We had a great time at a Sheffield Primary with our habitat presentation followed by animal themed games which are very interactive. We received the following feedback:
“The session was really great and included lots of facts and practical information about the animals being handled, and this was linked back to the woodland topic we were studying which was really useful. I would definitely book Meet A Creature again and I have already recommended you to others.” – C. Fielding
We visit many special needs schools and the pupils always have a great time. The creatures are very sensory and tame and so can be handled by the pupils (and staff). We have a great selection of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and mini-beasts to inspire and surprise. We received this feedback from staff at Talbot Specialist School in Sheffield:
“All of the students were able to access the workshop which was extremely helpful and the staff were really impressed with the pitch of the workshop.”
Wide Range of Levels
We spent a whole day at a Sheffield Primary School presenting to a wide range of Key Stage levels. The Nursery staff chose to have a session about nocturnal and day animals. With Reception pupils we looked at contrasting environments such as animals that live in hot places and animals that live in cold places. They also found out about the care of animals and their environments. The Year 5 teachers booked our workshop about animals and classification. Here is what one staff member wrote to us:
“Just to say a massive thank you from the children in Nursery, Reception and Year 5 and all the staff for a very enjoyable experience. A great day was had by all of us.” – Jayne, Higher Level Teaching Assistant.
Trying Something New
A Sheffield junior school booked us to present a range of sessions covering habitats, movement and variation. All pupils had the opportunity to handle our animals if they wished, and we reinforced the learning with slides on the whiteboard. We only use our own animals and ensure they are treated with the greatest of respect. Staff member Sarah emailed us the following comment:
“Thanks for today the children really enjoyed it. Our aim at school this half term is to try something new and most of the children certainly ticked that box today.” – Sarah Kaufman
Our visit to a Rotherham school was very well received and we have since been asked back a number of times. On this occasion we delivered a simple animal workshop to the Foundation classes. We explained that animals feel pain and can be scared just like people, and how it is important to treat all animals and living things with respect. This is a very sensory, hands-on experience. A teacher wrote to say:
“Your visit into school was great! The presentation was ideal for the age of our children. You brought an excellent range of animals and it was brilliant that they could all be handled. You were friendly yet professional with staff and children, and obviously very knowledgeable about your subject. I would definitely use you again and would gladly recommend you to others.” – L. Redfern
A primary school asked for a range of workshops over a full day and they also wanted to take photos of each of the children handling an animal for use on the school display boards. This was no problem as we aim to be as flexible as possible, so we adjusted our session times to suit their requirements. Staff member Alex O Neill wrote to say:
“Our Foundation children absolutely loved the experience of learning about and handling different creatures. It really helped them to understand the needs of different creatures and also opened up lots of opportunities to develop the children’s language and vocabulary linking to the creatures. It was great to hear the children talking with friends and family about what they had learnt.
They become enthusiastic and motivated to learn about other creatures and the natural world. For many of our children this was a very unique and special experience and really brought our learning to life. Being able to see and feel the creatures had such a big impact.” – Alex O’Neill
We covered a range of topics for a Halifax primary school, including Nocturnal Animals, Mini-beasts and Rainforest. We presented sessions to the Early Years pupils as well as Year 1 and Year 2, during a half-day visit. Teacher Vicki Hayton emailed us this feedback:
“Just wanted to say a huge thank you for everything last Thursday. All the staff commented on how wonderful you were with the children, the children (and staff) thoroughly enjoyed all of it! We will definitely have you in mind for any future Science Workshops and will also recommend you to others.” – Vicki Hayton
Evolution and inheritance
A Nottinghamshire primary school booked our session looking at how animals have evolved. We took along amphibians, reptiles, mammals and mini-beasts to help bring the subject to life. Here is what teacher Jane Cole wrote:
“Thank you so much for a brilliant visit to Class 2. We all enjoyed it immensely and found it fascinating. Thank you again and I’m sure I will be booking you again for next year!” – Jane Cole
We had a smashing time presenting on Rainforests to Years 4 and 5 at this primary. We also touched on adaptation and other curriculum topics with our lizards and snakes and other animals. Sarah Kenyon got in touch to say:
“Thank you for the session this morning! The childen were still buzzing at the end of the day – it was brilliant! Thank you again!” - Sarah Kenyon
The Rainforest was also the topic for a Leeds school where staff member Claire Richards wrote:
“Thank you once again for a great morning at our school. The children were raving about all the different creatures you brought in.” – Claire Richards
We have attended this school a number of times. It’s always great to be asked back, and we are proud of the high number of recommendations and repeat bookings we receive. For this visit we were asked for five 1hr sessions including interesting and funny facts about the animals. We were particularly asked to ensure that the pupils were all able to handle the animals as many of them may not have seen animals like these before. Jo Walton said:
“Thanks for coming in, I know the kids really enjoyed themselves!” – Jo Walton
Treat for the class
One of our favourite activities is to be a class treat. This was the case for a South Yorkshire school where we were invited to give a series of presentations to groups of pupils who had performed and behaved well all term. Teacher Sue Brazelwell wrote:
“The children really enjoyed the sessions, especially handling the anmals.” - Sue Brazelwell
Encouraging all pupils to take part
Our presentations are designed to give every pupil the opportunity to hold or touch the animals, making it a really memorable experience. We often find some young people are a bit nervous, and we have lots of experience in helping them to build their confidence and have a go. Teacher Sian West commented on this after our visit to her South Yorkshire school saying:
“The sessions were interactive and pitched at right level. There were enough facts to keep the children interested. The children really enjoyed the sessions and you encouraged them all to take part. We will definitely be in touch again.” – Sian West
We received this feedback from Sally Hill following our popular Habitats workshop. Our Habitats and Evolution and Inheritance workshops are very popular choices for KS1, KS2 and KS3, and are presented at an appropriate level for each age group.
