Children and young people love being in the museum at Lyme Regis with its friendly atmosphere and nooks and crannies to explore. We welcome school groups and offer tailor-made visits, talks and walks to fit in with your schemes of work.
Our ethos is to make the museum a special place for both informal and structured creative learning. Indoors, we offer a variety of workshops covering many aspects of the curriculum. Outdoors we offer school fossil walks with our expert guides, a great way to get ‘hands on’ on the Jurassic Coast and really inspire pupils to get interested in science.
We also offer outreach visits and resources, including loan boxes and fossil talks with hands-on sessions.
If you are thinking about organising a school visit or would like to discuss an outreach visit, please look at the workshop information below and contact us to discuss your needs. See our contact details at the bottom of the page.
Schools (KS1 & KS2)
To make group visits by children as rewarding as possible we offer a range of school activity sessions which are National Curriculum (KS1&KS2) related. If you have other specific ideas for your group then please let us know and we will endeavor to tailor the sessions to your needs.
Become a Fossil Activity
This activity looks at how fossils are formed and lets pupils play the part of Jurassic sea creatures on their 200 million year journey to become a fossil.
Building Skeletons Activity
This activity looks at the contribution Mary Anning made to science and shows pupils that the understanding of fossils requires the discovery of good quality specimens.
Mary Anning's Life Activity
This session looks at the work of Mary Anning as an important scientist. It is also a a good opportunity to look at how society and the views held were different at this time.
Describing Fossils Activity
This activity is designed for younger pupils to improve descriptive skills and encourage observation. They will learn what a fossil is and get to handle real local fossils.
Jurassic Forces Activity
This session is designed to show the effect of forces during geological time. Fossils are used as a tool to explain forces.
Fighting Fire Activity
This activity is designed to cover the topics of forces and materials. Forces are explored by finding out how the museum's historic fire engine was moved and how it pumped water.
This session explores the nature of the earth, sun and moon as spherical bodies in space. It reminds pupils how the rotation of the earth produces night and day and explains the movement of the sun across the sky.
Storms and Shipwrecks Activity
This topic looks at the power of the sea and its part in shaping the history of Lyme Regis. Pupils will discover why the sea was important to Lyme Regis in the past and why it continues to be so in the present.
The museum's galleries are small. For this reason we have developed an educational walk along the seafront, so a class can be split, half doing the walk and half in the museum. The main themes of the walk are forces and materials (Keystage 1 & 2) but there are a wide range of other activities for teachers to choose from. Materials to accompany the walk are available from the museum. Alternatively, classes can be split to incorporate a visit to some of the other attractions Lyme has to offer such as the Town Mill and the Aquarium.
We also have worksheets which you can download.
- The Cobb and the Sea (PDF, 52kb)
- Fossils and Mary Anning (PDF, 377kb)
- Victorians (PDF, 62kb)
- ‘Oh I do love to be beside the seaside’ - Lyme’s Development into a Seaside Resort (PDF, 42kb)
You will find some high
definition images for use
in the classroom here.
There are a number of key themes of national significance including the Civil War and Monmouth's Rebellion, the contribution of Lyme Regis to palaeontology in the early nineteenth century, and Lyme's literary and cultural connections from Jane Austen to John Fowles. Although the display on each theme is not large, together they provide an insight into the amazing contribution of a small town and port to national life. We can offer talks and handling sessions on fossils and geology for sixth form and other higher education groups. Please contact us about planned sixth form or other higher education visits so that we can make arrangements to enhance your visit.
School Fossil Walks
The Museum can arrange fossil walks for school groups. Please note that dates and times of walks are tide- dependent and change every day. Please contact us giving plenty of notice if you wish to book such a walk. You will need one member of staff or helper for every six pupils. On school walks, staff and helpers are all free. To see the planned dates and times for walks click here. It might be possible to do a walk on other dates close to those given. Please enquire.
Commendation" ...... really wanted to thank you for your wonderful talk, fossil walk and the enthusiasm you gave to the children who simply had the best day out possible. Thank you so much for arranging it all and for all your hard work- they really loved it and I think will be fossil hunting well into their dotage! Do hope that we can bring another group one day and have to say that personally it was the best trip I have taken a group on, ..."
Jane Darkin - Yeoford Primary School
School Rockpooling Sessions
The Museum can arrange rockpooling sessions for school groups but, like the fossil walks, these are are tide- dependent. Please contact us giving plenty of notice if you wish to book such a session. We have rockpooling dates advertised for 2012, but these are few in number due to the demand for fossil walks. The tides are normally suitable to do rockpooling on any day we advertise a fossil walk. If there is no rockpooling date convenient for you we are happy to run a rockpooling session instead of a fossil walk, providing you give ample notice. You will need one member of staff or helper for every six pupils. On school walks, staff and helpers are all free. To see the types of creatures you may find click here.
Arrangements for Visits
To ensure the smooth running of your visit, please note the following:
- The Museum, whilst rich in objects and information is small. There is a practical maximum of 15 children on one floor at a time and therefore a maximum of 30 children per visit. Your group may therefore need to be split into two during their visit and allocate an adult leader to each. If your group totals more than 30 you will need to divide between the museum and other activities in Lyme. We can advise on other activities.
- If for any reason you are not able to arrive at the time agreed we would ask you to contact the museum by phone as we may have another school booked to follow on from your visit.
- There is no lift and the stairs are narrow. Access is therefore difficult for people with restricted mobility. It also means that care is needed using the stairs and on the balconies. In the event of the need to evacuate the building, the main emergency exit is at the bottom of the main stairwell. It is also possible to leave through the Museum shop.
- There are no public toilets in the Museum. The nearest public toilets are close by on the other side of the road. Any child wishing to visit the toilets must be accompanied by an adult from your group.
- If you are arriving by coach, it must set down and pick up your party 40 metres west of the Museum (at Cobb Gate) by the clock tower. The road outside the museum is very narrow. Coaches must not set down outside the Museum. Be very careful crossing the road. There are signed coach parks in Lyme Regis to the East and West.
NB A prior visit to the Museum, if you have not made one, will help you plan your visit in relation to your group’s needs. It will also enable you to carry out a risk assessment for your visit with particular regard to points 3,4,5 above.
There is a standard charge for educational groups of £1.50 per student, accompanying adults are free. Payment arrangements should be made when booking with the museum's Learning & Outreach Officer.
Or ring us on: 01297 444463
Health and Safety information for schools: