Author: Guy Kerr

chris at topsham school 2019Jurassic Coast Ambassador Chris Woodward went back to school twice in October, visiting schools in East Devon at the request of their staff, to assist in the delivery of elements of the Key Stage Two curriculum.

At Tipton St. John C of E Primary School, he worked with Years 1 & 2 on their science topic of ‘Habitats’, using evidence from the fossil record of the Jurassic Coast, as well as a number of present-day examples. In addition, there was a whole-school presentation in the school hall looking at current facts and past fiction about dinosaurs.

For Topsham Primary School, Chris introduced the topic of ‘Fossils & Fossilisation’ for both Year 5 and 6 pupils. Again, it was the fossil record and fossil samples from along the Jurassic Coast that held centre place in his hour-long presentations.

Feedback from both teacher and students was resoundingly positive, with Anne Ladbrook from Tipton St. John School noting, “The eventual afternoon far outweighed my expectations! The presentation was factual, well matched to the age range and included interactive parts to keep the children focused.”

Comments from pupils included:

“I thought Chris Woodward (aka Dino Man) was incredible. I like the fact it was very interactive and informal in a fun way.” – Oscar, age 10

“I like that he compared humans to dinosaurs and we got to get up and dance.” – Charlotte, age 10

 

 

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Geoneedle, Orcombe Point, Exmouth, East Devon. © Steve Belasco - jurassicphotographic.com

Chris also recently delivered a training session for Exmouth Tourist Information’s volunteer staff, who were treated to a wide screen cinema-style presentation about the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.

The training centred on the reasons behind why the United Nations, via their UNESCO arm, recognised the Jurassic Coast’s ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ when inscribing it as a World Heritage Site in 2001, on the basis of Criteria VIII: ‘Natural History of the Earth and its Processes’.

Volunteers were taken back not only in geological time but also to the later part of the 20th Century cinema formats, to add an element of fun to this early evening session. Just as in the ‘old days’ there was a popcorn intermission between the two parts of the screening, which as you can imagine went down very well. At the close of the presentation there was the opportunity to examine rocks and fossils from along the coast, but with the key emphasis on those local to Exmouth and the rest of East Devon. Hopefully now the volunteers will be far better placed when the public ask them specific questions about our magnificent Jurassic Coast.