Early Years Education

The Sedgwick’s collections offer many links to the National Curriculum and provide an invaluable opportunity to see unique objects from the distant past.

Facilitated Museum Visits
A facilitated visit will last an hour and a half which includes some exploring time, but you are welcome to stay on after the session to keep exploring the collection. Below are our set sessions for Early Years, we are also happy to create more bespoke sessions if you have a topic in mind. These sessions must be pre-booked at least 4 weeks in advance. All sessions include exploring time, a handling session and an interactive talk. Facilitated sessions are only available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Early Years Sessions
Discovering fossils (All, science key skills) 
What is a fossil? How do we learn about life in the past? A talk with object handling which emphasizes scientific enquiry and ideas and evidence. Some unusual fossils help to build an understanding of why creative thinking is such an important skill for palaeontologists, and why some myths and legends might well be based on fossils. This talk is seated throughout.

Dinosaur! (All, skeletons and movement; teeth; science key skills) 
How have scientific ideas about life in the very distant past changed? Using dinosaur fossils as sources of evidence this talk tells the story of Iguanodon and how what we think the animal was like has changed over the past 250 years of its study. We also investigate other dinosaurs in the collections including some handling with fossil casts and think about how a whole animal can be rebuilt from just a few bones. 
This talk requires standing and moving around - handling activities are seated.

Poetry Rocks! (All, science key skills, literacy) 
This activity is introduced as the One Word Game. Working together, each member of the group generates one word describing a single rock sample. This produces a word bank which they can then refine and add to. They then organise the words to come up with a simple list poem using poetic devices of their suggestion, and perform their work. The word bank can be taken back to the classroom for post-visit work.

 

Loan Boxes

Loan boxes are available for up to three weeks at a time. They are free of charge, but please note that charges may be made for losses or damage sustained during a loan. Loans sets are supported by basic guidance notes compiled in consultation with our teachers group.

Big Box of Rocks
Fabulous Fossils
These sets contain approximately 20 large rock or fossil specimens representing a wide range of ages and species of fossils and rock types and textures. They are all real objects from the Sedgwick Museum collections which have been very kindly loaned by the museum curators to the education service for handling.

Both rocks and fossil boxes are fantastic for all sorts of activities; sorting, classification, observational drawing, and creative writing. Please note that museum specimens should not be used for experiments such as scratch tests or immersion in water. If you need advice on where to find rock or mineral samples for testing please contact a member of the Education Team.

Fossil Rubbings Box
This set of fossil casts (not real fossils but perfect replicas) is for making rubbings using wax crayons. This is an excellent activity for early years and for projects exploring different textures in the natural and made environment.

Dinosaur Loan Box
A set of 8 casts of teeth, claws and an egg from some of the most well-known dinosaurs. The box includes some basic fact sheets and is great for a hands on session before a trip to the museum.

Story Boxes 
“Hot Hot Hot” and “Boy”: Two loan boxes for Early Years developed in partnership with Brunswick Nursery School and Homerton Early Years Centre in Cambridge. Creative activities and objects for handling, including mineral specimens and fossil casts based on the books “Oscar and Arabella: Hot, Hot, Hot” by Neal Layton and “Boy” by James Mayhew. The boxes include notes for teachers on EYC links and ideas for creative play and storytelling.

Useful Documents

Here are a range of resource documents to print off and use in the classroom: