Behind the scenes with the Learning Team: Kids in Museums takeover

Posted on by Lauren MacCarthy.

by Key Stage 2 pupils at Kingfisher School, Bristol

Thanks to the generosity of one of our supporters, 57 children from Kingfisher School were able to take part in Dinosaur Takeover week at no cost to the school. Donations like these help us break down some of the barriers, such as school coach costs, that prevent young people from accessing their city museums.

Do you know you can support a particular collection or area of work like our Learning Programme? Please contact Beth Cutter on 0117 352 1189 or email [email protected] to learn more. Alternatively you can visit the website.


Kids in Museums Takeover Day is when museums, galleries, historic homes, archives and heritage sites invite young people in to take over jobs normally done by adults.

With help from the Bristol Dinosaur Project, Kingfisher School pupils took over Bristol Museum & Art Gallery! Read their blogs about our dinosaur themed Takeover Day below…

Dino Expert Kyle, Key Stage 2, Kingfisher School, Bristol

A couple weeks before the Dino Takeover Rachel came over to the Kingfisher school and told us how to be dino experts. 12 students from the Kingfisher school got chosen to give an explanation about four dinosaurs that were called Thecodontosaurus, Camarasaurus, Scelidosaurus and Plateosaurus.

I was explaining about Camarasaurus. When we were showing how far the neck would stretch I thought it was quite far I thought it was going to be closer to the dinosaur. The dinosaur was smaller and I didn’t know that the leg we were explaining was the front leg.

The University of Bristol students helped as well but we did most of the explaining. When we did the first explanation we did quite well but when it was the afternoon we did better than the first couple. We also learnt a bit more about the other dinosaurs in the other groups.

When we finished we celebrated about what we achieved and now we are dino experts. The experts that came really enjoyed coming and explaining about the dinosaurs.

Thank you for the experience at the museum and for letting us explain about the dinosaurs.

Photograph of list of questions raised by children about dinosaurs

Dino Expert Rosie, Key Stage 2, Kingfisher School, Bristol

A few days ago, Miss Barker and Mrs Wiggins told us that we were going to be taking over to Bristol Museum for the day (a takeover day is when you take over the jobs at the Museum the adults usually do) we were shocked!

We met Rachel (who works there at the Museum). Years 6, 5 and 4 were the experts (we were in charge of the battle of the dinosaurs).

While we were waiting, we were practicing for our next group, doing different parts to say. In my group I had Matilda and Kyle. The dinosaur my group had was called the Camarasaurus; it was a very big dinosaur that lived in the past.

It was fun at the Museum; my favourite part was when we were acting and telling the year 3s and 2s about the dinosaur.

Thank you for giving us this opportunity at the Museum, Rachel, and letting us take over for the day.

Dino Expert Matilda, Key Stage 2, Kingfisher School, Bristol

A few weeks ago, Rachel (who works in the museum) came to our school and introduced us to the roles we would be doing in the museum for take over day (which is a day where the museum gives children roles that normally adults would do). Me and 11 others were going to be those children (also called a Dino expert).

We did many fun things including Battle of the dinosaurs which we were in charge of, the dinosaurs had to go against each other with their cool traits. In this game we taught the Year 2 and 3 a bit about our dinosaur (the Camarasauras).

Did you know the Camarasaurus was so big that they could only fit one leg in the museum and it went all the way up to the ceiling!

Dino fun facts: Thecodontosaurus is Bristol’s dinosaur.

Dino Expert Adam, Key Stage 2, Kingfisher School, Bristol

Near the end of last term, Rachael (a museum expert) came to our school (the Kingfisher School) and we learned about 4 particular dinosaurs. They were called Thecodontosaurus, Plateosaurus, Camarasaurus and the Scelidosaurus. 12 special students were chosen to go on a trip to the Bristol Museum in November 2019.

These children were going to learn about the 4 dinosaurs and then teach the year 2s and 3s about them. These children also asked the younger children how many stars they would rate each dinosaur from 1 to 5.

First thing straight after we heard our groups were the ‘Battle of the dinosaurs’. The first dinosaur they went to was the Thecodontosaurus, which was a dinosaur that lived in Bristol. Another fact was that the blue neck attracted female dinosaurs to the Thecodontosaurus. The next dinosaur was the Plateosaurus, which was a dinosaur with a really long neck. Another fact is that the long neck helps the Plateosaurus eat plants. After that dinosaur, they went to the Camarasaurus, which was a gargantuan dinosaur and someone went back from the leg and the children told them when to stop to see how far they think the head is from the leg. The final dinosaur was the Scelidosaurus, which was a dinosaur with LOTS of spikes.

Photograph of a group of school children with an adult touching a dinosaur's skull

Dino Expert Maja, Key Stage 2, Kingfisher School, Bristol

Rachel who works at the Bristol Museum told us all about the Dino Takeover, it’s a day when you want to go on a normal trip, but with different adults and older children from their school to help and support them with their leaning and finding out new things about their enquiry. We were there and we were called experts to talk about a specific dinosaur.

The trip took place in November 2019, the first children we were working with were year 2.  Me and my group were talking about the Plateosaurus, which was so big and it has a giant tail to whack other opponents. Then year 2 went to learn about the Theco which is short for Thecodontosaurus. An interesting fact about this dinosaur it has a blue neck, to attract other females.

Next, the year 2 groups went to the Camarasaurus. They said that the Camarasaurus is colossal and that’s why they only have one huge leg in the Museum. The people who talked about the Camarasaurus and one person went right to the end of the hall into the minerals gallery until the children said stop to demonstrate how long it’s tail would be.

The explorers (the Year 2’s) then went to the Scelidosaurus. The Scelidosaurus was quite small but not as small as Theco. Scelidosaurus has massive spikes to protect himself. A group of year 5 and 6 boys talked about all the things that are cool about the Scelidosaurus .

Then all of the things happened again with three other Year 2 groups and then all again after lunch with all four Year 3 groups.

Then we had a little break from them and went to see the Egyptian area and it was so cool. It was so much fun working with younger children, I don’t know what they would have done without us! They probably wouldn’t be here for a long time and they wouldn’t learn so much about these amazing dinosaurs. I really hoped they enjoyed it but most importantly they learnt a lot of things about dinosaurs to use in their enquiry. I really enjoyed helping younger children it was so fun!

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