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20 October 2014
Schools >> All subjects for ages 4 - 11 years What is weather
What is weatherWhat is weather

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Site Overview

Curriculum relevance

The What is Weather? website covers curriculum requirements for Key Stage 2 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and the 5-14 Guidelines for Environmental Studies in Scotland. It looks at what the weather elements are and how weather affects people around the world.

Content Areas

About weather:

This section uses cartoons to illustrate 7 of the main weather elements:
  • Wind force
  • Wind direction
  • Precipitation
  • Temperature
  • Sunshine
  • Visibility
  • Cloud
The material is accessible in an animated or non-animated version.

Weather and People:

This section introduces the concept of climate, and the fact that weather differs depending on the climate zone. Sub-sections illustrate how global weather conditions influence:
Locations have been chosen carefully to represent a variety of climate zones and where verifiable meterological information is available:
Barbados, W.Indies tropical wet (hot, wet)
Aswan, Egypt tropical dry (hot, desert)
Naxos, Greece warm temperate
Belfast, N.Ireland cool temperate
Spitzbergen, Norway polar

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Using the site at home

Read through the content area with your child, answering any questions your child may ask and explaining difficult words.

Help your child complete homework activities.

Other home activities

  1. Discuss the weather with your child and talk about how it influences life for different people in rural and urban areas, for example outdoor workers, farmers, people associated with tourism. Observe and discuss seasonal changes as they occur.

  2. Watch and discuss TV weather forecasts with your child.

  3. Talk about dramatic weather events when they are reported. Locate them on a globe or world map. Keep a scrapbook of newspaper photographs and cuttings about them.

  4. Ask your child to think about the weather at places s/he has visited in the UK and abroad. Was it similar to or different from the weather at home? Encourage your child to explain why.

  5. Check that your child can locate the Equator, Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, and North and South Poles on a globe, and help him/her to relate these to world climate patterns. Help your child to appreciate that:
    • tropical areas are hot
    • polar regions are cold
    • temperate regions are in between (in temperature and location)
    Identify these area on a globe or world map.
    Talk about how location affects life (eg housing, clothing, food), landscape, vegetation, agriculture, etc.

  6. Help your child to recognise patterns in our weather:
    • when the wind is from the north the weather tends to be cold, wet because:
      from the north - weather comes from the polar region, over sea
    • when the wind is from the east the weather tends to be cold, dry because:
      from the east - weather comes from a polar region (Siberian), over land
    • when the wind is from the south-east the weather tends to be hot, dry because:
      from the south-east - weather comes from a tropical region (Saharan), over land
    • when the wind is from the south-west the weather tends to be warm, wet because:
      from the south-west - weather comes from a temperate region, over sea
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