Category: Educational Activities

Learning Life Skills – The Achievosaurs

The Achievosaurs Soft Toys

Teachers and teaching assistants all round the country are busy finalising their schemes of work in readiness for the new term and Everything Dinosaur team members have been helping.  Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) children have been benefiting from an innovative use of dinosaur and prehistoric animal soft toys – the Achievosaurs and Everything Dinosaur has been busy supplying schools and other educational establishments with fluffy and soft prehistoric animal plush in preparation for the start of the autumn term.

“Askaraptor” One of the Achievosaurs from Everything Dinosaur

A Utahraptor dinosaur soft and cuddly toy.

“Askaraptor” – a Utahraptor dinosaur soft toy.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

For children in Foundation Stage classes (Nursery and Reception), the start of a new term can be quite daunting.  However, teaching teams are tasked with introducing key learning skills at a young age.  The “Achievosaurs”, a group of soft toy prehistoric animals can help children to develop these key skills.  In essence, the Achievosaurs, or as they are sometimes called “the Achieveosaurs”, with the extra “e”, aims to teach children about positive ways in which they can improve their ability to learn.  These qualities include being prepared to ask questions, to share ideas and thoughts and to persevere.  To help reinforce learning the children are incentivised by being able to look after the dinosaur soft toy which epitomises the learning skill that they have demonstrated.

Adopting the Achievosaurs Learning Concept

A large number of schools have adopted the Achievosaurs learning concept across the EYFS cohort and into Year 1.  The dinosaur soft toys often link with a term topic whereby the children study dinosaurs and fossils, for example “the Jurassic Forest” scheme of work.

Achievosaurs Helping to Reinforce Life-Long Learning Skills

Achievosaur soft toy dinosaurs

Helping to reinforce life-long learning skills.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

To purchase dinosaur soft toys to make up your own learning skills Achievosaurs set: Itsy Bitsy Soft Toy Dinosaur for Achievosaurs

Here is a list of some of the key learning skills that can be reinforced through the use of the Achievosaurs teaching concept:

ASKARAPTOR – I can use my imagination and ask interesting questions (based on a “raptor” dinosaur such as Velociraptor or Utahraptor regarded as some of the more intelligent and agile of all the dinosaurs).

EXPLORASOR – I like to explore ideas and I enjoy new experiences.

SOLVEOSAURUS REX – I can solve problems and improve (based on T. rex the most famous dinosaur of all).

STICKASAURUS – I stick at tasks and persevere (based on Stegosaurus a popular, plant eating dinosaur with plates on its back).

THINKODOCUS – I think carefully about what I learn (based on the big, plant-eating dinosaur called Diplodocus).

TRYCERATOPS – I try new things, don’t give up and work really hard (based on Triceratops, a very well known horned dinosaur with three horns).

A spokesperson from Everything Dinosaur commented:

“One of the great things about the Achievosaurs learning concept is that you can create your own Achievosaurs to suit the particular needs of each class.  For example, we were informed by a Nursery teacher that one of her charges, an only child, had difficulty integrating into the class and found it hard to share things with the other children.  The teaching assistant created “Shareosaurus”, so that this child could be rewarded when they shared items with their classmates.”

Preparations for Later on in Life

These important skills can help prepare children for learning later on in life.  Teachers and teaching assistants can come up with their on variants and new additions, however, the trouble is, identifying soft toys that represent the likes of Diplodocus and Tyrannosaurus rex.  The experts at Everything Dinosaur can help.

With the support of Everything Dinosaur’s trained specialists, teachers can utilise a child’s fascination with dinosaurs to help reinforce important life lessons.  Enthusing and motivating children to learn by using dinosaur soft toys in school.

Team members from the company also visit schools to delivery practical, lively and very kinaesthetic dinosaur themed workshops:

To read more about Everything Dinosaur’s school workshops: Contact Everything Dinosaur to Enquire About Dinosaur Themed School Workshops

Back to School with Everything Dinosaur

Fantastic Dinosaur Themed Back to School Items from Everything Dinosaur

No sooner do the schools break up then our thoughts are turning to the Autumn Term.  The teaching team at Everything Dinosaur are already booked up quite a lot for both next term and into the Spring but there are still some dates available for our dinosaur workshops in school.  However, just as teachers commence preparations for their scheme of work to be delivered next term, so parents too are planning ahead.  Mums and dads, grandparents and guardians will be turning their thoughts to kitting out their charges ready for when the children go back to school.  For budding young palaeontologists Everything Dinosaur has a huge range of prehistoric animal themed school items, from pencils through to lunchboxes and backpacks, Everything Dinosaur has getting ready for school covered.

