This week St Helen and St Katharine was really pleased to once again host the visiting attraction ANIMAZING to its Biology department. ANIMAZING is a mobile and interactive service which brings a selection of exotic and unusual animals along for the students to interact with, accompanied by information about the breeds and species represented. The event has been running for over ten years and continues to be a memorable feature of the first year for many of the students as they progress.
Seen as one of the highlights of Year 7 that is remembered throughout the students' school career, even the teachers love it. ANIMAZING continues to be so popular not just because of the way it brings the Year 7 Biology curriculum of genus and species vividly to life, but also for its pastoral implications as it brings the girls – the majority of whom are new to the school and to each other – together as a form. There is nothing like wearing a snake as a necklace to bond a group together. It often brings formerly quiet girls out of their shells, also, with tales of their own exotic pets or favourite unusual animals.
The session closed with a question and answer segment, where the girls came up with some great queries, asking which of the animals liked the most attention and wanting to know more about how the handler cared for so many. The girls came away armed with lots of new information, from where to find a cockroach’s mouth to how the animals survived in different habitats. There was a general consensus amongst the students that the giant rabbit with his soft fluffy coat and massive size, was the most favoured guest of the day, although one or two naysayers admitted to preferring the reptiles, especially the snake.
Overall it is fair to say that ANIMAZING was, yet again, a huge success at St Helen’s. Thanks to Steve who brought all the animals along to visit us and to Mrs James for organising it all.