An Irvine optician helped children at a local school learn about sight and sound – with help from a cast of cute creatures.

Youngsters at Glebe Primary School took part in a ZooLab animal handling session and senses workshop, sponsored by Specsavers in Irvine.

Boys and girls learned about the importance of sight and sound through meeting animals, finding out about their ecosystems and seeing first-hand how they use their senses. Pupils met animals including a giant African land snail, stick insects, a scorpion, hermit crabs, an American corn snake and a fire bellied toad.

Staff from Specsavers spoke to the youngsters about the importance of looking after their hearing and sight and booking in for regular eye appointments.

Innovative teaching method

Jim Quinn, store director at Specsavers Irvine, said: ‘We were delighted to get involved in the ZooLab session. It’s such an innovative and exciting way to help youngsters learn about the importance looking after their hearing and sight.

‘It’s vital that everyone gets into a routine of regular eye tests every two years from a young age as sight and hearing are at the heart of the learning process.

‘The workshop was thoroughly enjoyed by all pupils and Specsavers staff.’

ZooLab has a national network of rangers and an 'animal team' who are on hand to help schools, companies, organisations and care homes bring people closer to nature, and stimulate an interest in science, nature and learning. It has been running the workshops across the UK for more than 15 years.

ZooLab work in schools is curriculum-driven, delivering educational experiences across all subjects and explaining the concepts of science in ways that children can see and touch.

Developing children’s understanding

Diane Mathison, ZooLab’s managing director said: ‘By exploring how animals perceive and operate within their habitats, youngsters get to understand their own senses and develop an understanding of how they too are part of the natural world.

‘Seeing things from an animal perspective leads on to a whole range of questions such as how animals' senses are adapted to their habitat, how their senses compare with our own and why they are important for health and wellbeing - and for survival.

‘Our approach is all about developing critical thinking, scientific enquiry and creativity.’

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