While physical school visits aren’t possible at the moment, children can still learn plenty about animals and their environments with a range of free home education resources released by the zoo.
The education team has worked to create a variety of learning activities from animal fact files and education videos to word-searches and colouring pages. Examples of the exercises, with accompanying answer sheets, aimed at Key Stage 1-3 are:
- Dangerous animals for KS1: the downloadable work sheet includes photos of different animals and asks children a number of questions about them such as what do porcupines do with their quills and how giant anteaters get to their termites to eat.
- Amazing Animals for KS2: children are shown different animals and asked questions about each of them such as why two-toed sloths are slow and why flamingos are pink.
- Conservation at Drusillas Park for KS3: this activity explores why animals are endangered, which species are most at risk and what Drusillas is doing to help.
Deputy managing director, Cassie Poland, said: “We have such a strong Education Department at Drusillas, it seemed a shame to waste it just because we are on lockdown! Education is a core part of Drusillas and we really feel that learning about the animals and their environments, habitats and history is just as important as coming to visit them in the zoo. We also really believe in teaching about conservation and about why protecting our wildlife is so important.”
“We are really pleased to be launching our online learning resources and we will continue to add to the pages and evolve the content. We hope everyone at home finds them as much fun to use as we had making them!”
There are also various fact files, videos about different animals at the park including slots, meerkats and a talk through penguins’ special adaptations as well as a quiz about the Layers of the Rainforest.
For those who want a little down time but with a fun educational element, there is an ‘Activities at Home’ page featuring word-searches, word-scrambles and colouring pages. The team are also open to suggestions too if there’s anything anybody wants to learn about they have said they will do their best to make a resource for them.
Alongside the online learning resources, Drusillas is keeping its visitors up to date with all the goings on behind the scenes at the zoo via social media.
Cassie added: “We have a small team of dedicated zoo keepers working hard every day, and they have been incredible at taking photos and videos of the animals for us to share with the public. If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram you can take a sneak peek at lockdown life at the zoo! The animals are all thriving and doing well, although they are definitely missing their visitors! We are also hosting weekly virtual quizzes on our Facebook page, so there is lots to get involved with.”