The Curraghs Wildlife Park opened its doors to young students for the Wild Academy summer school for the first time during the holidays.
A total of 21 children took part and graduated at the end of their week of fun, learning and animal experiences.
The week’s activities were divided into daily topics, such as ‘eat or be eaten’ and ‘animal SOS’, and taught students about a range of subjects including endangered species and feeding animals.
Liz Brunswick, who ran the summer school with the help of Carly Gough, said: ‘We really weren’t sure how children from different schools and from different year groups would gel, but they all had a fabulous time. It’s been a packed and varied week and I think we have learned what works well so we will be using this experience to make next year’s summer school just as brilliant.’
General manager Kathleen Graham said: ‘One boy said it had been the “best week” of his life, another parent said she had never seen her girl smile so much at the end of every day and be so animated about her experiences. Comments like that make all the effort the staff and volunteers have put in all worthwhile.’
Volunteers were on hand to help such as Helen Macintosh, artist and friend of the park, as well as the keepers who helped with the animal experiences.
Students even made some animal inspired art, including their own graduation hats.