Map skills

In this unit, students develop their map skills. The unit includes practical mapwork and orienteering at Wandlebury Estate as part of the Wicked Wednesdays programme.


By the end of this unit we expect that all students will: be able to use a 4-point compass accurately to give and follow directions; find 4-figure grid references; interpret simple symbols on OS maps.

Most students will: be able to use an 8-point compass accurately to give and follow directions; be able to give and find 4-figure grid references; interpret symbols on OS maps by using the key; know that height can be shown on maps in a variety of ways and be able to interpret spot heights; be able to follow a short route on a map, identifying key human and physical features along the route.

Some learners will have progressed further and will: use the 16-point compass confidently and be able to give numerical bearings; be able to give and find 6-figure grid references on an OS map; interpret contour lines and spot heights to describe the relief of the land; be able to identify key features from an aerial photo using an OS map.

Key Assessments

This unit is assessed through the end of year exam.

How to help your child

Encourage your child to plan journeys with you using a map.
Your family could draw mental maps of the local area and then compare them – which features did everyone include and which features were not included on all maps? Why might this be?
Encourage your child to use the OS Mapzone website to consolidate the skills that they have learnt in the classroom.

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