

The CREATE Education Project, specialists in 3D printing, and the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS), the leading independent expert in weather and climate, have released their 3D Printing the Weather Project.

3D model

This fully resourced project teaches students about extreme weather and climate change, through the process of creating 3D models that represent 10 years of temperature data.

This engaging project has been designed for ages 11 – 16 in geography and PSHE, with data on average monthly temperature dating back from January 1659 to December 2018.

The purpose of the project is to help students understand and explore the weather, climate, and climate change in a visual way and to empower children to be a part of the solution.

The project consists of the following stages

Introduction to the project (2 lessons)
3D modelling (2 lessons)
Slicing and 3D printing (1 lesson)
Studying the weather

RMetS and CREATE Education are now challenging students to share their series of models to represent longer time frames, in the hope of encouraging collaboration and community during a difficult time.

“The partnership project between RMetS and CREATE Education has resulted in a unique project combining geography with technology skills. The project resources help teach climate change by supporting students to produce tactile hands-on 3D models that bring UK climate data to life.” Sonya Horton, CREATE Education

Dr. Sylvia Knight, Head of Education at the Royal Meteorological Society said:

“We are delighted to have collaborated with CREATE Education to develop instructions to allow schools to 3D print sections of the Central England Temperature Record and use their models to learn about the weather, climate, extreme weather and climate change. We believe that every student should leave school with the basic climate literacy that would enable them to engage with the messages put forward by the media or politicians or to make informed decisions about their own opportunities and responsibilities. These engaging, tactile resources will allow students to get a hands-on experience of what climate is and how it can change, and how extreme weather relates to the climate. The UK has the longest instrumental weather record from anywhere in the world – that’s an incredible resource for students to engage with.”

Access the resources.

CREATE Education Project
CREATE Education specialise in 3D printing and technologies for STEAM Education. Using a range of leading 3D printers, scanners, curriculum products and CPD/training provision alongside FREE resources and a 3D printer loan scheme to inspire, promote innovation and to develop necessary skills for the future.

If you’re interested in embedding 3D Printing and STEAM Education enabled by technology or need support in any way, please contact or call on 01257 276 116.

Careers Schools

Young People’s Special Edition of Weather


Our Young People’s Special Edition of Weather magazine is finally here and can be read at

The edition was edited, written and illustrated by people under the age of 21 – some as young as 7! The photos are all winners and runners up from our photography competition, run earlier in 2015.

CPD Schools Teaching

MetMark launched – recognising excellent weather teaching

The Royal Meteorological Society and Met Office are delighted to announce this new award to recognise excellence in weather teaching.

More details are available about who can apply and how to apply here.


Winners of the Photo Competition Announced

We are delighted to announce the winner and runners up of our young people’s photography competition. The selected photos will be published in our special Young People’s edition of Weather magazine in the Summer.


Zach Freedel

Zach writes: The photo of the fog was taken in Corvallis, Oregon, on the campus of Oregon State University where I am currently a freshman in engineering. The picture was taken November 8th, 2014, with a 1/10 second exposure at f 4.5 and ISO 200, from a Pentax K-20D DSLR. At the time that I had taken the picture, there was a consistent fog bank in the area for several days. Because Corvallis is in the Willamette valley, fog can easily accumulate in the lowlands during cold, humid weather. On this particular occasion, the fog had become so dense that it was very difficult to see more than twenty feet in any direction. The resulting mist carried light from nearby lamps in a translucent and macabre way, which inspired me to take pictures around campus that night.

Runners Up (UK over 15s category)

Alice Cheng I have taken the photo when the weather is partially sunny with morning frost at temperature under 5 degrees celsius. I have taken these photos because I feel that some scenes are undervalued, hence smaller details need to be better appreciated, such as the frost that’s over the leaves. Another reason that I feel that smaller details make photos better and it gives a better understanding of the local weather conditions, which can make the photos more meaningful.

James Cheung The photo was taken approx. 20 meters away from the North West side of the Leadenhall Building, the City of London. The weather was sunny.

Lucy Cunningham Photo taken 24/1/15. The frost pattern is from the top of our car. We drive to school early each morning and I noticed this amazingly intricate pattern one day. I find it amazing the myriad of patterns which frost is able to make.

Runners Up (overseas over 15s category)

Zach Freedel The rainbow picture was taken in Sammamish, Washington on an East-facing hillside. It was taken May 4th, 2014, with a 1/125 second exposure at f 8 and ISO 100, from a Pentax K-20D DSLR. Springtime in the Seattle area often involves patches of rain followed almost instantaneously by blue skies. I took this picture just after a heavy rainstorm had subsided, and a large amount of sunlight had filled the valley. The entire arch was visible for both rainbows, and lasted less than five minutes in total before dissipating.

Hao-Tsun Kuo This photo was taken from my home on the 14th floor of a residential tower in Zhubei City Hsinchu County, Taiwan. The Coordinates are 24.819063, 121.020446. It was taken at 5:50PM local time on the 25th of July 2014.After a heavy rain the sunset broke through the cloud and formed a beautiful double rainbow at the extreme edge of the visible sky. Conditions were ideal for observing rainbows: sun, rain and observer were perfectly aligned.The tonal range across the scene was so large that it was impossible to expose correctly in just one shot. So I took 6 separate images with different shutter speeds and apertures, then stitched them into one panorama image in Photoshop.

Keegan Madzivire I took these photos during our holiday at the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Africa. Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders), is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. This name derived from the enormous spray and the “thunderous” noise that come from the iconic waterfall. The whole experience was phenomenal to think that because of the spray from the falls – the Rain Forest at Victoria Falls is the only place on planet Earth that rains 24 hours a day – 7 days a week!

Runners Up (under 15s category)

Harry King This photo was taken on 5th January 2014 in Great Kingshill, Buckinghamshire, from a footpath looking across a cattle field, on a frosty morning in winter. This was an ideal opportunity to take a sunrise picture, because of the slower speed at which the sun rises in winter, and the frozen surroundings. I enjoyed watching the interesting, textured cloud formations as they were gradually illuminated as the sun rose over the horizon.

Another under 15 photographer submitted 2 photos which were chosen as runners-up, however they haven’t yet responded to our notification.

Elyse Millard (5.11.06) Newtonhill

Elyse Millard (16.11.14) Loch Earn