All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
31 10, 2016

Everything Dinosaur and the Cornerstones Curriculum

By |2023-05-08T13:46:17+01:00October 31st, 2016|Educational Activities, Main Page, Teaching|0 Comments

Whole School Topic Maps and the Cornerstones Curriculum

One of the main focal points linked to the establishment of a new curriculum was the aim to help every child reach his or her potential.  Providing an enriched and stimulating environment is essential and every day we come across examples of teaching excellence.

We see the efforts of many teachers to introduce a range of teaching styles and to really enthuse and motivate their class.  Thanks to the support of the senior leadership team, teaching professionals can set out to develop children emotionally and help them to prepare for adult life as well as embracing an appreciation of lifelong learning.  Hence the renewed focus on helping the children to experience personal, social, health and emotional development.

Helping Young People to Become Lifelong Learners

Personal, emotional and social development.

Helping learners to gain an appreciation of lifelong learning.

Picture credit: Press (Frankfurter Buchmesse)

The Cornerstones Curriculum

A lot of schools have chosen to adopt the Cornerstones curriculum.  This topic based curriculum reflects the requirements of the National Curriculum in a structured and organised manner, helping pupils to remain engaged and to apply skills and knowledge.  Often a whole school topic map will be planned, usually running on a biannual cycle.

Learning about rocks and fossils is now part of the science curriculum for Lower Key Stage 2, whilst evolution and natural selection subjects are found within the science subject areas for Year 6, so Everything Dinosaur’s workshops have a very broad appeal.  In addition, teachers of younger children find dinosaurs as an ideal term topic area, following on from children’s fascination for dinosaurs and providing an opportunity to develop and improve skills learnt to enable them to reach their full potential.

A Dinosaur Term Topic Can Really Help the Development of Young Minds

Children enjoy learning about dinosaurs.

Lots of literacy and numeracy activities displayed.  Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

A Cross Curricular Approach to Learning

The Cornerstones curriculum allows the teaching team to tailor the content and delivery of the teaching scheme of work to meet the needs of individual pupils.  It is essentially, a cross curricular approach to learning, hence when we are delivering a dinosaur themed workshop to Lower Key Stage 1 for example, we like to be briefed on the learning outcomes that the teaching team require.  In this way, we can cover key aims and help to reinforce learning, as well as providing plenty of numeracy, literacy and IT based extension exercises.

Cornerstones has four main areas of learning:

  • Engage
  • Develop
  • Innovate
  • Express

Interlocking Stages – Supporting Learning

During each of these interlocking stages, children have the opportunity to develop and improve skills learnt to enable them to reach their full potential.   We are often amazed at just how much knowledge children demonstrate during our school visits, for example, during our last fossil themed workshop, children were eager to tell us all about some marine reptiles that they had been learning about.

In the “Engage” element, pupils have the opportunity to kick-start a topic area with a memorable, thought provoking, first-hand learning experience.  Everything Dinosaur’s dinosaur workshops in schools are often used as a provocation to help give the term topic a good start.  Our dedicated teaching team will be undertaking a number of these provocations over the next two weeks as schools start a new dinosaur and fossil themed topic area at the beginning of the second half of the autumn term.

In the “Develop” element, children improve their knowledge and understanding in relation to their topic.  They develop and practice new skills learnt and have time to explore and create in relation to their term topic.  Many of the extension ideas we provide to teaching teams allows children to build on their pre-knowledge and to apply this and newly acquired knowledge to a range of scientific themed exercises.  All these extensions are aimed at helping to reinforce learning.

Everything Dinosaur and the Cornerstones Curriculum

For further information about Everything Dinosaur’s outreach work: Contact the Team at Everything Dinosaur.

When it comes to the “Innovate” section, we like to see pupils applying the skills and knowledge they have learnt in real life, palaeontological contexts.  An example of this is challenging a Year 6 class to debate whether cloning a Woolly Mammoth would be a good idea.

Thoughtful and Provocative Debates Related to Climate Change, Extinction and the Ethics Behind De-extinction

The science behind de-extinction.

The science of de-extinction by Beth Shapiro.

Picture credit: Princeton Press

During our workshops, we like to give children the opportunity to explore real problems.  This helps to inspire them through learning and allows them to see how classroom teaching can be applied to real scientific conundrums.

Finally, we come to the “Express” section.  This provides young learners with the opportunity to become performers, experts and to inform others.

Everything Dinosaur Team Members Advising Teaching Teams

Demonstrating what they have learned can come in different forms, from a school assembly presentation related to mass extinction to writing and performing an expressive dance piece that depicts the extinction of the dinosaurs.  We advise teachers to have a dinosaur and fossil themed “learning wall” for this type of term topic.  This permits the class to showcase and celebrate their achievements as they have studied the topic.  A dinosaur museum set up in the classroom can provide a useful focal point for showcasing the work undertaken.

Come to the Dinosaur Museum!

A dinosaur museum set up on the classroom.

Come to our dinosaur museum! Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

We wish everyone well with the start of the second half of the autumn term.  Onwards and upwards with learning, whatever curriculum the school is following.

Visit the Everything Dinosaur Website: The Website of Everything Dinosaur.

31 10, 2016

Helpful Networking for Teachers and Academics a Chance to Swap Great Ideas

By |2024-05-06T15:15:53+01:00October 31st, 2016|General Teaching|Comments Off on Helpful Networking for Teachers and Academics a Chance to Swap Great Ideas

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2016

For those teachers, teaching assistants and members of the educational profession, the recent Frankfurt Book Fair provided an ideal opportunity to meet up and discuss the latest ideas in teaching literacy.  At this five-day event, a total of 277,000 people attended, but there was still plenty of room available to sit down and discuss learning aims and objectives in a convivial atmosphere.

The Frankfurter Buchmesse

A Chance to Network and Exchange Ideas

Visitors to the trade fair. The Frankfurt Book Fair.

Tens of thousands of visitors attended the Frankfurter Buchmesse.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

With so many developments in literacy teaching at the moment, this annual event provided an important opportunity for teaching professionals to catch up with the latest trends and teaching ideas.  There were so many books to peruse, both fiction and non-fiction and our team members particularly enjoyed discussing ideas in phonics teaching with a number of the publishing house professionals on the trade stands.

Everything Dinosaur team members recognise the importance of trade shows.  The Frankfurter Buchmesse provides plenty of networking opportunities. Trade fairs provide plenty of contacts and allow the exchange of ideas.

To learn more about Everything Dinosaur team members: About Everything Dinosaur Team Members.

Dinosaurs Helping to Inspire Young Readers

At the Frankfurter Buchmesse, it was pleasing to see the number of dinosaur and prehistoric animal themed titles aimed specifically at young readers that were available.  Dinosaurs, as a teaching theme certainly enthuses and motivates young minds.  Children seem to have a remarkable level of pre-knowledge when it comes to the Dinosauria.

Inspirational Dinosaurs at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Dinosaur Books at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

A dinosaur book spotted at the Frankfurter Buchmesse.

Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur

Team Members Preparing for More Science Outreach Work

As team members at Everything Dinosaur prepare for the next set of dinosaur themed workshops in schools, it is great to know that there are some excellent literary resources to help support teaching teams as they strive to develop a lifelong passion for learning within their young charges.

The Everything Dinosaur website: Everything Dinosaur Website.

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