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Broadfield pupils enjoy a natural history adventure as they get ready to welcome Dippy

Date published: 13 May 2019


Around 120 pupils from Broadfield Community Primary School descended on Number One Riverside for a really wild natural history adventure as schools across Rochdale get ready to welcome Dippy the dinosaur next year.

Dippy, who has wowed millions of visitors to the Natural History Museum, is currently on a UK-wide tour and Rochdale is one of his stops. The famous dinosaur will take up residence in Number One Riverside, from February to June 2020. It is the only North West stop on the tour.

The year three and four pupils got busy with a number of natural history-inspired activities, including studying plants under the microscope and creating masks of pollinators like ladybirds and butterflies.

Zahra Ali and Iffat Begum explore the natural world
Zahra Ali and Iffat Begum explore the natural world

They also became palaeontologosts for the day as they examined fossils from the collection at Touchstones Rochdale, and created windmills, to highlight the importance of sustainability, a key theme of Dippy’s stay in Rochdale. The day ended on a high note, as the children got on song to perform a special Dippy rap.

Adnan Alizadeh, 9, said: “I have loved dinosaurs since I was one, so when I see Dippy, I will faint. I have never seen an animal that big in my life. I like their looks and especially like carnivores as they have massive teeth which makes them scary and I like scary things.”

Teacher Amanda Wright, said: “Our pupils find dinosaurs really interesting and we do a topic on them in year 3, so to see a real life dinosaur cast like Dippy and enjoy all the accompanying activities will be an amazing opportunity.

“The event was a fantastic taster session and the children have loved it. Dippy’s visit is getting closer by the day and the excitement is really starting to build now.”

Gill Barratt, head of schools at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We’re incredibly excited about Dippy coming to Rochdale. It’s a brilliant opportunity for us to engage and inspire thousands of schoolchildren and we’re working hard to make it an experience they will never forget.

“You can never underestimate the fascination that children have with dinosaurs and the natural world and we aim to harness that enthusiasm to get them engaged in STEM and help inspire the next generation of scientists. The Broadfield pupils were absolute stars and I would like to thank the school and teachers for getting involved in this fantastic event."

Dippy will be in Number One Riverside from February to June 2020. A suite of education materials will be produced to help children visiting the exhibition understand the significance of Dippy and how he relates to the wider STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) curriculum. An immersive space will also take visitors back to the time of the dinosaurs. A Dippy and natural world inspired exhibition will also take place at Touchstones Rochdale, the Dippy partner venue in Rochdale.

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