Primary 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 Key Stages 1 & 2, 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. Facilitated sessions are fully booked in November

Primary Education Sessions
Under your Feet (Primary; Rocks and the Rock Cycle)
A workshop with object handling investigating the rocks beneath the soil and how they formed. Introduces the terms “igneous”, “metamorphic” and “sedimentary” as well as the names of some of the rocks in these families such as limestone, marble, basalt and schist.
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. We'll investigate how a whole animal can be rebuilt from just a few bones and build an understanding of why creative thinking is such an important skill for palaeontologists. We'll also look at why some myths and legends might well be based on fossils.
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 has changed over the past 250 years of its study. We'll also investigate other dinosaurs in the collection including some handling with fossils.
What’s so important about flint? (KS2, science skills; uses of everyday materials; rocks. Stone Age to Iron Age)
By looking at Stone Age to Iron Age materials we’ll discover the properties that made these materials so important to early humans and the geological processes behind their formation. We will also gain a sense of the difference between archaeological and geological time.  Seated talk with some object handling and group work.
Geology and Evolution (KS2, working scientifically, living things and their habitats, evolution and inheritance)
This workshop uses fossil evidence to gain a sense of just how long life on Earth has been around and why there is such a diversity of living things today. We’ll use fossil horses’ limbs to understand how they adapted over time to suit the changing environment. We’ll also look at what geological processes drove that environmental change. Seated talk with some object handling and group work.
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 the group 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.


Sessions for the Classroom
Being Darwin the Geologist (KS2 & KS3) 
Being Darwin the Geologist is a comprehensive, flexible set of lesson plans for using in both the classroom and during a visit to the Sedgwick Museum. Devised by teachers working with the Museum Education Officer and the Darwin the Geologist project team, this pack includes novel ideas for combining scientific thinking with history, maths, literacy and PSHE. These cross-curricular exploring and investigating activities are aimed at Year 5 and Year 6 pupils, but their adaptable content makes them suitable for wider KS2 and also KS3.

Online Resources

Tools of the Trade
tootls of the tradeWant to try your hand as a geologist aboard HMS Beagle? The Tools of the Trade interactive will help you to find out more about the tools that Darwin used to map the locations he visited and to analyse and identify the geological specimens he collected.


Exploring the Wenlock Reef
This online resource provides lots of information about one of the famous fossil collections in the Museum. A wealth of information about the creatures and the time and place in which they lived, with a focus on how earth scientists use detective work to collect and interpret evidence to piece these stories together.


For more resources and trails available in the museum, please look at our Museum Things To Do page.

Loan Boxes

Loan boxes are available for up to three weeks at a time however you need to be available to collect and return them to the museum. 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 and Fabulous Fossils
Open Fossils boxThese 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.

Useful Documents
Activities for the classroom:

Activities for the museums