RZSS Edinburgh Zoo says “Hola” to first Spanish School Day

12/06/2017 in Edinburgh Zoo

Conservation charity the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) hosted its first Spanish School Day on Thursday 8 June, which was attended by Xabier San Isidro, Education Adviser from the Spanish Embassy Education Office. Spanish School Days provide a unique experience for pupils to develop their Spanish linguistic skills and highlight the plight of endangered species.

This Spanish School Day is part of RZSS’s new educational programme - Science in the Language Class. The aim of this programme is to produce resources which will link language learning to conservation projects across the world, or to the conservation breeding programmes within our zoos.

On 8 June, over 120 pupils from Preston Street, Sciennes and Larbert schools attended and got the chance to learn about potential threats to South American species and how they can help. Xabier San Isidro attended to provide support to the RZSS Discovery and Learning team and to learn more about the education programme.

Xabier San Isidro, Education Adviser from the Spanish Embassy Education Office, said: “I am thrilled to have been invited to this event by RZSS Edinburgh Zoo. Today was a fantastic opportunity for the pupils to really engage with the culture and language in completely new surroundings.

“The day focused on learning about South American and Spanish species that are endangered and the steps we can take to help them, whilst picking up some new Spanish vocabulary along the way. I am thoroughly impressed with how RZSS managed to incorporate an informative Spanish themed day at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo”.

The classes were given a short introduction to some of the global conservation field work RZSS is responsible for in South America, including the Giant Armadillo Conservation Project in the Pantanal. Shortly after, pupils were invited for a brief tour of some of the South American species in Edinburgh Zoo’s collection. There was also a small competition for the pupils to take part in, which required pupils to submit their best photograph of the giant anteater for a chance to win a small prize.  Before leaving, the schools were provided with a board game created by RZSS’s Discovery and Learning team called Especies en Peligro to play when they are back in the classroom.

Especies en Peligro, or “endangered species”, is designed to teach children about South America species, the threats they encounter and solutions to help safeguard the species, whilst simultaneously developing their Spanish vocabulary.

Spanish School Day builds upon the success of RZSS’s Beyond the Panda programmes, which helps link Mandarin language and the giant panda species. More information on our conservation projects across the world can be found at http://www.rzss.org.uk/conservation/

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