Local students have swapped their school for the safari as part of a pioneering programme to help children with special education needs and disabilities to sample the world of work.
A new work skills programme has been created by Knowsley Safari in partnership with Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company, to provide pupils with hands-on experience of what it takes to run a popular visitor attraction.
Classes from Bluebell Park School in Kirkby have been trying out a whole host of different jobs at Knowsley Safari, from animal trainers through to grounds keepers, working in the busy restaurant and even helping with a meerkat research project.
Ellie Hill, Learning Manager at Knowsley Safari, said: “Work experience is a valuable part of education and growing up. It helps children to get an idea of what the world of work looks like. These experiences are often unobtainable for pupils with special education needs and disabilities because of practical and physical limitations outside of their classrooms.
“Our new work skills programme addresses this and allows pupils to sample the many varied tasks that help the Safari to run like clockwork every day. This has involved a mix of experiences such as helping to clean the restaurant, practicing customer services skills, and helping the ground team with planting on the Tiger Trail.”
Kate Aitchison, Teacher and Careers Lead at Bluebell Park School, added: “The work skills programme really does provide a unique opportunity for pupils to gain hands-on experience of different jobs. It’s been fascinating and worthwhile, and really helped the children to imagine the possibilities of what they can do when they’re ready to start their careers.”
Knowsley Safari is now working with Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company, to match other schools from across the region to the programme.