We couldn’t have picked a more beautiful day for our trip to the zoo. The sun was shining and there was hardly a cloud in the sky, as we slathered on the sun cream and excitedly boarded the coach for Whipsnade Zoo.
We split into two groups, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and made our way round the zoo, guided by our children’s interests. Our favourites included lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes,chimps and hippos, who were all out to greet us (other than the tiger who hid from KS1), despite the heat. We also go to see the brand new elephant house, recently opened by the Queen. The sunny weather meant we were able to have a lovely picnic in the shade of a tree, watching the steam train.
We couldn’t spend too much time on lunch though as we wanted to see as many animals as possible! As well as seeing most of the animals outside, both groups also had the opportunity to take part in a private workshop, continuing the work we have been doing on endangered species. Here, the children became ‘scientists’ and were shown lots of evidence of different animals. From these clues they had to work out the animal and the reason it may have become endangered. The children really enjoyed the activity and because they worked so hard they were rewarded with a treat – stroking a royal python! Almost all the children (and staff!) were brave enough to have a little touch and everyone was surprised at how warm and smooth the snake felt.
By the end of the day everybody was exhausted but in agreement it had been a thoroughly good trip. Highlights of the day for KS1 included unexpectedly seeing baby crocodiles in a pool in the butterfly house, and the giant hippo opening its mouth and doing a huge yawn right in front of us so we got to see its enormous teeth. KS2 were triumphant about managing to spot the tiger and their other best bit was seeing the elephants playing together and even squirting water.