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Exploring London

Professor David Green and Dr Jonathan Reades

LGA Schools Workshop: King’s College London, London Explored (held October 2014)

Workshop Organisers

Professor David Green (

Dr Jonathan Reades (

The workshop introduced teachers to some online resources that are freely available with which to explore aspects of London’s geography and history. The workshop covered some key concepts in the A level syllabus and explored how those might be developed using web based resources. This involved creating two lesson plans that employed some of the key concepts in the syllabus, each based around two themes: (i) the Past in the Present, and, (ii) From Now to Then – inventing and imagining future Londons.
The workshop entailed preparing an outline lesson plan focussed on London incorporating (a) the concepts listed in the new A level syllabus and (b) utilising a range of quantitative skills.


The Concept Lesson Plan

3. AS and A level specifications in geography must require learners to:

Please note that this resource list is by no means exhaustive but represents some of the resources that we will be using during the workshop.
Developed by the RGS, produced by the Greater London Authority. Units include Mapping London, My London and Managing the Urban Environment:

This section of the workshop encourages participants to consider the ways in which
the past has shaped London today.

  • develop a detailed and balanced knowledge and understanding of selected physical and human processes that are central to geography;
  • develop a knowledge and understanding of the key concepts relating to place, space, diversity, interdependence, people–environment interaction, the physical and human processes associated with these, and change over time;
  • identify and analyse the connections between both physical and human geography;
  • study at a range of scales and understand the importance of scale as a geographical idea;
  • use a range of qualitative and quantitative geographical skills and techniques to analyse and synthesise geographical information in a variety of forms and from a range of sources (see annex 1);
  • carry out research and out-of-classroom work including fieldwork;
  • use modern information technologies, including
  • geographical information systems; and
  • develop understanding of the application and relevance of geography and consider new ideas and developments about the changing nature of geography in the 21st century.

Resource List

The London Curriculum

The Past in the Present

Physical Geography: London’s hidden rivers

How has London changed

National Library of Scotland resources for comparing side by side modern day with OS
maps from nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Mapping London (Brilliant resources for mapping London)

London Boroughs: Southwark:

London history in films: London Screen Archives

British Film Institute


London history websites

Old Bailey online (link to proceedings of trials at the Old Bailey between 1674 and 1913)

Locating London

Bombed London

From Now till Then

[2011 Census Browser + PDFs]

[2001, 2011 Census Browser]

[Explore many kinds of London data in 3D]

[Real-time & historic ‘Boris Bike’ maps]

Additional resources:

[Produce a Census ‘atlas’ for any area]

[Transport data about any area]

[Set up your own ‘big data’ project]

The following sites present (often geographic) information in engaging ways:

Where to get data:

The following software is all free:

[GIS software]

[Agent-Based Models & Cellular Automata]

[Statistical analysis + mapping; can be combined with Deducer or R-Commander to be more user-friendly]

[Originally a language for teaching, now the most widely used programming language in data science & geography]

Interesting takes: