Class 5 Go Wild in the Cotswolds!
Class 5 were delighted to finally be set free to go roaming around rural Oxfordshire after being caged up at school and at home over the last twelve months as a result of the Covid-19 lockdowns, embarking on a first school trip of 2021 to the Cotswold Wildlife Park to meet all kinds of wonderful animals and learn about conservation.
Even though the main focus of the trip was to see the magnificent wolves at the park as perfect inspiration for the book the class are studying in literacy, Eye of the Wolf by Daniel Pennac, the children were completely enthralled by the very first animals they encountered after coming off the coach - the very animated and energetic Colobus Monkeys! We're pretty sure our very own monkeys would have quite happily stood there all day watching the simian acrobats swinging across the bars!
When we eventually managed to break them away from their new friends (bearing in mind we had to be back at school by 4:00pm...), interest quickly turned to the incredible sight of the amazing Giant Tortoises nearby. The sheer size of them has to be seen to be believed, and we're sure that they were even bigger than the wooden tortoise which has appeared on our Key Stage 1 playground!
We then got the chance to get very up close and personal with some other remarkable animal - the awe-inspiring giraffes. It's quite amazing to think that these extraordinary creatures can grow up to five and a half metres tall, have tongues which measure up to fifty centimetres in length in order to reach all of those yummy leaves in the trees, and actually eat around 45 kilograms of said vegetation a DAY!
The class then split into two, with one half going with Mr. Ponter and Miss Williams to meet Marley the penguin and his friends in an extremely-inviting looking pool (were it not for the changeable weather) and having a very informative talk from one of the park staff on how penguin conservation is being carried out around the world...
... while the other half went off with Mrs. McManus and Mrs. Cooke to listen to a talk from another member of staff in the lemur enclosure. As you can see however, it really didn't take very long at all for one of these extremely friendly creatures to take a liking to one of the young ladies of Class 5!
She must have had some very tasty fruit in her backpack for lunch that day... or maybe a small crunchy vertebrate or two?
Speaking of lunch, it was then time to finally answer the ever-ubiquitous question asked on every school trip, "Is it lunchtime yet?" and assemble inside an extremely handy large wooden structure to refuel as the dark clouds started to gather, before the class ventured over wooden bridges into the neighbouring woods extremely quietly so as not to disturb the majestic wolves which were peacefully sleeping there.
Even though the heavy showers continued, there were still lots of smiles all round...
... before the experience of a first full school outing since the trip to the Roman Baths waaay back in February last year started to take its toll as a few young men couldn't quite manage to stay in the land of the living on the bus journey home.
Well done to all of the children for showing such impeccable behaviour and interest during their first whole class excursion for quite some time, and to Mrs. McManus for organizing such a successful trip and to Mr. Ponter, Miss Williams and Mrs. Cooke for accompanying the class on the day.
Lots more photos from the day, including pictures of several other amazing animals at the park, can be found in the slideshow gallery below.