Placement diary - teenage group at a wildlife centre

Authors Avatar by rose_roza (student)

My placement is at a Wildlife Centre in the beautiful park surrounded by flowers and trees. It is a pleasant and peaceful place. Our group consists

15 of   ten 14 years old secondary school students. After the first week two girls left and in the fourth week two new boys joined the group. The group also consisted of the teaching assistant, four volunteers and two community project officers.

We are gaining practical experience of countryside work and wildlife conservation. This includes activities such as identification, surveying and monitoring of wildlife; habitat management such as coppicing, scrub clearance, hedgerow planting; wildlife gardening; safe use and maintenance of hand tools and basic green wood working. Nearly all our sessions are outdoors, therefore we have to come prepared with appropriate outdoor clothing.

As well as the students gaining practical experience they are also learning how to work in teams, problem solving, learning how to take instructions, confidence building through hands-on learning.  The woodland environment may be used to learn about more abstract concepts such as mathematics and communication.

This diary is based on time spent one day a week over a five week period.

Diary entry one was my first day but was the children second day together.



Jack’ gave us an outline of the placement and people with whom we are going to be working with today.

Everyone was introduced to each other. Firstly we picked up some tools. I noticed the boys were given most of the tools and throughout the placement there were gender differences and domination of the boys.

 Jack pointed out where we could see adders during this time of year and  led us in very nice dialogue when everyone had a chance to share their experiences with the snakes. Some of the children were afraid of them, others loved them. In particular one boy became very curious and spent lots of time searching for them and eventually found one. Thus the whole group had a chance to see the snake.

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Afterwards, we had a bonfire. We were sitting in circle and Jack was showing pictures of different butterflies, snakes and birds that we could see in March.

 At some point two girls disappeared in the forest. They came back after 40 minutes and they were very upset because Jack didn’t believe them that they were in the cafe. Later on they refused to have their lunch and they didn’t talk to anybody. Jack tried not to get angry and smooth the atmosphere. However, the girls didn’t come back again.


Our activity for today was planting trees. There was ...

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