Some of the Dinosaur Themed Back to School Items Available from Everything Dinosaur

Back to school items available from Everything Dinosaur

Back to school stationery available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Whether you are looking for notepads with a dinosaur motif, or pens and pencils so that young dinosaur fans can jot down their discoveries, Everything Dinosaur is the place to go to find back to school prehistoric animal themed school sets and stationery.

Back to School stock in stock at Everything Dinosaur: Back to School

There are school kits, dinosaur stationery sets, soft and cuddly back packs, pencil cases, notebooks, notepads and a whole range of other items, a list as long as a the neck of a Tanystropheus – there is plenty of choice, enough to make even the most reluctant school child roar in approval like an angry Tyrannosaurus rex.

Back to School with Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur pens available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Notes for Teachers

As for our popular dinosaur and fossil themed workshops in schools, our team members are booked up well into the Spring term.  However, there are some dates still available and for further information about Everything Dinosaur’s work in schools, simply visit the link below for further information.

Contact Everything Dinosaur to enquire about dinosaur themed workshops in school: Contact Everything Dinosaur, request a quotation

Year 1 Send Letters to Everything Dinosaur

Year 1 at Forden Church in Wales School Send Letters

The children in Year 1 at Forden Church in Wales School have been studying dinosaurs and prehistoric animals this term.  The young scientists have been learning all about fossils and life in the past.  A team member from Everything Dinosaur visited the school for a morning last month to show the children fossils and to teach them about dinosaurs.  Our fossil expert challenged the children in Year 1 to write letters to Everything Dinosaur and sure enough, yesterday, we received a lovely set of dinosaur themed letters from the children.

Year 1 Children Send in Letters to Everything Dinosaur

Schoolchildren write to Everything Dinosaur.

Examples of the dinosaur themed letters sent in.

Picture Credit: Forden Church in Wales School (Ellie, Evan, Faye and Logan)

Year 1 Learning about Technology

Mrs Davies, the enthusiastic teacher, explained that her class had written thank you letters after the fabulous morning of workshops with Everything Dinosaur.  Year 1 have been learning how to take photographs on the iPad and import them into a different document, the children have also been showing off their typing skills too.

Learning About the Biggest Meat-Eating Dinosaurs

William learnt about meat-eating dinosaurs.

A thank you letter from William.

Picture Credit: Forden Church in Wales School (William)

William now knows that Spinosaurus was bigger than Tyrannosaurus rex.  Hollie was amazed by all the fossils and she enjoyed playing the games.

Most Real Fossils Feel Cold When You Touch Them

Thank you after the dinosaur workshop.

A thank you letter from Hollie.

Picture Credit: Forden Church in Wales School (Hollie)

Hollie chose to illustrate her thank you letter to Everything Dinosaur using a model of a Pteranodon (flying reptile).  Jodie was amazed by all the fossils and she now knows that when you touch a fossil it feels cold!  Jodie also chose to illustrate her letter with a Pteranodon.  Jessica on the other hand, selected a wonderful model of a duck-billed dinosaur, a big plant-eater called Parasaurolophus for her letter.  She liked having her picture taken with the fossils.

Jessica’s Letter and the Parasaurolophus Model

A thank you note to Everything Dinosaur.

After the dinosaur workshop, Jessica wrote in to thank us.

Picture Credit: Forden Church in Wales School (Jessica)

A big thank you to all the children in Year 1 who sent in letters to Everything Dinosaur (Chloe, Arthur, Jack, Jodie, Jessica, Hollie, William, Evan, Ellie, Logan and Faye).  A special thank you to the teachers and staff at Forden Church in Wales School, for assisting the Year 1 children in their letter writing extension activity.

