On 19th January nine teachers from eight primary schools, in and around the town of Bridport in Dorset, attended an all-day teacher training workshop focused on learning about the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.
The eight schools are part of the Bridport Primary Cluster that exists to support joint learning, development and partnership between members.
In order to provide opportunities for local schools in the Bridport Primary Cluster to learn more about their local World Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast Trust (the charitable fundraising arm of the Jurassic Coast) was able to provide some funding for the Jurassic Coast Team to deliver an education programme. The funding came through West Dorset Leisure Holidays, based near Bridport, which is a corporate sponsor of the Jurassic Coast Trust and the money was raised through visitor donations. West Dorset Leisure Holidays own and manage five parks and have been providing Dorset holidays for many years.
All of the Bridport schools received a full day of teacher training, Jurassic Coast teaching resources containing a wide range of supportive material including the ‘Coastal Conflicts: A Geographical Enquiry on the Jurassic Coast’ DVD, a Jurassic Coast Official Guide and a range of fossil moulds for children to make their own fossils. The schools also received a small grant to assist a class visit to the Jurassic Coast.
A critical part of the day was helping the teachers learn about World Heritage Sites and why the Jurassic Coast had received the UNESCO World Heritage designation. They also had a chance to explore new educational material which introduced issues associated with coastal defences and conservation of the coast. Jo Foster of St Catherine’s Primary School said “It was a truly amazing day. The information given was inspiring and linked a vast range of topics and attitudes together. I not only learned about fossil hunting and the Jurassic Coast, but I learned about the new curriculum and the wider world. Thank you so much – I wish all courses were this inspiring!”. The teacher training day forms part of the wider UNESCO Making Sense of Our Sites programme which aims to link local UK schools with World Heritage Sites on their doorstep.
Anjana Ford, World Heritage Education Coordinator