Secondary 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 Stage 3 upwards, 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.

Secondary Education Sessions (facilitated)
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.

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.

This is a hands-on workshop which involves some moving around, some activities are seated, others require standing. The whole workshop requires a 2 hour visit. The workshop can also form one half of a whole-day visit by following up with a related session at the Museum of Classical Archaeology.


Sessions for the Classroom
Ideas and Evidence at the Sedgwick Museum (KS3 science) 
Download as a separate pack including teacher and pupil workbooks from our website. This programme includes lesson plans for pre and post-visit activities along with a set of activities to do at the Museum. These are all designed to explore the nature and meanings of primary and secondary evidence. There is a strong cross-curricular emphasis to all of the activities which include a variety of different approaches and individual, small group and whole class work. The programme was devised and put together by teachers from schools in Suffolk working in partnership with the Museum Education Officer and the Secondary Science Consultant from Suffolk County Council.
 
Ideas and Evidence at the Sedgwick Museum - Teacher's Booklet 
Ideas and Evidence at the Sedgwick Museum - Pupil's Booklet

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: Want 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.

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:

  • Big Box of Rocks 1 
  • Big Box of Rocks 2 
  • Fabulous Fossils 1 
  • Fabulous Fossils 2

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.

Geology in Cambridge

Discover geology around Cambridge city centre through the Sedgwick Geology Trail.

This self-guided walk around the historic city centre will introduce you to just a few of the many different rock types, fossils, minerals and geological features that are waiting to be discovered in the walls, roofs and pavements of Cambridge.
The Geology guide is available to purchase in the Museum shop and we offer a discount of 10% on ten copies or more.