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For Teachers

Introduction to 'Dorset and the Sea'


Curriculum Links
Teaching Ideas
Schools Projects
Using the Web Site

Classroom Use

Although the web site may be used as a self-supporting activity it is envisaged that most schools will use it as part of a wider study to support the curriculum.

Language Levels and the Use of Specialist Vocabulary.

To enhance pupils’ historical knowledge and investigative skills the authors have used appropriate specialist vocabulary. According to a pupil’s motivation or ability s/he can access the content of the web site at three levels:

  • through visual images such as pictures and maps.
  • through the explanatory text
  • through transcripts, extracts and historical accounts in the Archive.

To enable pupils to use the web site effectively teachers may wish to introduce the concept of ‘museums’, ‘archives’, ‘galleries’ and the like, before students go on line. Some technical terms to do with shipwrecks and smuggling are explained in the Glossary. General vocabulary such as ‘maritime’ and ‘coast’ may be deduced from their context, or extracts may be down loaded to use as a literacy shared reading or comprehension exercise. In the primary Literacy Strategy, in the shared reading guidelines (p11), there is a specific expectation that “because the teacher is supporting the reading, pupils can work from texts that are beyond their independent reading levels.” The English National Curriculum document under Reading Non-fiction and non-literary texts also requires that pupils should “engage with challenging and demanding subject matter” (p26).

Although Smugglers is pitched at KS2 and Shipwrecks at KS3, with some pupils it may be appropriate to encourage cross over between the themes, for example in a study of the novel ‘Moonfleet’ - see below. For this reason the National Curriculum links include details of Shipwreck links to the KS 2 curriculum and Smuggling links to the KS 3 curriculum.

Downloading and printing texts

Although pages can be printed directly from the website, most texts in the Archive and Teachers Centre are also available as printer-friendly files in Microsoft Word format and RTF (Rich Text Format).  If Microsoft Word and Microsoft Internet Explorer are installed on your computer choose the 'Word' links for printing.  The document will open in Microsoft Word within Internet Explorer and you will be able to save and / or print in the usual way.  If you would prefer not to display the document and simply save it to your computer, right-click the download link and click 'Save target as...'. 

For other programs download texts using the RTF links.  It should be possible to open these documents in any word processor program.

The Smugglers Portfolio is available to download and print in both Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat PDF formats as well as a Web page.  If you choose the latter you may need to decrease the margins and delete the Header and Footer to print correctly. To do this, view the page and click 'File' on the menu bar of your browser, then 'Page setup' and make the necessary adjustments. We suggest left, right and top margins of 3mm and a bottom margin of 16mm which should suit most printers.


You can find an information page here