Zoo Project 2019
During the Summer of 2019, our whole-school conservation project in liaison with Ignite Teaching Alliance and Chester Zoo was successful in involving the whole school community in working collaboratively with a shared end goal: to ‘Make One Change.’
Our project was launched with a whole school trip to Chester Zoo which created excitement, investment and passion about a topic they developed real compassion for. Each class focused on a particular animal and developed knowledge interest and understanding about its habitat and the result of human impact. For every class, their learning was carefully planned for to follow the particular National Curriculum Objectives. For example: Y2 study a contrasting locality in geography so used their residential trip to Delamere forest as a comparison with the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo which is the habitat of the elephant they focused on. Each class had their theme, animal and habitat woven through a range of subjects which allowed for solid cross-curricular links. Our children’s writing shone through the opportunities to write letters for a real purpose. They wrote letters to companies such as Kellogg’s, Cadburys, Roberts’ Bakery, Our families and Barratt Homes. We even had a response from Barratt Homes inviting the class to plant trees with them
The zoo project culminated in a celebration event which exhibited work across the school through shared and individual class displays. It was wonderful to see the passion, confidence and knowledge our children showed when guiding our visitors around the exhibition. Our visitors were all encouraged to make a pledge to ‘Make one Change’ and vote for the animal they would like us to adopt to support Chester Zoo. School council were involved in raising money for the adoption of our elephant. Following the project, a group of pupils and staff had the exciting opportunity of being involved in the Zoo Celebration day at which they were able to showcase our work and knowledge and share our message with a wider audience. Some of our pupils were also videoed by the Chester Zoo publicity team about our work in school.
As a staff team, the involvement in the Zoo project provided far more than we first predicted in the opportunities for training and for inspiring the development of a bespoke curriculum plan for the children of Lostock Gralam CE Primary School. We were able to work with key professionals which enhanced our teaching skills, confidence and enjoyment. Since the project we have created a curriculum intent which is bespoke to Lostock Gralam. We are now on the way to embedding our knowledge and teaching skills and fine-tuning our curriculum.
Quote from our children and families:
I loved writing letters to Roberts Bakery.
I loved seeing all the visitors to our exhibition about palm oil.
I loved that every class had a different animal.
I loved the pieces of art that we did and how we did it. I loved writing to Kellogs and telling them to change their packaging.
It was so interesting going to Chester Zoo and watching how the different animals move.
I was so engaged when the zoo ranger came in, he played a great game about palm oil.
Our topic really inspired me to use things that have sustainable palm oil in because we all really care about animals.
I loved learning about the difference between palm oil and sustainable palm oil. I loved seeing all the other classes work throughout the school.
Tees get down and animals can't get their food.
Chester Zoo look after animals.
Sunbears like sleeping, sunbears have nowhere to eat and no food.
I loved it when we researched percentage amounts of how much palm oil is used in different countries.
My child has loved the topic work this year especially the zoo and topic work.
I loved the Chester Zoo visit and all the input the children put in. The open afternoon was amazing and being shown around all the classrooms by the children was great.
The Chester Zoo project was fantastic, really important and relevant to us all.
I found the zoo project absolutely amazing, even the children loved touring all the parents and grandparents around, I learned so much.
The zoo project was amazing. I’d love to see more big projects like that in the future.