Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is being explored by children at Upton Junior School in Broadstairs.
An exciting start to the natural history topic work for Year 6 includes using loan boxes of artefacts from the Powell Cotton museum at Quex in Birchington.
Pupils have already been able to examine a variety of specimens including as rhinoceros’ molar tooth, a collection of mounted butterflies, sheep horn, caiman skin, crocodile skin, rabbit skin, a replica chimpanzee skull, and a set of picture cards.
It has enabled them to observe, analyse, group and classify the objects into categories as part of their work involving evolution and inheritance.
They investigated the idea that broad groupings, such as micro-organisms, plants and animals, can be sub-divided. They discussed reasons why species are placed in one group and not another, recognised that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but understood that normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents.
To explore the theme of natural selection they looked at a text called Moth by Isabel Thomas, an award-winning story that captures the struggle of animal survival against the background of a changing human world in a unique and atmospheric introduction to Darwin’s theory.
The children also identified how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution.
Head of Year 6 Athanasia Papa-Adams said: “During the course of this topic we will be looking deeply into classification and investigating the different types of fossils, the theory of evolution and Charles Darwin’s discoveries.
“We are also lucky enough to be using the museum’s loan boxes that offer us a range of varied artefacts to study through which we can discover observational characteristics of things from the past.”
Head of School Darci Arthur added: “This is a fascinating learning adventure and we are so fortunate to have the excellent resources of such an acclaimed natural history museum on our doorstep.”