Home » Teaching Resources » Secondary Scottish Resources

Secondary Scottish Resources



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:

We’ve pulled together some resources about ex-hurricane Ophelia, bringing together information about tropical cyclones, depressions, anticyclones and air masses to explore the extremely unusual weather we experienced in October 2017 Ophelia.pptx.

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.

Some background information and simple resources covering the seasons, temperature, wind, humidity, clouds, precipitation and other introductory topics (note these resources are quite old, tying with the old curriculum, but are still factually accurate).

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.

Make a cloud in a bottle to demonstrate the link between pressure and cloud (and therefore rainfall).

A data based resource looking at rainfall and pressure: Worksheet and Teachers Notes

Background information: x

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

A case study of orographic rainfall in Scotland – this can be used without reference to the Foehn effect as a revision of the different causes of rainfall. 

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

Suggested resources:

Suggested S4 Scheme of Work


Lesson 1: Weather Introduction

Lesson 1.pptx

Lesson 2: Temperature

Lesson 2.pptx

Weather Unit S4_Lesson2_exercise


Lesson 3: Rainfall

Lesson 3.pptx

Convectional and Relief Rainfall Sheet

Lesson 4: Air Masses

Lesson 4.pptx

Air mass map and cut out

Lesson 5: Weather Station Symbols

Lesson 5.pptx

Board Rush Instructions.docx

Board Rush Symbols.pdf

Weather Station Symbols Sheet

Lesson 6: Clouds

Lesson 6.pptx

Lesson 7: Pressure Systems

Lesson 7.pptx

Pop-up depression

Lesson 8: Drawing Climate Graphs

Drawing Climate Graphs.pptx

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.

Passage of a Depression animation

Impacts of a depression – PowerPoint and Student Worksheet.

A case study of orographic rainfall in Scotland with images for students Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5.

What is the weather? Work out what the weather is like at several UK locations based on some simplified weather maps.

Weather Maps – basic information on synoptic charts, with Isotherm map excercise and Synoptic chart excercise.

We’ve pulled together some resources about ex-hurricane Ophelia, bringing together information about tropical cyclones, depressions, anticyclones and air masses to explore the extremely unusual weather we experienced in October 2017 Ophelia.pptx.

Background information:

Global Issues

Climate Change

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

Background material:

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 earthquakes, volcanoes and 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.

Case studies: Hurricanes Igor, Katrina and Sandy.

Using GIS to study hurricane tracks and tropical storm risk (developed by Bob Lang, teacher and GA consultant).

Some useful links about Super typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda.

Geographical Skills

Mapping skills

  • interpreting contour patterns

Contour drawing exercises:

Interpreting isotherms

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)

Atmosphere – structure and heat transfer.

Coriolis explainer:


  • 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 mitigation: strategies based on carbon stores (a background slide which could be used as the basis for further research).

Climate negotiations resource – simulating a World Climate Conference in your classroom. This includes information about mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Climate4classrooms resources.

Background information:


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.

Ideas for weather projects.

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 other 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

Start exploring

Latest from blog

Related resources …
Secondary Geography
This unit explains what is meant by the term ‘climate’ and outlines the factors that govern the climate of the British Isles.
Secondary Geography
By the end of the lesson, pupils will know and understand: Characteristics of depressions and fronts and the sequence of associated weather: Characteristics of anticyclones