Sandford Award Educational Tours

Fota Wildlife Park is one of only three organisations in Ireland to receive the Sandford Award for Heritage Education.

Fota Wildlife Park is delighted to announce that it has been chosen as a recipient of the Sandford Award in both Ireland and the UK in recognition of the standards set by our Education Department.

Having previously attained a Sandford Award since 2008, the award provides a ‘kite mark’ for high quality education provision which is recognised by schools and other education institutions across Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The Award is granted for a period of five years and each site must then reapply to be assessed by a panel of independent judges. The Sandford Award assessment stipulates that awardees must show a comprehensive understanding of relevant local and national heritage, and offer excellent educational resources and facilities that really enhance the quality of the student’s visit.

Lead Judge Karl Harris commented:“Fota Wildlife Park offers an excellent education programme that matches the current Irish curriculum perfectly. It has held the Sandford Award consecutively since 2008 which is testament to the high quality of sessions on offer. There is a strong commitment to natural heritage and conservation issues with a special focus on the biodiversity of Ireland’s flora and fauna. The education team are a highly skilled and friendly group of people and they make every moment stimulating, informative, and fun.“

The Award recognises the Park as a centre of Heritage Excellence and is designed to encourage institutions to attain the best possible standards when it comes to the quality of teaching on site, facilities provided, course content and ensuring teachers and students alike enjoy their experience.

Lynda McSweeney, Head of the Education at Fota Wildlife Park, said: “Receiving such a prestigious award is extremely important for Fota Wildlife Park. It demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that Fota is a highly-successful Heritage Education facility for our visitors, especially our many school groups that visit.

“At Fota Wildlife Park we offer children from all backgrounds the potential to learn, and it takes children out of the classroom and gives them a new and more interactive method of learning. It also demonstrates that even though there have been huge developments in technology over the years, it is the course content and the manner in which it is delivered that really strikes a chord with teachers and their students.”