Rama XI Park
There’s nothing Year 1 likes more than a trip out from school. Last term we visited the wonderful Basilico to learn how to make pizza. Much kneading and rolling and sprinkling and baking made the trip a delicious success as well as effective learning experience. But this term we were really getting adventurous as we headed off to the fascinating Rama IX park to find out about the animals, plants and habitats that are exhibited or live there.
To get ready for the trip the week before we had learned about what a habitat is: a place where an animal lives where it can find food and water. We also learned about how different places on the planet have different weather and how that changes the kinds of plants and animals that live there.
On arriving at the park, we had an exciting tour around the park on a very peculiar vehicle which seemed part car, part tram, part train. The park is enormous and as we drove along there were many plants and animals to marvel at. We saw beautiful white cranes wading in the ponds, wary monitor lizards basking in the sun and hundreds and hundreds of carefully planted bushes, flowers and trees home to all the wildlife. Around every bend there were new views of the unusual buildings and careful, silent gardeners, gently tending the grounds.
We were dropped off at the end of the park and had to make the rest of the route on foot. Along the way, we had a sheet of photographs of interesting features in the park, and we had to try and spot and photograph as many of those features as we could. This was more tricky than you might imagine, and you had to really keep your eyes open to spot them all.
It is hard to say what was the best thing was. There were several highlights. The recently reopened jungle greenhouse full of rare palms and a fish pool full of graceful koi carp was particularly memorable - here we could imagine we were really in a rainforest. If you listened hard you might hear a monkey screech or maybe spot a slow slithering snake. And then just a few metres further on was the awesome cactus house. It was remarkable as much for its architecture as its contents. The building was constructed of hundreds of triangles (and one hexagon). Inside there was a wonderful collection of astonishing and huge cacti. They were so strange in shape that you could easily imagine you were in a desert country or even another planet!
Although it was a hot day we finally staggered back to our picnic spot where we had a delicious packed lunch and a freezing cold apple that had been stored in icy water - juicy and refreshing! A short time in the playground there and too soon it was time to get back on the buses to go back to school. Relaxing in the cool of the airconned classrooms, we reflected on the day’s adventure. How wonderful to think there is so much beauty so close to the school. How grateful we were to have seen all the wildlife and plants. But most of all how excited and curious we were to find out all we could about other Habitats around the world.
P.S. Keep your eyes open for information about the amazing Year 1 Habitat Expo which is coming up soon. See how the children’s inspiration has been used for learning.