Pupils from St John Bosco Arts College in Liverpool had a geography lesson with a difference recently – in the shape of a classroom visit from a collection of reptiles and creepy crawlies.
Snakes, tree frogs and spiders were some of the creatures brought into the Croxteth school as it opened its doors to Animals Take Over, a company offering educational animal-handling workshops.
For the Year 9 girls at St John Bosco, the informative session provided a hands-on rainforest experience and allowed them to look at, touch and hold a selection of creatures. Specialist handlers were on hand to talk about the animals, explain more about their natural habitat and hold a Q&A session, and over the course of the day, the pupils learned about concepts such as food chains and evolutionary adaption in the rainforest.
The visit to the all-girls Catholic secondary school was organised by Geography subject leader Joseph Brennan and Geography teacher Amy Armstrong. The pair wanted a hands-on, engaging lesson to bring the topic of the rainforest to life. The day was also an opportunity to support the company's charity work in conserving rainforest animals and to promote discussions about endangered species and deforestation.
'We might not be able to take our students in to the rainforest, so we thought we would bring the rainforest to them,' said Mr Brennan. 'Being able to touch and hear the animals really brought the topic to life and the girls absolutely loved the experience. They met new animals such as Snuffles the African Pygmy Hedgehog and discovered more about the rich diversity of life in a real Amazon rainforest, so I'd like to say thank you to Animals Take Over for such an exciting visit.'
The Cheshire-based company holds school workshops that are linked to the national curriculum and include topics such as nocturnal animals, rainforest, minibeasts, habitats, classification and life-cycles.