From minibeasts to mammoths: study in Shropshire

Date Posted: 25/05/2016

STO takes a look at some of the best workshops available for Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils at Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre.

A wide range of National Curriculum-linked activities, a purpose-built visitor centre, and an inspirational landscape await pupils at Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre.

The centre, also a museum, is located in southern Shropshire, and houses several exhibitions about the Shropshire Hills, which are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Teachers will find that a number of educational activities are available. A collection of workshops for Foundation and Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils are on offer, many of which can be altered to suit lower Key Stage 3 as well.

The centre’s location lends itself largely to both Science and History studies; but teachers can also choose from workshops in Geography, Art and Design, English, PE, Music and Design Technology.

There are also self-led activity resources available, activity planners, and pre-and post-teaching materials for learning in the classroom. 

Here are some top picks for workshops at the centre.

Digging for Dinosaurs
Key Stage 1
History

During this workshop, pupils will discover how Shropshire once lay under the sea, and learn how to make their own sea creature fossil.

They will also take part in a virtual excavation and meet a life-sized Condover mammoth during a chronological trip through prehistory.

River and Pond
Key Stage 1
Science

This Science session is available between March and November. Children will investigate the creatures and minibeast that inhabit the on-site pond during hands-on dipping activities. 

The class will also take a guided walk along the banks of the River Onny and find out about the larger animals that live there; salmon, kingfishers and otters. This links directly to learning about living things and their habitats, a Key Stage 1 Science requirement.

Sensory Sculpture Trail
Key Stage 1
Art and Design, Music, English

Available March to November, the Sensory Sculpture Trail workshops encourages students’ creativity. The class will learn how to make dragonflies and earth imprints, inspired by the collection of art installations at the Shropshire centre.

They will also begin to learn how to make music, and try their hand at writing poetry.

Native American Live
Key Stage 2
History

This History-focussed workshop, which is available all year round, will teach students about Native American Tribes.

A number of activities are included in this session; the children will get to make fibres into twine, put up a tepee, and handle a spear thrower and fire bow. The day will end with the class learning how to make dream catchers.

Experiencing the Iron Age
Key Stage 2
History

Pupils will see the Iron Age come alive during this History workshop, available to book between March and November.

The class will experience what life was like for Iron Age children through hands-on activities, a tour around the replica roundhouse and a guided walk up to a local hill fort.

Stone Soup
Key Stage 2
Food Technology, Science

This foodie-themed workshop will provide children with the chance to make their own seasonal soup.

Once the soup has cooked and is cooling, the class will get to taste different types of bread from around the world.

Then the children will head outside to the community garden allotments to identify and explore the seasonal vegetables growing there.

Orienteering Challenge
Key Stage 2
PE, Geography

This is mainly an outdoor session and is available March to November. The class will develop their map reading skills and knowledge of orienteering with games and small scale map activities.

Then they’ll put these skills into practice by finding clues hidden in the on-site meadows.

Booking information

All workshops can be followed by the children exploring the Secret Hills Exhibition. A number of highlight features here include the life sized mammoth, an Iron Age roundhouse, and a hot air balloon simulation.

Maximum group size may vary on each workshop.

Teachers should call 01588-676060 or e-mail info@shropshirehillsdiscoverycentre.co.uk to make a booking.

For further information visit www.shropshirehillsdiscoverycentre.co.uk.

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