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.
|Primary Education Sessions|
|Under your Feet (Primary; Rocks and the Rock Cycle)
A workshop with object handling investigating what rocks Britain is made of 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. 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.
|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 fossils and think about how a whole animal can be rebuilt from just a few bones.
|Other times, Other Worlds (Year 5, Year 6 and KS3; Rocks, planets)
Think about how and why our understanding of Planet Earth has changed through time as technology has changed, and think about how we learn about the other planets and bodies in our solar system. Then travel through time and space to investigate a mystery planet and the rocks it is made of. Is it like the Earth? Children work in small groups as planetary scientists to carry out their investigations.
|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.
|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.
For more resources and trails available in the museum, please look at our Museum Things To Do page.
Handling Loan Boxes
Loans boxes of well-sized specimens for handling are available on request for up to 28 days. 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.
Loans are for 28 days. We currently have 4 loan boxes of handling objects available for schools:
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 fossils are fantastic for all sorts of activities; sorting, classification, observational drawing, 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.
Other Loan Items:
Here are a range of resource documents to print off and use in the classroom: