A purpose-built interactive dinosaur museum which properly displays and conserves the rich geological fossil collections and dinosaur related artefacts primarily discovered around the Isle of Wight, one of Europe's richest dinosaur localities.
Dinosaur Isle offers a variety of engaging learning opportunities in science, geology, geography, maths and of course ancient history. As well as every child's highlight of holding coprolites (dinosaur poo) they will engage with materials teaching about the formation of fossils, rock cycles and coastal erosion.
After an expert-led classroom introduction, students will be free to roam the extensive galleries and interact with many of the exhibits before visiting a local beach with a qualified paleontologist to undertake their own guided fossil hunt.
The layout of the site lends itself effectively to school visits as there is a designated classroom area and plenty of space in the museum to undertake activities. Packed lunches may be taken in the classroom area or outside by the lake in a dedicated picnic area.
Dinosaur Isle is great for all ages, but perhaps a little overwhelming for the very youngest visitors
Here's some of the most frequently-asked questions about school visits to Dinosaur Isle, posed by teachers and other group leaders
Usually a half day is sufficient. Many schools couple a visit to Dinosaur Isle with other activities in Sandown such as the Zoo, more independent time on the beach or a trip to the pier. There's also a dino-themed crazy golf course just along the road.
Obviously for the beach part of the visit there's a chance of getting wet or sandy, so we recommend wellies or a pair of old shoes/trainers for this along with a spare pair of socks in one's rucksack just in case. Whilst the fossil hunt can be modified or curtailed in really bad weather, this is very unusual. They generally do go ahead in 'normal' rain so a quick check of the forecast is a good idea and come prepared. The biggest safety concern is of course tidal conditions and wind.
We will pre-book your visit for you and your entry charges will be paid directly by Education Destination. All you need to do is show up at the agreed time, line the kids up outside, identify yourselves to staff and you'll be handling dinosaur poo in no time!
Within the museum everything is on two levels connected by a lift. For the beach fossil hunt it is possible to arrange the use of a special beach wheelchair with large pneumatic tyres. However the distance from the museum to the beach is around a quarter of a mile each way so some walking is required.
There are toilets within the museum and there are public toilets close to the area of beach used for fossil hunts.
The following Dinosaur Isle educational resources are FREE to use when you book your trip with Education Destination. Some include pre or post-visit classroom work, others are on-site activities. All are accompanied by detailed Teacher Notes and some even have sample lesson plans!
Prepared by our expert team of teachers with local Island knowledge, each resource addresses a specific National Curriculum topic. Click on any image for full details.
Head of PSHE & Citizenship with a group of 12 KS5 students
KS1 Teacher with a group of 23 KS1 students
KS2 Teacher with a group of 26 Lower KS2 students