From the Junior School

Ms Amanda Hall | Head of Junior School

Year 1 – Science and Technology | External Features of Living Things

On Friday the 28 April, Year 1 students proudly opened the SCOTS PGC Year 1 Zoo to family and friends. There was a buzz of excitement in the classroom as the finishing touches were made. Freshly baked cookies were placed in baskets for sale, zoo staff attended to the animal enclosures to ensure the animals were ready for the visitors and the ticket booth was stocked with tickets. There was quite a queue upon opening, but our zoo staff handled the morning rush brilliantly. There was a lot to see and learn about once you joined a tour. Feeding the crocodiles was only for the brave at heart and the dingoes howling took us back in time to the Dreamtime. You could wander through the Savannah, behind the safety of the fence of course, and see the lions, zebras, giraffes and meerkats. It was delightful to watch the penguins, turtles and otters swimming and playing in their enclosures. You had to be quiet to spot an armadillo in the nocturnal enclosure.

During Term 1, the students identified the external features of various animals by looking at images of mixed-up animals and used specific body parts vocabulary to explain the body parts they were seeing. They had fun identifying more external features by observing shadow puppets and suggested which animals they could be, based on their silhouettes. The students watched a video of how to make shadow puppets and tried to imitate them. They continued to investigate more closely the features of animals through examining various body coverings – fur, scales, feathers and skin. Students were introduced to the concept that animals use their body parts to move. They really enjoyed examining various movements of kangaroos and exploring how First Nations people mimic animals in their traditional dance. The students recorded information by drawing and labelling a diagram of the external features of our Junior School frill neck lizard.

The Year 1 students worked collaboratively to design their own zoo. They watched a stimulus video from Perth Zoo where they were asked to help plan a zoo for the future. They examined how the animals were currently grouped at this zoo and worked in small groups to suggest different ways animals could be grouped in their zoo. The students then choose which animals would be included in the zoo. They went on to research their animal and included an interesting fact for our zoo visitors to read. We appreciated the help from our Year 7 and 8 friends in the initial design stage of our diorama animal enclosures.

We enjoyed a wonderful incursion with Mr Ken Brown where he shared Dreamtime stories about Australian animals and Year 1 was excited to adopt the crocodile as our totem animal for this year. We had fun hand printing onto canvas, further strengthening our community bond with each other by bringing our crocodile totem to life. Our time spent with Mr Brown gave us a wonderful opportunity to explore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples symbols and compose our own stories for our zoo animals on our boomerang souvenirs.