Mapping exercises

Mapping exercises

About this activity

Suitable for primary (Key Stage 2) and secondary school pupils. Supports the Geography and PSHE National Curriculum.

NB: We’re bringing together all the TfL education programmes, including STARS, under one exciting new umbrella programme called TfL Travel for Life. They will be the same great programmes, but with a new name and a new look, easier online process and dedicated support team. STARS for primary schools will be renamed TfL Explorers. STARS for secondary schools will be renamed TfL Pioneers.

Practical mapping exercises develop pupils' route planning and navigation skills which can also be used towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award as part of the expedition section.

You can integrate mapping exercises into your school’s existing activities. For example, you could ask your pupils to plot routes and plan transport for an upcoming school trip on foot, by public transport, or by coach. Please ensure that as part of the activity pupils consider the environmental impacts of each mode and the Air Quality benefits.

What you'll need

  • Maps: Download maps of the local area from the internet, use TfL's maps resource or ask your borough officer if they have any templates you can use
  • Timetables: If your trip includes public transport, provide your pupils with the relevant timetables


Activity steps

Where do you want to go?
Decide on the aim of your route planning exercise. Do you have a school trip coming up? Or would you like your pupils to get to know the local area better?
Gather resources
Collect relevant maps (see TfL maps in Resources) and timetables for your pupils to use
Mark key points
Adapt maps to be more pupil-friendly. Add familiar, local landmarks and the start and end points of your intended journey
Get plotting
Ask your pupils to plot their route. Be creative with the lesson - you could use large-scale floor maps and string to mark routes!
Share and test
Encourage pupils to share their routes with each other and, if possible, to test out their routes on a class outing. Did your pupils' routes work in practice? How did they respond to the task? Record their feedback
Tell your story
Sign in to TfL Travel for Life to add your story and include pupils’ feedback. Explain the activity and add photos and any posters or promotional materials. Feedback to your borough officer


  • Curriculum

This activity counts towards:

  • Curriculum

How it helps

  • Supports the Geography and PSHE Curriculum
  • Allows children to explore their local environment