The wet weather didn’t dampen the spirits of our first 4REAL group of young people whose seven-week programme culminated in studying ‘Primate Behaviour’ at Chester Zoo. The 4REAL programme is part of the ‘Youth Investment Fund’ (YIF) a £40 million joint investment by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Big Lottery Fund in open access youth provision in targeted disadvantaged areas.
The group of young people from Birkenhead, based at the Beaconsfield Community Hub in Rock Ferry, spent the day at Chester Zoo observing the Chimpanzees, collecting data and looking at the behaviours demonstrated in the enclosures. We worked with the students to help them understand how our own behaviour is reflected in that of the chimps and also how the study is scientific which links well with the KS3 curriculum.
The students collated their data and analysed their results after a brilliant (and hilarious) time spent with the Chimps! Participants were looking at whether the Chimps exhibited social or solitary traits which was discussed at length when they returned to the classroom, analysing the results and to finally draw a conclusion. Hope aged 11 commented “I really enjoyed learning about the chimpanzees moods, it was fun to watch them once you understood what their behaviours meant”.
A celebration followed with the presentation of certificates to mark completion of the 4REAL programme.