The Daresbury Laboratory Open Day

The Dino Zone at Daresbury Laboratory Open Day

All is set and ready for the Daresbury Laboratory Open Day, taking place today.  Team members arrived at the site, located close to Warrington (Cheshire) and set up all the fossils and other dinosaur related items for the “Dino Zone”.

All Ready for Action at the “Dino Zone”

The Dino Zone and Everything Dinosaur

Ready for action, the Everything Dinosaur exhibit as part of the Dino Zone at Daresbury Laboratory.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Staff had been on site the day before to help organise the layout and to assist in the first stage of the set up, then it was an early start to ensure we were ready to begin meeting and greeting dinosaur fans from the time the science fair opened promptly at 9am.  Sure enough, despite the inclement weather we had our first visitors a few minutes later.

The Calm Before the Storm

Everything Dinosaur and their Dino Zone

Fossil digging and lots of fossils to explore.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We had just finished setting up the fossil identification display boards when the first family arrived.  In total, something like 7,500 people had registered for this free-to-attend science event.  It was a long day for Everything Dinosaur team members, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and there were lots of happy children, mums and dads, despite the rain.

Feedback on the Daresbury Laboratory Open Day

We noted lots of wonderful, positive feedback on social media.  It seems that the event has been a really big success.

Marielle wrote to say:

“Such a fantastic science discovery day!  Well done Daresbury Lab/STFC and all who helped make this a truly amazing public and family-friendly event!!  My 6 year-old and I enjoyed everything we experienced, from walking the T. rex, having our infra-red picture taken to digging up human bone replicas and ‘driving’ mini-rovers, and more!  But the winning attraction seems to have been the Dino Zone, especially fossil digging… Please, please, do not wait 10 years to organise another one!!!  (Oh, and the logistics was great too!).  Thank you.”

Lisa added:

“Thanks to all the organisers and staff for a thoroughly enjoyable day.  We are so lucky to have such a great place on our doorstep where wonderful things are happening each day and by allowing the community to visit you are inspiring our children to want to do great things in life.”

It seems that the Daresbury Laboratory Open Day and the “Dino Zone” was a roaring success.  Just time to thank all the wonderful staff and volunteers at Daresbury Laboratory for making today, a day to remember for lots of people.

The Dark Matter Garden at Daresbury

The Daresbury Dark Matter Garden

As Everything Dinosaur team members prepare to take part in the public open day at Daresbury Laboratory (Cheshire), there was time to admire the wonderful, mature Dark Matter garden on the site.  The garden was commissioned in 2015 to mark the centenary of the publication of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

A View into the Dark Matter Garden Located at Daresbury Laboratory (Cheshire)

The dark matter garden (Daresbury Science Laboratories)

A view into the Dark Matter garden at Daresbury Science Laboratories (Warrington, Cheshire)

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

What is Dark Matter?

Dark Matter is very mysterious, it is the “stuff” that is believed to make up a significant percentage of our universe, but it cannot be seen and detecting it is extremely difficult.  However, we can measure the effect of Dark Matter on other objects.  It has gravitational effects on visible matter, these effects can be detected and the presence of this Dark Matter inferred from such interactions.

The Award Winning Dark Matter Garden

The award winning Daresbury dark matter garden.

The warped steel rods represent the effect of dark matter on the bending of light.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The garden has matured since it was awarded a gold rating at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show last year.  The planting emphasises our changing universe and the warped steel rods, as they bend and twist through the plot represent the bending of the trajectory of light around massive objects.  As the wind blows through the substantial bamboo grass in the centre it reflects the effect invisible forces have.  At one end is a large square metal structure with a round aperture.  The symbolises the human view from Earth based telescopes as we look into space and explore the wonders of the universe.

The Hunt for Dark Matter

Dark Matter fascinates the scientific community and scientists from all over the world are working hard to understand more about it.  Our planet would not have formed without it, stars, galaxies and our universe is dependent upon it yet Dark Matter’s existence has only been proved indirectly.  Scientists are on a quest to find out more about it.

Professor Andy Newsam, Director of the National Schools’ Observatory at Liverpool John Moores University which organised the garden, explained:

“Dark Matter is a hypothetical kind of matter that cannot be seen with telescopes but accounts for most of the matter in the universe.  The existence and properties of Dark Matter are inferred from its gravitational effects on visible matter, radiation and the large-scale structure of the universe.”

