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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  |  Content Areas  |  Weather and geography

Site Overview

The What Is Weather website caters for study across all national curricula at Key Stage 2 and the Scottish 5-14 curriculum helping to further geographical skills and the knowledge and understanding of the environment and how people and places are affected by it.

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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:
housing
clothing
sports

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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Weather and geography

When children study weather they often
  • make weather-measuring instruments (e.g. rain gauge, wind sock, anemometer) but this should usually be more accurately described as D&T;
  • carry out experiments (e.g. evaporation and condensation of water, as part of the water cycle) but this should usually be more accurately described as science;
  • take weather measurements (e.g. with thermometers and wind gauges) and construct weather charts, graphs or wind roses, but this should usually be more accurately described as mathematics.

  • When primary children study weather in geography they should be looking at
    • what the weather is like at named localities
    • how this weather affects people's daily lives -
    • what they wear and eat,
      what their housing is like,
      what they do, for work and leisure,
      what they grow (agriculture)
    • how it affects the environment, (e.g. flooding, erosion)

    • They should be considering the spatial aspects of weather. This should lead them to recognise patterns in the weather, from
      • which parts of the school grounds are sunny, shady, sheltered, frosty; to
      • relationship between wind direction and temperature. In the UK generally:
        N wind = cold, wet; E wind = cold, dry; S wind = hot, dry; SW wind = warm, wet
      • cold to hot from Pole to Equator,
      • global distribution of wet / dry areas, e.g. rainforest / desert
      • This will lead them to an understanding of climate and, later, contribute to an understanding of events and environmental changes like hurricanes and desertification.

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