Charles Darwin's family home, Down House in Downe, Kent, re-opened to the public last month, and English Heritage welcomes school parties for free - pre-booking is essential. English Heritage has also published a guide - Charles Darwin - His Life, Journeys and Discoveries, by Caroline Overy.
This book traces Darwin's life from his early years through to his five-year voyage to South America aboard the Beagle and his subsequent development of the theory of evolution. Included in the book are useful timelines giving the major events in Darwin's life, plus ideas for cross-curricular study. Darwin's theory, the reactions to it and the political and economic effects of Social Darwinism are all simplified in the book, as are chapters on genetics, to accommodate all Key Stages. Chapters are also included on Victorian medicine and nineteenth-century ships and mapping. The 74-page handbook comes with a free eight-page booklet entitled Making a Visit to Down House, which provides practical ideas on using the exhibitions to enhance your pupils' visit.
* Charles Darwin - His life, journeys and discoveries is priced pound;7.95, including p amp; p. The book and information on visits to Down House is available from English Heritage Education Service, 429 Oxford Street, London W1R2HD (0171 973 3442).