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), as funders of Dark Matter research in the UK and at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, sponsored the Chelsea Flower Show exhibit.

Dinosaur Workshop in the Land of Dragons

Forden Church in Wales School Dinosaur Workshop

A trip into Wales for Everything Dinosaur this morning as one of the team members had been invited to visit Forden Church in Wales School to conduct dinosaur themed workshops with the Foundation children and a mixed class of Year 1 and Year 2.  The children had prepared lots of questions and our fossil expert did his best to answer them all.  The extra resources that he had brought with him went down well with the dedicated and enthusiastic teaching team, especially the dinosaur name pronunciation guide.  A number of challenges were set, with one special challenge for the mixed Year 3 and Year 4 class, could they compose a letter to Everything Dinosaur and if they did, could they think of a question that would stump our dinosaur experts?

Year 3 and Year 4 Children Wrote Letters to Everything Dinosaur

Letters from children to Everything Dinosaur

The children even illustrated their letters with some wonderful prehistoric animal drawings.

Picture Credit: Forden Church in Wales School/Everything Dinosaur

Dinosaur Footprints and Dinosaur Drawings

The children illustrated their letters with some wonderful prehistoric animal drawings.  Ffion and Aimi drew dinosaur footprints and they both wanted to know about dinosaur teeth.  Aimi asked do all types of dinosaurs have fierce teeth?  Her query ties in with a question sent in by Matthew who enquired how many dinosaur herbivores were there?  Ffion asked do all types of dinosaurs have special teeth?  The mouths of dinosaurs were adapted to help them eat the food that the ate.  Some dinosaurs, such as most of the meat-eaters, had teeth that were sharp and fierce looking, whilst many of the herbivorous dinosaurs such as Triceratops had rows and rows of square and blocky shaped teeth, ideal for grinding up plants.  Some dinosaurs did not have any teeth at all.  About two-thirds of all the dinosaurs described so far were plant eaters.

Matthew Wanted to Know How Many Herbivorous Dinosaurs Were There?

Proportion of plant-eaters to meat-eaters in the Dinosauria.

Proportion of plant-eaters to meat-eaters in the Dinosauria.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

In an email sent to Mrs Davies, one of the teachers, we were able to answer questions from Dan, Bethany and Nicky.  Ryan had wanted to know what the name Tyrannosaurus rex means, we challenged the class to be “dinosaur detectives” and to conduct some research to find out for themselves.

How Many Pterodactyls Were There?

Wayne wanted to know how many Pterodactyls were there?  This tied in with a question asked during one of our dinosaur workshops.  The correct term for these flying reptiles is Pterosaurs and so far, something like 120 different types of Pterosaur have been named.  The children were surprised to learn that the biggest Pterosaurs were taller than giraffes.

Prehistoric Animal Drawings from the Children

Children write letters about dinosaurs.

Ben wanted to know how many fossils we had found?

Picture Credit: Forden Church in Wales School/Everything Dinosaur

Ben asked about the number of fossils we had found.  Everything Dinosaur team members are really lucky and they get to go on lots of fossil hunts.  They have found thousands of fossils, some of which we keep and store in our warehouse so we can learn more about prehistoric life.

One Letter Featured Pachycephalosaurus and Apatosaurus

Key Stage 2 dinosaur lettters.

An illustrated dinosaur letter.

Picture Credit: Forden Church in Wales School/Everything Dinosaur

Marine Reptiles and Dinosaurs

A number of letters featured drawings of marine reptiles.  Harvey drew a green coloured marine reptile and asked when did the dinosaurs become extinct?  This is a question that we will leave for the children to research, perhaps they can look at the evidence and come up with their own theory as to why the non-avian dinosaurs died out.  The question why are dinosaurs called dinosaurs was also asked.  The term dinosaur was first coined more than 150 years ago, to find out about the scientist responsible, check out this link here: Happy Birthday Sir Richard Owen

 When Did the Dinosaurs Live?

