The Prep School has been alive with explorers, crocodiles, spiders and giant butterflies as pupils dressed in their best rainforest costumes to welcome rainforest expert and explorer, Paul Carpenter for the day.

Pupils were transfixed as Paul demonstrated the different levels that make up the rainforest with living creepy crawlies. Starting at the floor level where the ‘cleaners’ live, he showed pupils creatures like a Madagascan hissing cockroach and a millipede, both of which are responsible for taking care of the rainforest floor by eating the rotting wood, leaves and fruit. They were then introduced to a scorpion and a tarantula who inhabit the understorey, before finishing their exploration with the hidden world of the tree top canopy where the stick insects, leaf insects and a crested gecko, called Gary, live.

Jo Sheldon, Year 3 Teacher explained, “For
many children this was the first time they’d had
the opportunity to get really close to some exotic
creatures. Paul was able to handle them in front of the children and describe their habitats, what they like
to eat and how each animal plays its part in the rainforest eco-system. This also demonstrated the subtle
balance of the rainforest and how every creature plays its part to keep that balance; a wonderful way of
bringing learning to life.”

Evie-Schmidt-Martin, age 8, explained, “Wow! It was so cool! We got to touch some of the animals
including the cockroaches and the leaf beetles. Unfortunately, we couldn’t touch the Chilean Rose
Tarantula because she has just shed her skin and was a bit sensitive. My favourite creature was Gary the
Gecko!”

Throughout the day the children also had the opportunity to look at some rainforest artefacts and enjoyed creating some rainforest themed artwork. The day was all part of Year 3’s Geography syllabus, in which the rainforest is the main focus for the term ahead.