Zoo Project at Over Hall

Zoo Project – Summer Term

In 2019 Over Hall joined a number of schools in a curriculum project designed by the partnership of Ignite and Chester Zoo building a ‘knowledge rich and humanity rich’ curriculum around the conservation themes that drive the work of the Zoo. As per their aim this has provided an inspirational and compelling focus for our school to build our curriculum around. As a result every summer term the school takes on a shared focus upon a project heavily influenced by the work of Chester Zoo. 

We have worked with internationally renowned Debra Kidd and Hywel Roberts who have influenced us in building dilemma led approaches to learning in our classrooms. Debra and Hywel have written a number of books around curriculum development, the most recent one, ‘Unchartered Territories’. This has developed our thinking around engagement in learning and to date, we have found some really exciting changes to learning behaviours in schools involved in the project.

Links to Hywel and Debra’s biogs and work are here.

Staff attended sessions addressing leadership development across the school. As a result we have …

  • Developed a coherent whole school project around conservation including all National Curriculum areas.
  • Developed a ‘knowledge rich’ and ‘humanity rich’ project that further enhances our curriculum that teaches children skills, knowledge and understanding that serve them not only in school but beyond the school gates both in the present but as firm foundations for their future.
  • Worked with leaders across Cheshire to develop a curriculum fit for 2019 and beyond.
  • Worked with Chester Zoo to develop a passion for conservation

Resources were shared alongside a community of enquiry created through Google Classroom.

In addition to this, some staff were privileged to watch demonstration lessons by Dr Debra Kidd and Hywel.

As part of the curriculum building, english, maths, history, geography, art & design, EYFS and music middle leaders were able to weave in the objectives from their subject areas.

We have been privileged to have had in-school sessions led by the Chester Zoo team for staff and pupils providing input into the curriculum development process, as well as supporting with research design and analysis. The partnership with Chester Zoo has been incredible and one that is quite unique. As world leaders in conservation, we are lucky to have such skilled and passionate colleagues to work with.

In addition to the above we have included the following for your information:

·         Singing for songbirds youtube video

·         www.chesterzoo.org/learningresources – links to Chester Zoo’s growing bank of learning resources including those focusing on their key conservation campaigns

·         www.actforwildlife.org.uk – links to Chester Zoo’s conservation campaign website

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