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NEW - Andrew Smith's Minibeast Evolution Workshop

 
 
Following recent changes in the National Curriculum we have introduced a new classroom based science workshop for Years 5/6 - aimed at specifically developing a firm understanding of the exciting evolutionary ideas raised in Charles Darwin's 1859 publication - The Origin of Species.

In this new workshop Andrew also explores some of the terminology used by Darwin. Terms such a common ancestor and natural selection are illustrated with real animals – which, in many cases, the children touch and hold.

Using a host of live reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, plus real fossils, human and animal bones and animal artefacts – Andrew explores the importance of habitats, defence systems, food chains, survival, reproduction, time and extinction within the context of continuous biological change. And remember Andrew (a world authority on tarantula spiders) spends one month every year abroad, documentary film making and collecting tropical invertebrates - which means he has all sorts of exciting wee beasties to get your classes creative juices flowing.

 

He also takes a brief look at the history of the idea, from Lamarck to Darwin - and how this theory has now become a cornerstone of modern science – to the extent that Darwin's book is important enough to be categorised as one of the ten most influential books to have been created in the history of mankind. When doing so – he presents the children with a potted history of Darwin and the importance of his voyage on the Royal Naval Survey ship HMS Beagle.

Andrew also looks at human evolution and using museum quality skulls - tells the story of Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis), Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) and Homo sapiens. The children handle reproduction, needles, flints, axes, bows and spears used by our ancestors – and dress up in the different clothing/furs worn by Neanderthals and modern humans.

The workshop is designed to last for at least two hours (longer is better), which means if you are a two form entry school, you can split your year group and have one class in the morning and one class in the afternoon. For a full hands on workshop we recommend one class at a time - but if that is not practical then the workshop works satisfactorily with up to 60 max. In the case of a three form entry school – simply split one of the classes.

Those of you who have had Andrew in your school before – will know that your children will be absolutely enthralled and that you will have great difficulty driving them out to lunch.

Cost £200 to £300 for the day - depending on how far Andrew has to travel. All he needs from you - is a nice warm room and a place to park (car park or playground). Everything else comes with him in the morning – arriving at your school gate at 8.00 am – and ready to kick off at 9.30 am.