The Living Rainforest

20th February 2004 at 00:00
Andy Davis is head of geography at Park House School, Newbury

We've been coming here for about seven years. It's close by so it doesn't affect school time too much.

We're studying rainforests for the next six weeks and the visit is a good introduction to the subject. I like it because the tours are not too long but the place gives pupils a real feel for what rainforests are like. It's very steamy in the glasshouses and they play tapes of the sounds you might hear.

The centre runs tours on the edible forest, sustainable future and rainforest medicines but we chose the one on amazing adaptations; the topic is part of the curriculum. I think the living rainforest shows clearly the plant adaptations and how plants and animals function together.

The kids always like the animals. We take photos of the plants then later in the classroom we display them with a projector. The children will sketch the plants and animals and we'll talk about them. I think it's good for them to see something rather than just hearing about it in lessons.

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