Reaseheath Zoo School proves a roaring success

An update from Lisa Boardman, Education Officer for the Animal Collection:

Over the summer Reaseheath Zoo ran the first Zoo School on campus. Children aged 8-13 years spent the day (or more) with us as ‘Reaseheath Rangers’ learning all about the animals housed at our animal centre. The second week of Zoo School (22nd-26th August), proved particularly well attended, with 10-12 children booked in for each of the five days that it ran.

In my new role as ‘Education Officer for the Animal Collection’, it’s my responsibility to deliver Education outside of the classroom to our Zoo visitors as well as students. It covers many aspects of Zoo Education, which our Zoo Schools are forming a vital part of.

Due to the popularity of the Summer Zoo School Programme, we decided to go ahead with an autumn themed Zoo School, this took place over October Half Term and was fully booked again! Each Zoo School is themed to the season or an event that is linked to our Collection, so activities across the week were based around Autumn and Halloween. This meant we carved pumpkins that were then given to the animals and collected crisp fallen leaves that were made into feeding activities for some species. Other activities included providing food to animals and even some mucking out!

The week was also a great opportunity to offer a number of students some work experience. 3 of our TechBacc students spent the week learning what it’s like to work in the Zoo Education Industry; an established; but growing sector with guidelines set out by EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums).

We’ve received some great feedback from our Reaseheath Rangers, who seemed to very much enjoy their time with us. One young lady had so much fun she attended 9 of the 15 days of Zoo School that have run so far!

Zoo School will run again during the holiday periods including Easter  (3rd-7th April 2017), May Half Term (29th May- 2nd June 2017), Summer  (31st July-4th August; 21st-25th August 2017) and October Half Term (dates to be confirmed).

Find out more about about Zoo School and Reaseheath Zoo here.

Lisa Boardman

Education Officer for the Animal Collection