World Heritage Museums

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The Dinosaur Museum welcomes many schools each year from a wide area.

Although dinosaurs became extinct nearly 65 million years ago, they are very much alive in the hearts and minds of today's children. Dinosaurs are an ideal starting point for many topics in children's education. They are enormously popular with children who are fascinated by everything dinosaurian from a very young age and form a unique vehicle to harness the child's early interest and channel that interest to study science and other subjects on the curriculum.

The Dinosaur Museum's unique mix of fossils, skeletons, and life-size dinosaur reconstructions with hands on, interactive and video displays make it an ideal learning environment for children. The museum is situated only 8 miles from the Jurassic Coast making it perfect for combining with fossil hunting trips on a suitable beach or other fieldwork.

National Curriculum:

The importance of dinosaurs and fossils is recognised in the National Curriculum. Dinosaurs can be used to explain many biological and geological processes covered in Science programmes of study. The Dinosaur Museum's exhibits and displays are directly relevant to these areas shown below:

Key Stage 1

Year 1

Pupils should learn to identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.

Year 2

They should explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive.

Lower Key Stage 2

Year 3

Pupils should be taught to:

  • compare and group together different kinds of rocks on the basis of their appearance and simple physical properties
  • describe in simple terms how fossils are formed when things that have lived are trapped within rock

Notes and guidance (non-statutory)

Pupils might work scientifically by: classify rocks according to whether they have grains or crystals, and whether they have fossils in them. Pupils might research and discuss the different kinds of living things whose fossils are found in sedimentary rock and explore how fossils are formed.

Year 4

Pupils should be taught to:

  • recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
  • explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment
  • recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things.

They should be able to construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey.

Upper key stage 2

Pupils should be taught to recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago.

They should be able to identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.

Year 6

Evolution and inheritance

Building on what they learned about fossils in the topic on rocks in year 3, pupils should find out more about how living things on earth have changed over time. They should be introduced to the idea that characteristics are passed from parents to their offspring, for instance by considering different groups of dinosaurs. They should also appreciate that variation in offspring over time can make animals more or less able to survive in particular environments, for example, by exploring how dinosaurs evolved into birds and how birds survived the mass extinct that killed off the rest of the dinosaurs. Pupils might find out about the work of paleontologist's such as Mary Anning and about how Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace developed their ideas on evolution.

Teacher Reconnaissance Visits:
These are free of charge. Please telephone in advance and identify yourself at the admission desk on arrival.

Introductory Talks:
Introductory talks are available if required and are free. Should you wish your group to have a talk they must be booked in advance.

A free worksheet is available for each child. There are two levels and samples are available on request. Please feel free to copy and/or alter the worksheet in advance to suit your own specific purposes.

Download additional information:

Hands-on dinosaur experience.

In Britain, due to geological factors, we do not have the remains of the spectacular dinosaurs such as those found in the badlands of the United States, Argentina, China and Mongolia. British dinosaurs, while occupying the same ecological niches as their American cousins, have not been found in so complete a state. The dinosaur bearing geological strata in Britain is limited to a few areas. One of those areas is Dorset, and it is in Dorset that Britain's first dinosaur museum was established in 1984. Dorset's unique geological nature and especially that of its coast is recognised in the designation of the coastline as part of the Jurassic Coast.

The Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester is not a dry and dusty museum. The Dinosaur Museum is bright and exciting and fun to be in, breaking down barriers between visitors and exhibits. Visitors to The Dinosaur Museum are positively encouraged to touch and use all their senses in their quest to experience the dinosaur world.

At The Dinosaur Museum the history of dinosaurs is told thematically through displays dealing with all the many aspects of these primordial beasts. Fossils including dinosaur eggs, skulls, teeth and claws, plus dinosaur bones are displayed with dinosaur skeletons and life-size reconstructions. We firmly believe that learning should be fun. Hands on displays give information on dinosaurs in a fun way and present the very latest on dinosaurs - there is always something new to see.

Since The Dinosaur Museum opened in 1984 it has welcomed schools from all over the south and south west as well as London. The Museum has been featured extensively on radio and television, including children's programmes, such as Blue Peter, The Really Wild Show, Caterpillar Trail, Tickabilla, The Tweenies and many others.

If you have any particular needs or requirements please e-mail or phone us, we are always pleased to help. The Dinosaur Museum is a popular teaching resource for schools, so if you are thinking of coming try to book well in advance.

Dinosaur Schools and Group Party Rates

For pre-booked groups of 15 or more:
One adult is allowed with every ten children.
Please phone
Teachers / Extra adults Please phone

Joint rates

We have special joint rates for schools and groups wishing to visit the Dinosaur Museum and The Tutankhamun Exhibition.

Joint rates for the Dinosaur Museum and Tutankhamun Exhibition are:
One adult is allowed with every ten children.
Please phone
Teachers / Extra adults Please phone

Contact Us

Telephone: 01305 269880        Admin: 01305 269741
Email: [email protected]