Year 8 Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Year 8 Memorable Experience #1

Yorkshire Wildlife Park was a roaring success, or so said Adel the Lion who has been resident at the park since 2008.  The students all wrapped up warm and donned their waterproofs for a day of adventure, walking around the 260 acre site, which has over 300 different animals. There was a wide range to see and something for everyone, from cheeky monkeys to docile anteaters, and cute capybaras to ferocious lions.  Unlike many zoos, Yorkshire Wildlife Park allows you to roam with the animals, which proved a highlight for some students; ‘ I liked when we were walking in the cages with the animals!’ Flynn Hewitt.  One animal the students were glad not to be in a cage with were the playful but fierce polar bears.  They were treated to bear fights; ‘ I liked it when the two enormous polar bears started slapping each other, then pushing each other into the water!’ Lucas Radon.  The students took part in photo competitions for which there are already some very good entrants, some of these can be seen by the article. Many students enjoyed the competition of collecting lots of information in an A-Z treasure hunt, they kept going despite their rather soggy recording sheets!  Brilliant effort by many including Amaan Kayani, who completed the whole sheet!  Some students such as Junior Wain were asking fantastic questions all day.  They really showed off some impressive animal knowledge in the education sessions with the park rangers.  Lots of them already knew Polar bears skin is actually black so it absorbs as much heat as possible! Bailey Randall said, ‘The best part was holding a Giant African Snail, a hissing cockroach and stroking a snake!’ For others, merely being within metres of these creatures was an achievement, with some fears conquered!

The students started linking all these animals into how they were adapted for their environment, a key part of their Key Stage 3 syllabus later in the year. One student, Daniel Vokes had a brilliant adaptation question which was, ‘Why do the male lions have manes?’ which is apparently to help protect the neck from other male lions wanting to challenge their alpha position. The students returned to Dewsbury with much more knowledge, and a lot of soggy shoes!  Definitely a memorable experience, which we can reflect back on when covering similar topics in the classroom over the next few years at MCA. Well done Year 8 for being such an enthusiastic bunch!