Yorkshire Wildlife Park is home to the only polar bears in England. Having this iconic animal on site provided the perfect opportunity to launch a brand-new education session entitled ‘Bear Necessities’ to make students aware of the issues surrounding global warming and climate change.
The aims of the ‘Bear Necessities’ education programme were to educate students about YWP’s project polar, adaptations, Arctic habitat, threats in the wild and what we can do to help. The session included a range of hands on, interactive activities and linked well to the National Curriculum and some Cornerstones topics. It aimed to promote positive behaviour change along with raising issues surrounding sustainability and highlighted the realisation that conservation starts on their doorstep. As an Arctic Ambassador Centre for Polar Bears International (PBI) the session highlighted the main goal of the partnership to sustain a future for polar bears across the Arctic.
This session has proven to be one of the most popular sessions that run at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. The number of sessions booked onsite has doubled since its launch and the number of outreach sessions has also increased. The popularity of this topic means that the park has been able to expand the programme to now offer school assemblies as an extra outreach activity. The Bear Necessities education programme won a silver BIAZA Award in the education category in 2017.
Evaluations show that 100% of teachers thought that the content of the session was excellent. 96% stated the session was relevant to the students learning, with the other 4% stating it was good.