Middle School - Grade 3/4
Students moving into Grades 3 /4 are excited for a number of reasons - they're now part of the senior school, they're the older half of buddy pairings and, best of all, cooking is now on their timetable! Skills learnt in junior classes are refined and expanded and all curriculum areas contribute to a developing sense of "self".
Middle School students went on an excursion to Healesville Sanctuary. We went to learn about how our indigenous animals have been affected by the introduction of new species, brought to Australia by new settlers.
When we arrived, we were welcomed by a ranger named Ben who gave us a special mission. The mission was to find different ways that we could help our endangered species. Some of the ways we learnt were to keep cats inside at night time or put a bell on them to warn other animals. Another way was to ‘Wipe for Wildlife’ by purchasing recycled toilet paper, so that we wouldn’t have to cut down as many trees, which are the homes to many animals. We should also make sure we put our rubbish in the correct bin and not let it flow into our rivers and lakes.
We explored the sanctuary and visited a variety of enclosures around the park, which were home to many native Australian animals. When we made our way around the zoo we got a chance to go into the nocturnal room, reptile house and parrot aviary. Inside the nocturnal room it was like a spooky house because it was very dark and all of the animals were in their own special tanks or cages. Some of the animals we saw in there were bilbies, bandicoots and Leadbeater’s possums.
Other animals we saw around the zoo were baby crocodiles, turtles, platypuses, emus and many more. We were also interested to find that there was a vet and animal hospital on site. The vet helps the sick animals at Healesville Sanctuary get better. When we visited the animal hospital there weren’t any animals in there but they had just put an injured koala back into its enclosure.
At 12 o’clock we went to watch a bird show, called Spirits of the Sky. Everyone’s favourite parts of the show were when Bernice the Black-breasted Buzzard cracked an egg by using a rock and her beak. We also really enjoyed it when the Corella flew out and used the microphone to speak English to the audience.
We were also very lucky to be able to have some different encounters with some of the animals. Ranger Ben took us to see a snake close up! Its name was Quincy and she was a black headed python. We were able to have a feel of her and we were surprised to find that it was soft and smooth, which wasn’t what we expected scales to feel like. Ranger Ben provided 3/4K with a chance to meet a Pygmy possum named William. It was so small that it could fit into the palm of Ranger Ben’s hand.
When we visited the parrot aviary we had a chance to feed the lorikeets and black cockatoos. We met a very vocal Bush Stone-curlew as we were leaving the enclosure. It turned out he was protecting his mate who was sitting on an egg.
Despite the rainy weather it was a great day. We all enjoyed seeing the animals in their natural habitats and having the special encounters with selected species. We are now more aware of how we can help the survival of our native animals.
Written By Isabelle P. 3/4V and Dion K. 3/4K