Weather and Seasons
This overview outlines a series of sessions and activity options to support your planning to deliver the Key Stage 1 programmes of study Seasonal Changes and Human and Physical Geography alongside other curriculum areas.
Learning about weather patterns and how these change throughout the year will support a secure foundation for future introduction of the concept of climate change in later stages. The sequence of activities has been chosen to introduce the idea that changing weather conditions affect people and the environment in different ways.
What types of weather have we already experienced?
Choose an activity that enables learners to articulate similarities and differences between weather conditions they have experienced. Promote an equitable approach to learning by valuing the young people’s personal experiences and knowledge of weather and seasons around the world.
What are seasons?
Choose an activity that enables learners to observe and compare the four seasons in the UK – ensure you highlight how the seasons influence different things, e.g. the clothes we wear, the flowers we can spot, the animals we see and the food we can grow.
How do we measure weather?
Provide learners with the opportunity to observe and compare daily weather patterns through enquiry, helping them to understand how weather conditions are measured and recorded, to help see any patterns and changes over time.
How can weather help us?
Provide learners with opportunities to explore how they can use the power of the weather to save energy and water, e.g. collect rainwater, use wind to make propellers and use the sun to heat water.
How do people help us to stay safe when weather patterns change?
Explore different people who measure and find out about the weather and climate, from scientists to weather broadcasters, to people who build weather resistant houses and celebrate how they help to keep us safe.
Learners in Year 1 and 2 can begin to explore the relationship between weather and living things, including humans, in preparation for the introduction of the concept of climate change during later stages of learning.
Human and physical geography
- To locate hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator.
- To identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the UK.
- To observe changes across the four seasons.
- To observe and describe weather associated with the seasons and how day length varies.
- To know what improves and harms their local and natural environment and about some ways people can look after it.
Weather and climate are the same thing
Learners should be supported to know that weather is the day-to-day change in local conditions, while climate is the usual weather conditions over a long period of time. It is helpful to highlight that weather helps inform people what clothes they might wear today, but climate influences the different types of clothes people living in different places have in their cupboards generally.
Weather – Atmospheric conditions, such as rain or snow, happening in a place at a specific moment in time.
Season – A division of the year distinguished by the pattern of typical weather conditions.
Environment – The surroundings or conditions that a living thing (people, plants and animals) find themselves in.
Further Activities and Opportunities
Vole’s Big Flood (ThoughtBox). Use this story to explore ideas about weather, climate and the impact they have on different animals and habitats.
Recommended books - BookTrust reviewed
Robin's Winter Song by Suzanne Barton (ages 3-7). A beautifully illustrated story about the changing seasons.
Brrr: A Book of Winter by Il Sung Na (ages 5+). When snow falls on the ground, and all the trees are bare, everything changes... including the white rabbit! Follow the white rabbit through the snowy winter and see what all the different animals do to survive the cold and snow. This beautifully illustrated picture book will get young children curious about what animals do to prepare for the winter.
When the Bees Buzzed off by Lula Bell (ages 6+). The underlying message of this entertaining minibeast adventure is that bees are vitally important to our ecosystem, as without them, plants would not be pollinated and crops would fail. This fabulous lift-the-flap book subtly encourages everyone to plant lots of bee-friendly flowers and is a fun-filled introduction to conservation for young children.
Weather forecasters – Learners can be introduced to the importance of weather forecasters helping us to prepare for different types of weather, such as having suncream and water in hot weather.