Zoo school learning gets quality mark
Tuesday 22 September 2009
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo has made the grade this summer by being awarded a Learning Outside The Classroom Quality Badge for its educational activities.
Awarded by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, the Quality Badge combines for the first time learning and safety into one easily recognisable badge for all organisations providing learning outside the classroom experiences.
Hannah Thompson, education officer at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, said: “We are very proud to have received the quality badge as it recognises the high quality learning experience which ZSL Whipsnade Zoo offers. We hope it will give teachers extra confidence in booking with us.”
The Quality Badge was developed as part of the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto, a national initiative to ensure young people are given more opportunities to have these experiences as part of the curriculum.
The Quality Badge scheme is part of the Government’s £4.5m Out and About package which, along with the badges, provides guidance and information for teachers on how to plan and organise high quality activities.
The badge is designed to make it easier for teachers to identify providers of quality educational visits. Organisations will display the badge as a signal to schools that their venue has met required standards.
Ed Balls, Secretary of State Children, Schools and Families, said: “Educational visits are among the most memorable experiences in a child’s school life. Quality Badges offer teachers a guarantee that not only is a venue providing the sort of educational value that they can build on in class long after the visit but they also have the appropriate risk management structures in place.
It is a significant victory in our battle to move away from the misguided perception that learning outside the classroom is a potential minefield for teachers.
I want to see teachers using Quality Badges as practical decision making tool. It should ensure that many more young people have memorable, exciting and valuable learning outside the classroom experiences.
"I congratulate ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on being awarded the badge.”
The Quality Badge was developed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families in conjunction with a wide range of partners. Badges are awarded by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.