Year 3 children wrote to Everything Dinosaur

Marine reptiles used to illustrate a letter with questions about dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Forden Church in Wales School/Everything Dinosaur

Zak asked when did the dinosaurs live?  The timeline we provided along with the other extension resources should help Zak to answer this one.  He also asked why are dinosaurs called reptiles?  Dinosaurs make up part of a group of animals called reptiles, there are many different types of reptile living today.  We sent a word game over to the school via email, can the children fill in the blanks and work out the names of reptiles alive today?

Our thanks to all the children  and their teachers at Forden Church in Wales School.  We shall pin up these very colourful letters onto one of the walls in our office.

Abercrombie School and Dinosaurs

Abercrombie School Pupils Study Dinosaurs

Earlier this month, a member of the Everything Dinosaur team visited Abercrombie Primary School in Chesterfield (Derbyshire), as part of two days of science study with Year 2, 3, 4, 5 and Year 6.  Over the course of the workshops we conducted, we set a number of challenges for the classes.  One challenge was to have the children “design their very own prehistoric animal”, with a new dinosaur species being named, on average, every three weeks or so, there is plenty of scope for new dinosaurs.  Another challenge involved the children writing Everything Dinosaur a thank you letter, from our bulging mail bag on Friday, it looks like lots of the pupils at the school took up the opportunity to send in examples of their work.

A Collection of Very Colourful Prehistoric Animal Drawings

Schoolchildren send in dinosaur drawings.

Pupils from Abercrombie Primary sent in dinosaur drawings.

Picture Credit: Abercrombie Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

Our thanks to Henry, Daisy, Frasier, Sophie, Ebony, Daisy, Reuben, Lucy, Daniel, Ibrahim, Alfie, Holly, Noah and all the other children who sent in super prehistoric animal drawings, they are certainly very colourful.  The children have thought very carefully about their prehistoric animal designs, considering where the animal might live, what it might eat and how it would keep itself safe.

Joelasaurus by Henry

A dinosaur designed by a schoolchild.

A very colourful dinosaur drawing by Henry.

Picture Credit: Abercrombie Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

We enjoyed looking at all the prehistoric animal pictures that had been sent into us by the children.  Some of the dinosaur names the children had invented were very creative such as “Hungry eater steeler” from Leo and we even had a drawing of Indominus rex from the film Jurassic World.

Thank You Letters Sent to Everything Dinosaur

The hand-writing challenge involved composing a thank you letter to Everything Dinosaur and sure enough we received a set of beautiful and well written thank you letters, some of which had even been illustrated.

Thank You Letters Sent in by the Children (Abercrombie Primary School)

A set of thank you letters from a class.

Pupils sent in thank you letters to Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Abercrombie Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

Our thanks to Ali, Dexter, Oliver, Libby, Alice (yes, you are quite right fossils are usually found in sandstone and limestone), Erin and Harry (wonderful dinosaur skull drawing).

Isobel wanted to know how long have we been looking for fossils?  Everything Dinosaur team members found their first fossils when they were not much older than Georgia or Felix.  Louie wrote to say that he was sorry to have missed all the dinosaurs as he had been ill but he did send in a nice letter and even took the trouble to draw some dinosaur eggs.

Cole Sent in a Beautiful Thank You Letter

Abercrombie Primary children sent in letters to Everything Dinosaur.

A thank you letter from a pupil at Abercrombie Primary.

Picture Credit: Abercrombie Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

The question was asked, how do you get fossils?  Fossil can be found in lots of places but most fossils are found in rocks and one of the best places to find them is at the seaside.  Arthur wrote in to say that his favourite part was holding the Tyrannosaurus rex tooth and he also liked the stickers we gave him.

A special thank you to all the children at Abercrombie Primary who sent in letters and pictures.

Class 1 and Class 2 Explore Dinosaurs

A Return Visit to Thorpe Hesley Primary School

A busy morning for Everything Dinosaur, as one of their team members made a return visit to Thorpe Hesley Primary (Rotherham, south Yorkshire), to work with the two classes of Year 1 children who have been spending the summer term learning all about dinosaurs.  This is a topic that the children in previous years have covered, one of the classrooms had a wonderful paper mâché Triceratops on display.

A Large Model of a Triceratops on Display in the Classroom

A big dinosaur model made by Year 1 children.

A Triceratops on display.

