What is the video conference about?

Based on the popular “Blockbuster” TV show this video conference has classes competing against each other answering questions based on the new Geography curriculum on maps and map interpretation . Theses sessions work best as a competition between two schools, but still work well splitting the class in half.

Age Range

The session is aimed at Y5/6 or Y7 pupils, based around a wide range of map reading skills and map interpretation  questions. The session is also ideal as  a transition activity. We have a number of resources available to help teachers new to the subject. The session will last between 45 and 60 minutes.

Cost: £25

5 sessions each day starting at 9.00, 10.00, 11.00 am the 1.00, 2.00 pm

Mapbuster Days Dates: Early 2016 – TBC

Click here book-a-session

We also run this session on-demand at a time convenient with you, either throughout the day or as a twilight session contact to arrange.

On-line £25 per endpoint

This session was created in  partnership with the Geographical Association and Ordnance Survey.

mapbuster logos



What You Will Need

To take part in this video conference you will need as a minimum a web cam with microphone and a speaker set connected to a computer connected to the internet and a projector and screen so the whole class can see the presenters . With this you can use the FREE video conferencing software v-scene Photo 1 (28)desktop.  We can also connect to schools registered with v-scene(JVCS) on their usual video conferencing system or PVX software. We will also be using our own presenter system  a web tool to display the questions, allowing a number of laptops or iPads connected to the internet in each school to be linked and the questions viewed. The questions will be controlled by us .

One or two pupils will be the spokes person  so ideally a chair should be placed centrally such that the webcam can see and hear them clearly. All  the class will need access to paper, pens or pencils and the resources we will send you. You can also think of a team name for the game board.

The Session

Time permitting there will be two rounds played during the video conference, with each round having up to 18 questions. In general, the questions are  more demanding in the second round. If we run out of the time the winner will be the highest scoring team.

children2The questions will be broadcast over the web so access to additional laptops or iPads on the internet will be required. You can have as many devices connected as you require and will only be used to show the questions. The link you will need to use will be sent to you prior to the session, and each pupil can enter as a guest, first names only please.

Although the rest of the class, for practical reasons, will not be answering questions live on the webcam, will pass or tell the spokes person the answer, the team spokes person will then wave their arms to indicate they have the answer.

What will happen in the video conference?

The conference will link your school with another school, and and will be hosted by our very own quizmaster Professor Bob Lost, Professor of Global Cartography from the University of  Mapping.

DSC_0160Once both schools have linked successfully, Professor Bob will take over and run the session, instructing both schools as necessary. You should not need to do anything else, other than general supervision of your pupils.

Schools will take part in up to two rounds of the quiz.

Each round of the quiz will involve schools choosing questions which will be presented on the laptop/iPad. Pupils will need to work out the answers as quickly as possible, and the spokes person raise their hands when they have an answer. Bob will choose one pupil to answer the question, with the opportunity for the question to be passed over to the other school if incorrect. We have a number of hooters and bells hidden in the game board, the Hooter of Horror which passes the question over to the other team to answer first and the bells of bliss which prevents the answer been passed over even if its answered in-correct – beware !

Bob will provide quick explanations to most questions, and for more demanding questions will occasionally show how the answer can be worked out.

children wide viewSome questions will be directed at one particular school to answer first, other questions are open to the quickest pupil from both schools. The format of the quiz has been designed to ensure questions are shared out between the two competing schools such that one school will not be able to dominate the conference.


The cost per school is £25.00 , and two schools are required per session. Please contact if you would like to take part in a session or for further information. YorkshireVC put on specific Mapbusters days during the year.

The Questions

The questions are based around  the new Geography curriculum and cover:


Geographical skills and fieldwork:

– use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied

– using an eight point of compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and a key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world

Human and physical geography:

– use of basic geographical vocabulary when referring to key physical features including, beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather

– key human features, including, city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop.


Geographical skills and fieldwork:

– interpreting Ordnance Survey maps in the classroom and the field including, using grid references and scale, topographical and other thematic mapping, and aerial and satellite photographs

This session was created in partnership with the Geographical Association and Ordnance Survey.

YorkshireVC Geographical Association Ordnance Survey

YorkshireVC – Geographical AssociationOrdnance Survey

Our thanks to the staff and children of Holy Trinity School, Halifax & New Pasture Lane, Bridlington for photographing the pilot session.

Those schools taking part in the session may also be interested in our online Mapping CPD sessions HERE

Maps – OS OpenData™ – Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right [2014]