Interest in the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) two giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, extends well beyond Edinburgh Zoo’s home base in Corstorphine.
The pandas are here on a ten year loan and during their extended stay in Scotland, Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer for RZSS has developed a much lauded outreach programme for Scottish schools. This year, our Institute, is working to extend the reach of her work through a special programme of CPD and pupil education. As part of the overall ‘Beyond the Panda’ programme, Sandie Robb is now travelling around the country taking the ‘China Mobile Library’ to schools not only in the central belt but to the the Highlands and,the Islands as well as the Lowlands and Borders.
In January, Fife school, Milton of Balgonie Primary, was the first in 2016 to welcome Sandie and her ‘panda box’. The contents of the box include games, jigsaws and other activities to stimulate learning and classroom discussion. The materials introduce age appropriate Chinese language elements.
The first two months of the year have seen the Mobile Library visit snowy Newtonmore for a period giving primary schools there and in Aviemore, Alvie, Kingussie and Gergask the chance to start to start to explore the habitat and habits of Giant Pandas.
CPD sessions for teachers are also part of the package which ensure that staff within participating schools have the opportunity to derive maximum return from the progarmme. There is also the option to buy a ‘Panda Box’ for a school to enable staff to continue to stimulate the pupils using the materials which, as well as being hugely enjoyed by the students, have been developed to match Curriculum for Excellence outcomes.
With East Dunbarton, East Ayrshire and Cambuslang also enjoying visits, the mobile library will be heading to more schools throughout the year.
For request a visit, or for more information and resources please visit the Beyond the Panda website.