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, which he illustrates by using live animals – which, in many cases, the children can touch.
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), Homo erectus, Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) and Homo sapiens. The children handle both original and 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 that 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. In the case of a three-form entry school – simply split one of the classes.
This is one of our most successful workshops and if you have had Andrew in your school before – you will know that your children will be absolutely enthralled and that you will have great difficulty driving them out to lunch.
Cost is £300 for the day outside of London, £320 inside the M25. 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 07:30 / 08:00 am – and ready to kick off at 09:30 am.