Year Two pupils at Hillcroft Primary School who are reluctant to go to bed when they are told can claim they are staying up late in the name of their education following a close encounter with some lively nocturnal creatures.
Youngsters at the Caterham school had already been studying the subject of animal nightlife before they received a visit from the travelling Zoolab menagerie, but it gave them a chance to get up close and personal and get their hands on a selection of night-time creatures such as the giant African land snail, a Madagascan hissing cockroach and a corn snake.
“Zoolab’s visit was fantastic for the children,” said Hillcroft’s assistant head teacher Louise Summers. “They discussed environmental awareness and conservation issues, before the animal handlers got the creatures out, and anyone who wanted to got the chance to hold them. When you see what some of those creatures were, you realise how different it was from an average day in the classroom, and how memorable it will be for them all!”.
The impact of the visit lasted beyond the time that the animals and their handlers were at the school, as Ms Summers explained. “As well as the practical side of the day, we used its theme as the inspiration for other work, like creative writing, painting and science, and in IT we even got them to design and print off their own mini-beasts. This term’s topic is ‘In My Garden’, so we’re keeping the theme going with follow-up activities on things like bees, which they can come across every day. But if they see anything like the giant African land snail in their garden, I think it’ll be time to call in Zoolab again!”
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