Picture Credit: Thorpe Hesley Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

In the tidy and well appointed classrooms, the enthusiastic teaching team had been preparing a range of very creative activities for the budding palaeontologists to try on their special dinosaur day.  Our workshops aimed to reinforce learning as well as to introduce different types of dinosaurs to the children.  Could they remember all the dinosaur facts?

Handling Fossils

The children in Class 1 and Class 2 (Key Stage 1), had the opportunity to handle fossils and their super quick reactions ensured that both classes won some dinosaur stickers.  We look forward to seeing how the pupils got on with the “design a dinosaur challenge” that we set them, can they label all the body parts including the skull?  We noted that an area of one classroom had been set aside so that a special dinosaur museum could be created, we think this would be a great place to exhibit some of the children’s prehistoric animal themed work.

Lots of Dinosaur Habitats on Show in the Classrooms

Year 1 children explore dinosaur habitats.

Exploring dinosaur habitats.

Picture Credit: Thorpe Hesley Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

Herbivores and Carnivores

We looked at herbivores and carnivores and explored how many Year 1 children could fit inside the tummy of a really big dinosaur.  In addition, the extra resources our dinosaur expert provided should help the children gain confidence with numbers as a couple of the extension exercises involve measuring and counting.  We even spotted some dinosaurs in the play area used by the Nursery.  Our dinosaur expert felt quite at home with all the dinosaurs and prehistoric animal themed displays at the school.

Spotting Dinosaurs in the Nursery Play Area

Three dinosaurs in a triangle shape.

A triangle shape filled with dinosaurs.

Picture Credit: Thorpe Hesley Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

That is a lovely group of plant-eating dinosaurs, can the children name them?

Sadly, all too soon our time was up and it was lunch.  The children had lots of questions and we did not have time to answer them all, so with the permission of the teaching team we challenged the children to write us a thank you letter and if they did, they could include a question if they wanted.  We made a “pinkie palaeontologist” promise to read them all.  As the summer term progresses, soon it will be time for sports day, we sported some equipment close by to the well-stocked resources cupboard and we wondered could the children be using dinosaur eggs for the egg and spoon race?

Could the Children Use Dinosaur Eggs for the Egg and Spoon Race?

Preparing for the dinosaur egg and spoon race

Dinosaur eggs for the egg and spoon race?

Picture Credit: Thorpe Hesley Primary School/Everything Dinosaur

Glad we were able to help the children explore prehistoric animals with a dinosaur themed workshop.

Dinosaurs with Newport Infant School

Year 2 Study Dinosaurs

Thursday was “Dinosaur Day” for the Year 2 children at Newport Infant School (Shropshire) and in preparation for their Summer Term topic the three classes (Deer, Squirrel and Hedgehog) had been challenged to produce a dinosaur themed piece of work over the half-term holiday.  A tweet had been sent out by the school reminding the children to bring in their prehistoric creations and space was set aside in the well-appointed classrooms so that the various models, prehistoric scenes, drawings and posters could be displayed.

Year 2 Children Made Mini “Jurassic Worlds” for the Summer Term Dinosaur Topic

A dinosaur model made by Year 2 children.

A mini dinosaur world made by Year 2 children.

Picture Credit: Newport Infant School Hedgehog Class

There were lots of colourful dinosaur displays and Everything Dinosaur felt quite at home when they visited the school to work with the three classes over the course of the day to provide an appropriate “wow” activity to help to enthuse pupils and teachers alike over the new term topic.  Several children had created special science posters.  These demonstrated that a number of the children had a lot of pre-knowledge when it comes to dinosaurs, their enthusiasm for the subject was very clear and our time working with each class in the spacious hall whizzed by.

Some Fine Examples of Science Posters Featuring Prehistoric Animals from Year 2

Year 2 children and their dinosaur posters.

Children made dinosaur models and posters over the half-term holiday.

Picture Credit: Newport Infant School Hedgehog Class

 The posters were beautifully illustrated with dinosaurs such as Triceratops, Spinosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex proving to be amongst the most popular.  The additional resources our fossil expert brought with him will help the children to recall and remember prehistoric animal facts, the posters are a wonderful example of non-fiction writing in a Key Stage 1 class.  During our workshops, we challenged the children to write a story about Triceratops coming to lunch, the pupils were amazed when it was revealed how much one of the these huge horned dinosaurs could eat in a day!  This extension activity is aimed at helping the pupils gain greater confidence with their story writing.

