Ordnance Survey helps Welsh children with their geography homework

Free resources, fun educational games and a wealth of helpful tips, such as how to navigate using an Ordnance Survey map, are revealed on a newly created section in Welsh of MapZone, the free, interactive web site for children.

Set in a youngster’s virtual bedroom Cymorth Gwaith Cartref – a Welsh version of the Homework Help section – provides fully animated assistance on geography activities for pupils aged 11 to 14.

The new web site section is just one of a range of educational resources provided by the mapping agency that links to the national curriculum in Wales. Latest census results show a rise in the number of Welsh speakers, and the increase since 1991 is largely associated with children being taught the language in school. Two-fifths of children in Wales aged 10 to 15 are now able to speak, read and write Welsh.

Another educational initiative by Ordnance Survey has recently given free Explorer maps to around 39,000 pupils in 265 schools across Wales.

"We are delighted to play our part in supporting education in Wales," says Vanessa Lawrence, Ordnance Survey Director General and Chief Executive. "Through this new online service, Welsh children are only a click away from free information, resources and even educational games to stimulate interest and help with both classwork and homework. It’s not just educational – it’s fun too!"

Cymorth Gwaith Cartref is divided into various zones:

  • Map Gall guides children through eight core mapping skills, including grid references, understanding scale and how to take compass bearings.
  • MapYsgol has two map-based mini-projects, one a study of glaciation in Snowdonia.
  • Map Chwarae gives children the chance to put their knowledge to the test in a series of quizzes. With each correct answer a life is earned to use in a themed game that follows. In total, four games have been developed, each reinforcing a different learning theme.
  • The Adnoddau section is home to a range of downloadable and printable activities. Amongst them is MapEiladwr, a multimedia tool that allows children to design and build their own maps of the UK, Europe and the world.

Cymorth Gwaith Cartref also stores useful information for parents and teachers in dedicated zones and features a list of questions and answers to help with understanding the site.

A combination of extracts from Ordnance Survey maps, flash animations and even a 3-D fly-through of Snowdon are used to illustrate the various themes within Cymorth Gwaith Cartref, whilst games and quizzes underline the educational messages in a fun environment.

Ordnance Survey’s Welsh Media Executive, Bryn Jones, says: "Cymorth Gwaith Cartref is part of Ordnance Survey’s MapZone web site, which provides a valuable resource for the teaching of geography, citizenship and ICT – and can also support a school club activity.

"The new facility might be called Cymorth Gwaith Cartref or Homework Help, but it offers youngsters a whole lot more than help with their school work."

Cymorth Gwaith Cartref can be accessed in two ways: