How does a Frazoo school club work? Frazoo club consists of 4 hour-long sessions, held over 4 weeks, either after school or at lunchtime.
Where is it held? In a classroom or other room at the school.
What does it cost? Please ask me for prices. If it is a lunchtime session it will be a bit cheaper, as it is a shorter session.
What will the children do in a session? Each session will focus on a particular species. The children will hear an in-depth animal talk about the species in general, and the animal(s) in front of them. The sessions will also cover a range of other general topics over the weeks, such as food chains, habitats, conservation of the species, care of the animal in captivity and the wild, zoo rules and ethics.
The children will have an information sheet to match that animal (which they are welcome to add to).
Can the children handle the animals? Yes, children will be able to touch and hold the animal if they wish. The group size will be kept small to allow this.
What are your expections of the children's behaviour? Children must be able to listen politely to each other, and be very gentle with the animals. They must wash their hands before and after the session (and use an antibacterial handwash as well.) This is to protect the children from any germs on the animals and vice versa!
Are you DBS/CRB checked? Yes, being a teacher, I hold an enhanced DBS check (previously known as a CRB check).
What will the children learn?
That learning about animals is fun;
lots of detailed knowledge;
to participate in some ethical debates;
to be gentle with small creatures (if they are not already!)
For some children the biggest benefit is the huge bravery required to handle some rather fearsome looking beasts!
Do the children get anything to take away?
They receive a detailed information sheet which they can fill in during the session (they might like to put them in a folder each week and do some further research.)
They also receive a certificate at the end detailing their understanding and participation. This could be added to their Citizenship folder if they have one. Who knows? It may inspire them to become a David Attenborough one day!
About the animals
Are they safe? Yes. There will be no venomous animals or animals with poisonous spines or hairs. I do have millipedes which I occasionally include in the second term of Frazoo, but children will wear gloves for these. They are not venomous or poisonous. Please see the Millipede section. Can you guarantee to bring a particular animal? I cannot always guarantee a particular animal for a given session, as they are assessed on the day to ensure they are happy and healthy to travel and be handled. They are very special to me and I don’t want them to become ill or stressed. For school clubs spanning 4 weeks, the children will usually get to meet all of the animals.
The travel box seems quite small… All the animals live in recommended-size (or larger) tanks/vivariums at home. However, when travelling, they feel more secure in a smaller tank.
Do the animals get stressed? All my animals are Exotics and not domesticated like a cat or a rabbit; they don’t need cuddling or stroking to make them feel good. They simply need to feel reassured that there are no predators nearby; this is achieved through regular slow and gentle handling sessions.
The animals seem to appreciate a stroll across your hands in the fresh air. They see our fingers and hands as a nice warm ‘tree’ to climb or walk up. The reptiles also love the warmth of human hands. Lola will lie along your arm to feel the warmth, and Biscuit bellyflops onto your hand and looks like she’s sunbathing!
Isn’t it unkind to sell animals in pet shops and keep animals in zoos?
These are important subjects to debate in sessions, and questions that should always be asked. We will discuss the rules and ethical codes of British and European Zoos and also how they have links with Conservation Projects around the world. I believe that, by meeting my animals, children can share my passion that all creatures are beautiful (or at least fascinating!) and that all have a right to live on this earth without the threat of extinction.
All my animals either come from expert specialist breeders or are rescue/donated animals. I will not be encouraging the children to buy from pet shops or to own their own exotic pet. Exotics quickly become boring pets for children and require a lot of painstaking care to keep them healthy and happy. Reptiles can live for many many years. Keep coming to Frazoo instead!