This week we started a 6 week course with Blackpool Zoo!
This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to work as a ‘Zoo Keeper for a Day’ in collaboration with a piece of research that the zoo are conducting called ‘The Positive Effect of Green Space and Non-Human Animal Connection on Teenagers’.
The first part of the morning was for the students to be introduced to key staff and their new uniforms as they are seen as ‘staff members’ when on the course and then a behind the scenes tour of the zoo that the general public wouldn’t get to see.
Following this, the students went back into the classroom where the course tutor, Rebecca Reynolds, taught the students about the large mammals at the zoo. Students learnt about elephant and giraffe toys, bones, teeth and excrement!
After this session, students went into the giraffe enclosure where they cleaned out the giraffes’ sleeping area. They worked fantastically as a team and did a great job. The students then had the amazing opportunity to go and hand feed the giraffes some of their favourite treats. One of the students said…
…”this experience is just so amazing I feel like I could cry.”
After feeding the giraffes, the students came back to the classroom and started designing their own animal toys, which they will introduce to the animals later in the course.
At the end of the day, one student said…
“I am just so overwhelmed with what is going on, it is just too much for me to take in and that’s why I am taking so many pictures and videos so I can go back home tonight and look through them all and have more time to take it all in.”
Students and staff are really excited to see what is in store for them the week after next when we return to the zoo for our second day.
Next week is our first work experience at Hilltop Farm and Riding School so watch this space.
And another thing…
We’ve had great news that Amira and Amaan A have been accepted places to participate in the Youth Steering Group for Greater Manchester. This will allow both students to have a voice over the future plans for the area.
Both students had to formally apply then go through a selection process. Huw Spencer of Greater Manchester Comnined Authority described the applications as…
“There was such nuanced reflection on the question of mental health and a really tangible desire to help others displayed by both.”
Well done Amira and Amaan.
What a great opportunity for you both!
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