Abercrombie Primary School – Supporting Science Teaching

An eventful week this week for Everything Dinosaur team members.  Our busy schedule included a trip to Abercrombie Primary in Chesterfield (Derbyshire) to take part in two days of science themed teaching in support of the English national curriculum.  Over the course of the eventful and exciting two days our dinosaur and fossil expert worked with the Key Stage 1 children (Year 2) and the whole of Key Stage 2 (Year 3, 4, 5 and Year 6).

During the Interactive Workshops the Children Explored Extinction

These colourful birds face extinction.

These colourful birds face extinction, or are they dinosaurs?

Picture Credit: The Press Association

The school is broadly average in size and is consistently rated as “Good” by Ofsted.  On the first day we worked with the younger pupils, the second day (the morning and part of the afternoon), was solely dedicated to Year 6.  During our time working with the upper Key Stage 2 children, we explored extinction, discussed whether life did originate on planet Earth, explored natural selection and adaptation, mapped prehistoric plants and proved that continents move.

Making the Woolly Mammoth De-Extinct!

The Everything Dinosaur fossil expert showed Year 6 some Woolly Mammoth fossils that had been found not too far away from the school.  Tens of thousands of years ago, the Woolly Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) roamed this part of Britain, we speculated on what roles the children might have had if they had lived during the Stone Age and they had taken part in a Woolly Mammoth hunt.

What Role Would You Have Played in a Woolly Mammoth Hunt?

Taking part in a Woolly Mammoth hunt.

Hunting a Woolly Mammoth.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Our fossil expert then explained what research is being undertaken to resurrect this extinct elephant.  The Year 6 children debated whether or not bringing back the Woolly Mammoth and making it de-extinct was a good idea.  There seemed to be a consensus amongst the students that the Dodo should be brought back as well, however, the Year 6 pupils were disappointed to hear that Dodos, or as the Dutch sailors used to call it, the Doddaer, (Raphus cucullatus), was actually a giant, flightless pigeon.

Commenting on the work undertaken by Everything Dinosaur Mrs Bradly (one of the teachers) said:

“I missed you at the end of the day and I’m not in tomorrow so I am emailing to say thank you for the workshops today.  The feedback from staff and children have been really positive.”

Mrs Harris (teacher Year 4) stated:

“An excellent session, very engaging with excellent subject knowledge and super resources.  Repetition was used well to encourage the children to learn key vocabulary.  A great session – thank you!”

Our two days working with the teachers and pupils at this primary school whizzed by, we even got the chance to see a partial lower jaw of a sheep that one of the children had found and the skull of a bird discovered whilst at Forest School.  It seems as we departed Derbyshire we left behind some happy teachers and happy pupils.

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