Our Changing World
This essential skills and knowledge project revises the features of Earth, time zones and lines of latitude and longitude to pinpoint places on a map. Children find out more about map scales, grid references, contour lines and map symbols. They learn about climate change and the importance of global trade. Children analyse data and carry out fieldwork to find out about local road safety. They study patterns of human settlements and carry out an enquiry to describe local settlement patterns.
Data helps us to understand patterns and trends but sometimes there can be variations due to numerous factors (human error, incorrect equipment, different time frames, different sites, environmental conditions and unexplained anomalies).
Traffic data about road accidents in Great Britain in 2019 show that most fatalities happened on fast rural roads. Most accidents happened on urban roads due to the volume of traffic, but there were fewer deaths. Factors that cause accidents on rural roads are speeding, blind bends, people walking in the road, no cycle lanes and motorcyclists overtaking or having little knowledge of the roads. Urban roads have higher traffic volumes but are usually wider, have fewer bends, cycle lanes and more footpaths, so accidents are less likely to be fatal. Motorways Have the lowest number of accidents in each category.
Representing, analysing, concluding, communicating, reflecting and responding are helpful strategies to answer geographical questions.
A geographical pattern is the arrangement of objects on the Earth’s surface in relation to one another.
Settlements can be rural or urban. Their patterns include linear, circular, Y-shaped, T-shaped and cross-shaped. They can also be compact or dispersed. Settlements grow and change over time. Hamlets can become villages; villages can become towns, and towns can become cities.
Physical processes that can affect a landscape include erosion by wind, water or ice; the deposition of stone and silt by water and ice; land movement, such as landslides and tectonic activity, such as earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.
Climate and extreme weather can affect the size and nature of settlements, shelters and buildings, diet, lifestyle (settled or nomadic), jobs, clothing, transport and transportation links and the availability of natural resources.
The Global Climate Risk Index is a set of data published every year that ranks how countries have been affected by extreme weather-related to climate change. The data has shown that extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts and storms, cause damage and destruction around the world. Developing countries, such as Mozambique and Zimbabwe, are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change and extreme weather and have a lower ability to cope with the damage they cause.
Climate change is the long-term change in expected patterns of weather that contributes to the melting of polar ice caps, rising sea levels and extreme weather. Climate change is caused by global warming. Human activity, such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, habitat destruction, overpopulation and rearing livestock, all contribute to global warming.
The distribution of and access to natural resources, cultural influences and economic activity are significant factors in community life in a settlement.
Natural resource management (NRM) manages natural resources, including water, land, soil, plants and animals. It recognises that people rely on healthy landscapes to live and aims to create sustainable ways of using land now and in the future.
The Northern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that is to the north of the equator. The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that is to the south of the equator. The Prime Meridian is the imaginary line from the North Pole to the South Pole that passes through Greenwich in England and marks 0° longitude, from which all other longitudes are measured.
The Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn are at 23.5° north and south of the equator. The Arctic Circle and Antarctic Circle are 66.5° north and south of the equator.
Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT, is taken from the Prime Meridian. There are 24 time zones around the world because there are 24 hours in a day. The times are calculated from GMT. Times to the east of the Prime Meridian are ahead of GMT (GMT+), times to the west are behind GMT (GMT-).
North America, Europe and East Asia are the main industrial regions of the world due to a range of factors (access to raw materials, transportation, fresh water, power and labour supply).
Countries worldwide trade with each other. They export and import goods, such as fossil fuels, metal ores and food. Some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iraq, have natural resources to export, such as coal, oil, gas and metal ores. Others, such as North America, Canada and Ukraine, have fertile farmland for growing crops and raising animals. Other countries, such as the United States of America, Mexico, the UK, China and Germany, use natural resources to make products, such as cars and toys, which they export worldwide.
A geographical area can be understood by using grid references and lines of latitude and longitude to identify position, contour lines to identify height above sea level and map symbols to identify physical and human features.
A grid reference is a set of numbers that describes a position on a map. Contour lines join points of equal height above sea level and show an area’s terrain. Map symbols are pictures or icons that represent physical and human features.
Invisible lines of latitude run horizontally around the Earth and show the northerly or southerly position of a geographical area. Invisible lines of longitude run vertically from the North to the South Pole and show the westerly or easterly position of a geographical area.
Satellite images are photographs of Earth taken by imaging satellites.
Maps are smaller than the places they represent, so they have to be drawn to scale. A scale on a map is written as a ratio, for example, 1cm:800km. Small scale maps show larger areas with less detail. Large scale maps show smaller areas with more detail. The scale on a map is used for measuring the size or distance between features.
Distances on maps can be measured using grid lines, the scale, a ruler, a finger, string and the scale bar.
Analyse and present increasingly complex data, comparing data from different sources and suggesting why data may vary.
Ask and answer geographical questions and hypotheses using a range of fieldwork and research techniques.
Describe patterns of human population growth and movement, economic activities, space, land use and human settlement patterns of an area of the UK or the wider world.
Describe the physical processes, including weather, that affect two different locations.
Evaluate the extent to which climate and extreme weather affect how people live.
Explain how climate change affects climate zones and biomes across the world.
Explain how humans function in the place they live.
Explain the significance of human-environment relationships and how natural resource management can protect natural resources to support life on Earth.
Identify the position and explain the significance of latitude, longitude, equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, the Prime (or Greenwich) Meridian and time zones (including day and night).
Name, locate and explain the distribution of significant industrial, farming and exporting regions around the world.
Use grid references, lines of latitude and longitude, contour lines and symbols in maps and on globes to understand and record the geography of an area.
Use lines of longitude and latitude or grid references to find the position of different geographical areas and features.
Use satellite imaging and maps of different scales to find out geographical information about a place.