Date Posted... Apr 26th 2024



Sixth Form

Observing Active Animal Behaviour

Lower Sixth Psychology students, accompanied by Mrs Stone and Mrs Ellison, embarked on an exciting trip to Newquay Zoo. The sun beamed down, casting a warm glow over the zoo, and the animals were basking in its rays, providing plenty of active animal behaviour to observe.

Among the highlights of the day were the meerkats and the warty pigs, which captivated the students’ attention. However, the real stars of the show were the wallaby with a baby joey peeking out from its pouch and a penguin diligently incubating its egg. The golden tamarins added to the excitement with their tiny baby clinging on as they leapt from branch to branch.

During the visit, the students had the opportunity to learn how to conduct unstructured observations, operationalise behavioural categories, and create coding systems. After ensuring the reliability of their observations, they delved into their main research tasks. Armed with time and event sampling techniques, they spent several hours collecting data and then analysed it using graphs.

Many students were surprised by the systematic and scientific nature of the process and found themselves thoroughly enjoying the experience of spending quality time with one particular species. They noted differences between individual animals and quickly learned how to identify them within the group, remarking on their unique personalities.

Back at school, the students demonstrated their newfound knowledge and skills by achieving excellent grades in an exam question related to their zoo visit. Their hard work and dedication paid off, showcasing their enthusiasm for learning and appreciation for the natural world. A huge thank you to Mrs Stone for organising the trip.