Fota Wildlife Park was delighted to resume its formal education programmes this week having been closed since early March. While the centre is open to receiving bookings from both schools and colleges, it is operating at a reduced capacity in line with current health and safety guidelines. The centre welcomed its first leaving certificate group on Monday and additional safety protocols have been implemented to facilitate the provision of a safe learning environment. The education team are also offering a number of outreach programmes to both primary and secondary schools throughout Munster. The Education Department at Fota is now taking bookings from schools and colleges for the 2020/2021 academic year – contact [email protected] for further information or to book.
Fota’s Educational offerings include courses and tours for Primary and secondary schools as well as third-level institutions. All of the courses on offer at the centre combine both theoretical and practical elements and are pre-dominantly outdoor based. Fota Wildlife Park is a Discover Primary Science-approved (DPS) centre and offers ecology, practical woodland activities and a guided tour of the Park that counts towards schools’ Primary Science award.
Fota’s Practical Field Ecology course for Junior and Leaving Cert students remains one the most popular options available to schools at secondary level. A new Biodiversity Conservation course has been created to compliment the recently revised Junior Certificate Science syllabus and affords students the opportunity to address topical issues such as food security, climate change and biodiversity loss through a series of interactive workshops. Furthermore, the centre also offers team-building modules – suited to both 1st years and Transition Year students. All courses need to be booked with the Education Department on calling (021) 4812678 or by emailing Fota [email protected]
In other education-related news, Fota’s education department has recently received a Gold Award from the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) in recognition of a collaborative project involving Fota Wildlife Park, Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium, Dublin Zoo, Galway Atlantaquaria, Secret Valley Wildlife Park and Tayto Park.
The project, in partnership with Junior Cycle for Teachers, a Department of Education and Skills schools’ support service which was entitled ‘Working together to promote BIAZA conservation education to Junior cycle teachers in Ireland’ marks a partnership between the aforementioned Irish zoological collections and has been running for over three years.
Lynda Mc Sweeney, Head of Education for Fota Wildlife Park commented “To be awarded this prestigious accolade in such a challenging year is very much welcomed by all involved. Partnering with our colleagues in the various zoological collections provided an opportunity to really emphasise the important role that zoos have to play in education, research and conservation. The revised Junior cycle for science programme affords teachers the opportunity to focus on the importance of biodiversity and the contribution made by zoos to halt species extinction through collaborative breeding programmes. Fota Wildlife Park’s education department teaches in excess of 19,000 students annually through its formal education programmes and we welcome any engagement opportunities that will help to promote STEAM at both primary and secondary level”
For further information on any of the above please email [email protected]