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Mission: Explore

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Aims of site

Mission:Explore introduces the scientific process of assessing the geology and biodiversity of an area. It enhances awareness of The Natural History Museum’s role in collecting, identifying, conserving and displaying objects.

Target audience

The core audience for this site is young people, principally those aged between 7 and 13.


Mission: Explore enables teachers to introduce students to questions which practising scientists at the museum frequently encounter, for example:

  • How can we investigate what lives in a place? (e.g. Regaloam)
  • How can we investigate the geology of a place? (e.g. Regaloam)
  • What do we need to do to prepare for a collecting trip to Regaloam?
  • What tools should we use?
  • What records should we keep of our investigations?
  • Why should we make a collection of the life and geology of Regaloam?


In order to help pupils make a record of their activities in Mission: Explore we have provided a printable record sheet (PDF).

Curriculum links

Mission: Explore is directly relevant to areas of the KS2 Science National Curriculum and also has links to the mathematics, geography and English curricula.

The following links have been identified:

Mission: Explore - curriculum links

KS2 Science
Mission: Explore encourages pupils to engage with the process of planning and undertaking a scientific investigation. It provides opportunities to practise the skills of collecting and recording evidence, and identification. It helps to build pupil’s knowledge of rocks and different plants and animals found in different habitats.

The following relevant links have been identified:

Sc1 Scientific enquiry

Pupils should be taught...

  • to consider what sources of information, including first hand experience and a range of other sources, they will use to answer questions.
  • to think about what might happen or try things out when deciding what to do, what kind of evidence to collect, and what equipment and materials to use.
  • to make systematic observations and measurements.
  • to check observations and measurements by repeating them where appropriate.

Sc2 Life processes and living things

  • to use keys.
  • that the variety of plants and animals makes it important to identify them and assign them to groups.
  • about the different plants and animals found in different habitats.

Sc3 Materials and their properties

  • to describe and group rocks and soils on the basis of their characteristics, including appearance, texture and permeability.

KS2 Geography
Mission: Explore encourages pupils to practise a range of geographical skills and to build their vocabulary for describing what places are like.

The following relevant links have been identified:

Geographical enquiry and skills

Pupils should be taught to...

  • collect and record evidence.
  • analyse evidence and draw conclusions.
  • use appropriate fieldwork techniques.
  • use maps at a range of scales.

Knowledge and understanding of places

  • identify and describe what places are like

KS2 Mathematics
Mission: Explore requires students to locate objects and record discoveries using map co-ordinates.

The following relevant links have been identified:

Using and applying shape, space and measures

Pupils should be taught to...

  • locate and draw shapes using co-ordinates in the first quadrant, then in all four quadrants. For example, use co-ordinates to locate position in a computer game.

KS2 English
Mission: Explore can be used as a stimulus for children's writing - either factual reports of the trip, or imaginative stories associated with their adventures on Regaloam. Stories, reports and artwork can be sent to the ‘Show and Tell’ section of for publication online.

E-mail to or send to Show Me UK, PO Box 3470, Brighton BN1 1DA.

Pupils can also share their experiences of exploring and discovering on the Island in discussions and presentations.

The following relevant links have been identified:

Speaking and listening

Pupils should be taught to...

  • use vocabulary and syntax that enables them to communicate more complex meanings.
  • gain and maintain the interest and response of different audiences choose material that is relevant to the topic and to the listeners.
  • show clear shape and organisation with an introduction and an ending.
  • speak audibly and clearly, using spoken standard English in formal contexts.
  • evaluate their speech and reflect on how it varies.
  • to listen, understand and respond appropriately to others.
  • identify the gist of an account or key points in a discussion and evaluate what they hear.
  • ask relevant questions to clarify, extend and follow up ideas.
  • recall and represent important features of a talk.
  • identify features of language used for a specific purpose.
  • respond to others appropriately, taking into account what they say.

Group discussion and interaction

  • make contributions relevant to the topic and take turns in discussion.
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