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Special Needs Geography

Welcome to SLN geography for special needs. This is a series of pages, which will support and network geographical education in special schools. If there are any suggestions or contributions please get in touch. 

It is time this page had new materials and we are looking for:

  • Teaching geography to hearing impaired students;
  • Celebrated high quality geography for life with pupils with moderate or severe learning difficulties;
  • Inclusive geography - cooperation between mainstream and special schools;
  • Fieldwork - worthwhile and welcoming experiences you may like to share with others - photographs are welcome;
  • Fieldwork - addressing inclusion issues;
  • Inclusion policies or self reviews for mainstream school

Have you seen the SEN teacher website? Lots of useful information and resources!

newsite.gif (147 bytes)Meeting SEN in the Curriculum: Geography

Meeting SEN in the Curriculum - GeographyDi Swift and Staffordshire teachers, Irene Corden (Springfields Special), Bev Rowley (The Fountains)Jan Bird (Moorside High), Julie Dale (St. John Fisher) have been working on a book and accompanying CD-Rom, just published by David Fulton, details on their website. It is 25 and essential reading for all in special schools or who teach pupils with SEN in mainstream secondary schools. 

The Sensory Room - a geographical experience

Why not have a go turning your sensory room into a geographical experience.  Download this discussion document by 'right clicking' and selecting 'save target as':

The Sensory Room - a geographical experience

If your sensory room has been the rainforest, a desert, a big city, the seaside, then we would like to hear from you.

Teaching geography to visually impaired students

Stuart Snowdon is a teacher a school for visually impaired students in Worcester. I hope colleagues will find this useful, I know I did!  Feel free to contact Stuart for further information after reading his advice.


If your colleges have any questions about teaching VI students in other subjects then please contact:


High standards for lower ability

 Sandon High School, Stoke-on-Trent can be praised for their work with lower ability pupils. The strategies that Pauline Marsden. Andy Housley and Chris Rutter should be commended. This mucky hand will reveal some hints and tips about how they achieve these standards, including the department's SEN policy. 
The full story here!

A personal view of geography

Geography really does matter in life. In order to take advantage of one of life's essential freedoms, freedom of movement, there is a need to explore and provide young people whatever their ability with opportunities for decision-making, enrichment and exploration. For all young people preparation for adult life involves controlled risk taking. There is evidence to show that fear of traffic and abduction has really taken hold of parents and young people are far less free than they used to be. Forgive me being romantic, but 'messing about was part of the way you understood the environment as a young person. Pupils is special schools are drawn from a wider catchment area and so travel further to school, they come from a range of different environments. Special schools have opportunities to use minibuses and can get out with small groups. This should be a rich geographical experience.

Evidence from research by Patrick Wiegand and Sally Beveridge at the University of Leeds illustrated that pupils with Down's Syndrome had limited spatial movement in their own local area for a whole variety of reasons but mainly because of the caring nature of parents and teachers. School work out of school, concentrated on the activity at the end of the journey and not the journey itself. The research illustrated that these pupils have spatial ability and can use maps independently to get around a town centre. However the research showed also that crossing a busy road without a pelican crossing caused difficulties. The freedom of movement gained by the installation of a pelican crossing enabled a young person to have the whole town centre available to them. These are issues for us all in society. Can we make independent movement a reality for as many of our young people as possible? Issues in geography should be real and relevant and there is none so real an issue as a young person a prisoner in their own home.

The following files are Microsoft Word documents. You are free to use them if you are in a school. Please acknowledge their use. Please let us know how you use them.

Download the overview (30kb)

Download the Staffordshire Expanding Geography Scheme Level Descriptions between level 1 and 2 (36kb)

Download KS1 Staffordshire Expanding Geography (60kb)

Download KS2 Staffordshire Expanding Geography (68kb)

Download KS3 Staffordshire Expanding Geography (64kb)



This page last updated 28 March 2012