HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN from several Moray schools have been learning about the wildlife in their midst thanks to the ‘Wild About Scotland’ bus tour.
The tour is part of an award-winning project that has seen the bus travel throughout the country providing a mobile classroom aimed at teaching children about endangered species and how they can help protect them.
On its way to Shetland in the last week the boss stopped off in Moray – where 229 children from schools in the region, including New Elgin, St Peters and Millbank – took part in classes.
Teaching up to 26 children at a time, the on-board specialist education team gave interactive lessons on native Scottish species, their habitats and environments. Typical lessons include searching for wildlife species, mini-beast hunts and building beaver dams – in addition to learning about endangered Scottish species such as the Scottish wildcat.
As part of the legacy of the campaign, pupils are also left with tree saplings to plant in school grounds to help offset carbon emissions from the Wild about Scotland bus.
Additionally, the Wild about Scotland Virtual Learning Environment, an online digital learning resource, has also just launched. It can be accessed by any school for Scottish biodiversity resources for use in classrooms or school grounds.
It also provides resources for pre and post the bus visit to extend the children’s learning, allowing teachers and pupils to continue teaching and learning about Scottish conservation, even after the bus has left the school.
Barbara Smith, acting Chief Executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said: “We are delighted that the Wild about Scotland project has visited 300 schools across the country, engaging thousands of children and young people across Scotland with native biodiversity.
“As part of our outreach education work, and in keeping with the mission of our Society since its inception over 100 years ago, we want to reach out as far and wide as possible to inform and connect people to nature, hoping to instil in them a lifelong appreciation and respect for wildlife and the environment.”
To see when the Wild about Scotland bus is visiting your local primary school or request a visit, or to access the Virtual Learning Environment, please go to http://www.rzss.org.uk/rzss-education/wild-about-scotland