Flying Reptiles in Hedgehog Class

Year 2 make prehistoric animal models.

Year 2 make prehistoric animal models including a wonderful Pterosaur.

Picture Credit: Newport Infants School Hedgehog Class

The picture above shows a model of a T. rex in the background with a flying reptile (Pterosaur) replica in the foreground.  It looks like the Year 2 children had a very busy half-term holiday preparing their exhibits for the dinosaur term topic.   Flying reptiles (Pterosaurs), are not dinosaurs, although, like dinosaurs they are reptiles and palaeontologists are quite confident that these two types of animal were closely related.  Both dinosaurs and flying reptiles laid eggs, and some children had even created prehistoric animal eggs to go with their displays.  We were most impressed with a model of green dinosaur with a long tail that was accompanied by a large paper mache egg that was full of facts about dinosaurs.

A Dinosaur Model with an Egg Full of Dinosaur Facts

Hedgehog class design dinosaurs.

A dinosaur model with an egg full of dinosaur facts.

Picture Credit: Newport Infants School Hedgehog Class

Top marks to all the children in Squirrel, Deer and Hedgehog class for making such fantastic prehistoric animal displays.  There were so many amazing things to see, the Everything Dinosaur team member did not have time to photograph them all, but in between the workshops and over the lunch time he did have the opportunity to see the classrooms and to marvel at all the super drawings, posters and models.

The English Science Curriculum

What Will a High Quality Science Education Achieve?

This week Everything Dinosaur team members participated in a North West Science Alliance meeting.  It took place at the magnificent Preston iSTEM Centre at Preston’s College (Lancashire, northern England).  The ISTEM (innovation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), Centre is a fantastic £13 million facility that provides educational opportunities for some 600 students.  A diverse range of courses are offered from traditional “A” levels to qualifications in electrical engineering, laboratory practice, dental nursing and creative and digital media.

The great thing about the iSTEM Centre is that it is not just a shiny, well-appointed, new building.  It is a bespoke learning environment that provides students with real work experiences.  It manages to bridge the student world with that of the world of work.   Many local employers have grasped the Centre’s ethos of delivering top class training and forged meaningful, long-term relationships with the course providers.

We praise all those involved in this important undertaking.

What Does the English Science Curriculum Contribute?

At the meeting, as we listened to the speakers, our thoughts turned to Everything Dinosaur’s own work in schools and later, in the office, we asked the question what does the new English science curriculum hope to contribute?

How to Forge the Next Generation of Scientists?

Developing scientists in schools.

Developing the next generation of scientists.

Picture Credit: Lego

Hopefully, by providing a high quality, challenging science education for children, a science education that is broad-based and led by motivated and enthusiastic teaching staff we shall be able to:

  • Encourage pupils to understand how science can be used to explain what is happening as well as helping to solve problems
  • Promote a fascination and respect for the natural world
  • Equip children with life-long learning skills
  • Inspire pupils to ask challenging questions and to work scientifically

When working with classes delivering dinosaur and fossil themed workshops we try to inspire and motivate the next generation of scientists.  With tactile, kinaesthetic lessons we aim to help children develop their scientific knowledge as well as to develop an understanding of scientific concepts.

Helping Students to Gain an Insight into Scientific Working

Model making - Neanderthal.

Helping to inspire the next generation (Neanderthal skull modelling).

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Gaining Confidence/Developing Knowledge

At Everything Dinosaur we tailor our workshops to meet the learning needs of the class and we take care to ensure that what we deliver compliments the teaching scheme of work.  Our aim is to develop scientific understanding and to give students an appreciation of the scientific method.

For further information on Everything Dinosaur’s dinosaur themed workshops in school: Contact Everything Dinosaur Request Further Information

Applying and Using the Skills of a Scientist

When working with a class or a group of students, our qualified teaching team aim to develop good scientific practice and encourage the use of scientific terms accurately as well as encouraging participants to observe, assess the evidence and hypothesise.  We want to promote an ethos of gathering and recording evidence, making evaluations, analysing trends and drawing appropriate conclusions.

In our own small way, Everything Dinosaur is making a positive contribution to science teaching.

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