03 Nov 2016

Leisure, Arts, Culture and Events

Invite: Dinosaur Takeover set to make a roaring return to Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

What: Photo and limited interview opportunity at afternoon Dinosaur Takeover session
When: Tuesday 8 November 1:15pm to 1:45pm
Where: Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RL
Who: Cllr Claire Hiscott, cabinet member for Education and Skills observing a Dinosaur takeover workshop at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery - Year 1 children from Redfield Edge Primary School taking part in Dino related activities, including; Identifying Fossils, Dinomight Appetite, Dig like a Palaeontologist and Bristol Dinosaur - Dino experts from the University of Bristol supporting the delivery of workshops in the galleries

Media are invited to attend part of a live Dinosaur Takeover session on Tuesday 8 November between 1:15pm and 1:45pm. Councillor Claire Hiscott, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, will be in attendance and available for photos and short interviews. As this will be a live learning session all media are asked to advise in advance should you wish to attend.


The hugely popular Dinosaur Takeover event is set to return to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery for one week in November.


Bristol Museums award winning Learning Team will once again team up with expert palaeontologists from the University of Bristol to bring to life the fantastic collections of fossil and dinosaur remains. Schools from across Bristol and the region are signing up for workshops aimed at children between the ages of 5 and 9 years old.

Those taking part will be treated to a 90 minute workshop packed with thrilling dinosaur-related activities. School children will be able to handle and examine fossils, get up close to The Bristol Dinosaur, take part in a dino-dig, learn about dino food chains and more.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery has a special connection to dinosaurs. In 1834 Samuel Stutchbury, the second Curator of the Bristol Institute – now Bristol Museum & Art Gallery – was approached by a group of quarrymen who had discovered strange bones at Durdham Down, Clifton. This was only the fourth dinosaur to be discovered in the world and the term ‘dinosaur’ had not yet been invented. Their find was named Thecondontosaurus antiquus. 

Eight years later Richard Owen called an extinct group of fossil reptiles ‘dinosaurs’ and it was clear that the Bristol remains belonged to that group. ‘Theco’, as the Bristol dinosaur is fondly known, lived about 210 million years ago in the Triassic period. 

The last takeover event was held in March 2016 during British Science Week and saw over 250 children spend a morning or afternoon finding out all about ‘Theco’ – his characteristics and habitat – as well as taking part in a range of other interactive activities, all linked to the Key Stage One (KS1) and Key Stage Two (KS2) science curriculum.

Councillor Claire Hiscott, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills at Bristol City Council, said: “I’m delighted to see the overwhelmingly popular Dinosaur Takeover event return to the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery for another run. The hands on approach adopted by the team to bringing this subject to life certainly proved very successful during this year’s British Science Week.

“Bristol is a Learning City and, as such, we want to make sure that we offer everyone in the city an opportunity to develop and learn. The sessions provided by the Museum’s Learning Team offer schools and home educators unique opportunities to experience hands on learning unlike any available in the classroom or at home. Their exciting programme of learning experiences offers something for all ages and interests.”

Commenting, Michael Benton, Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Bristol said:  ‘We were delighted to partner with Bristol Museum & Art Gallery to engage young children in science.  It’s brilliant for the students too - a break from their regular studies, but also serious, practical experience in education and learning.’  

Andrew Easey, a teacher from Cam Everlands Primary School in Gloucestershire who brought a class to the museum earlier this year, described the Dinosaur takeover workshops as “a great introduction to the world of dinosaurs for Year 1 children… and great to handle fossils and think about where they came from and what they were.”

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery will be hosting another Dinosaur Week for Year 1-4 school groups during British Science Week in March 2017. Other Earth Science workshops delivered by the museum include Rocks and Fossils and Evolution. 

The exciting Autumn programme at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery is bursting with chances for further hands on learning. Workshops include a chance to learn about the dramatic history of the Anglo Saxons through the remarkable treasures they left behind and on display at the Museum as part of the Warrior Treasures: Saxon Gold from the Staffordshire Hoard exhibition. Pupils will also get to handle replica artefacts, take part in themed activities and hear a thrilling tale of warrior battles while sat around the campfire.

Looking back further into human history, workshops are also on offer for those wanting to chart the development of human technology from the Stone Age to Iron Age. These hands on sessions offer pupils the chance to handle flint tools and hand axes dating back to prehistory and learn about how they were made and what they were used for.

To celebrate this autumn of archaeology at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, schools wanting to experience both workshops are being offered the chance to cover elements of both in one, single session. These pick and mix options provide excellent flexibility and value for money and allow schools to choose from the following:
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A 1 hour facilitated exhibition visit to Warrior Treasures: Saxon Gold from the Staffordshire Hoard teaching the Anglo Saxons (£6 per child)
Self-led mythological creatures museum trail (free with Warrior Treasures exhibition workshop)
Stone Age to Iron Age workshop – A 1 hour session in our school room, handling and discussing real artefacts made by our pre-historic ancestors (£5 per child)
Primary Prehistory: Stone Age to Iron Age gallery visit – Take a self-led visit of our Prehistory display in the Balcony Galley, with a free resource sheet.
Use of our school lunch room – free with a workshop or pre-bookable at 75p per child

For more information on Bristol Museums’ learning offer see the website bristolmuseums.org.uk/learning where teachers can also sign up to a newsletter issued once a term.

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