Author: Nathan Akrill

The Jurassic Coast is getting ready to celebrate the 2012 Olympic Games in a big way! In Spring 2011, we will be launching our exciting new schools programme called “The Big Jurassic Classroom” which will be part of the Jurassic Coast Earth Festival 2012.

We want every school in Dorset and East Devon to take part in The Big Jurassic Classroom through teaching their children and young people about the Jurassic Coast, UNESCO and the Olympic values, and here’s the catch, all at the same time!

We will be asking schools to sign up to get involved with The Big Jurassic Classroom through attending special, free teacher training events that we will be organising through school pyramid or cluster structures. At the training events we will be using our new Jurassic Coast: Rocks and Fossils education pack to help teachers learn the essential skills and knowledge to deliver The Big Jurassic Classroom in their schools.  In addition to this, we will be giving away a free education booklet especially designed to help teachers use the Jurassic Coast within the context of the 2012 Games and the Olympic Values (excellence, respect, friendship, courage, determination, inspiration and equality).

The pack will include ideas about how to structure celebrations in school (like organising a Jurassic Week) to where to get out and about on the coast and how to be inspired by the landscape. For example after a visit to Lulworth Cove, children could create podcasts (perhaps even in a foreign language), talking about their favourite natural features, which tourists could download as part of their visit to the site. A project like this could inspire children with the beauty of the natural landscape and help them to respect how important it is to look after the Jurassic Coast for everybody.

We are really excited about The Big Jurassic Classroom!  It’s a chance for every school in Dorset and East Devon to get involved and learn about how we should value where we live. Our next steps are to ensure we are part of 2012 through an application for the 2012 Inspire Mark and to set up how we will deliver the project. Watch this Big space!

Anjana Ford, World Heritage Education Coordinator

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