“Just to say thank you very much for the fantastic workshop on Friday. The kids absolutely loved it and we would certainly book again in the future”. - Sally Hill
This is an ever more popular subject for our presentations and was really well received by the pupils of Shamin Shaine Akhtar at her school in Birmingham
A huge thank you for visiting our school yesterday. The children thoroughly enjoyed your visit as did the staff. It was a fab end to the Science topic of senses. We will definitely be booking you again!!
Take care” – Shamin Shaine Akhtar
Exciting young people about science
At this school we presented on Life cycles. We aim to inspire and excite young people about science, and it looks like we succeeded looking at Melissa Drake’s feedback:
“Thank you so much for a wonderful morning, the children are really inspired thanks to you and the super creatures!” – Melissa Drake
Support for science tests
Our Nocturnal Animals workshop has often been requested to help classes prepare for science sampling SATs tests. This was the subject we presented on at a Leicester primary school, where we brought along a little owl and a range of geckos, snakes, mini-beasts to demonstrate how animals and birds can adapt to being active at night. Teacher Yvonne Turley wrote:
“Thank you so much for your superb presentation today. The children were incredibly excited and enthralled with the whole experience. You gauged the level of information just right and our children gained a huge amount from the experience. We will definitely be asking you back and recommending your service to others.” – Yvonne Turley
Curriculum enrichment activity
A Bradford primary chose our ‘General Animal Handling’ workshop as a curriculum enrichment activity for pupils who may not have had the opportunity to touch and hold many different types of animal. Teacher Gareth Baterip emailed us to say:
“Thank you so much for a fantastic day! I know the staff and children have all had a great day. It was the first thing most of the children said when their parents arrived.” – Gareth Baterip
We have a number of experienced presenters, and our ranger Caroline Dawson was singled out for special praise by teacher Emma Dunford who said:
“ I just wanted to let you know how much of a wonderful day the children had today. Caroline was so informative and the children thoroughly enjoyed handling the animals.” – – Emma Dunford
A New Experience
This is just wonderful feedback – so good to know we are still achieving our objectives to inspire and educate.
“Wow what a fabulous two days we’ve had at Stoke Minster Primary School with Dean Roots and his creatures. Staff and pupils have all really loved having you here and lots of fears have been faced. Dean was wonderful, knowledgeable and so patient with pupils of all ages. Everyone must Meetacreature!!”
- Amanda Mikalauskas
Buzzing with excitement
A school in the Hull area asked us to present workshops on Mini-beasts and Lifecycles for Years1 and 2. These are two great subjects and we really enjoyed taking our mini-beasts, amphibians, reptiles and mammals for the visit. Katie Tracey said:
“Thank you so much for such a fantastic morning! Children and adults are still buzzing with excitement! When we plan topics and themes for the next few years we will certainly remember to book you again.” – Katie Tracey
A memorable way to learn about science
Adaptation and Classification were the subjects of the day at a Barnsley primary. The pupils clearly enjoyed our fun and educational animal handling sessions and teacher Kim Huck commented on the quality of their follow-up homework:
“Please may I take the opportunity to thank you for the sessions on Friday morning. The children have all come in to school this morning full of themselves and parents have reported how they were so excited when they left school on Friday afternoon. Just flicking through some of their homework this morning has shown how absorbed they were in the sessions as they have been able to remember a great deal of the information you told them. - Kim Huck
Animals of Australia and Africa
A North Lincolnshire school booked two of our geography sessions: Australia and its Creatures and Animals found in Africa on subsequent weeks. We also provided a Powerpoint presentation to be used in follow-up work. Teacher Kate Busby wrote to us after the first visit to say:
“Thank you so much for the morning Dean. It was wonderful to see the reactions of the children and to see what they have got out of it. I can’t wait to see how Year 5 react next week to African animals.”- Kate Busby
We try to be as flexible as possible – this school was on a limited budget but the teacher was so passionate about his class and their subject we were happy to extend our visit to give the pupils as runded and ful a visit as possible.
“Just wanted to say ‘Thank you’ for coming to us and working with the pupils. They loved every minute. Thanks for coming earlier and staying longer too – it was greatly appreciated.” – Paul Quarry
Schools showcase our sessions
Here is how three of the schools we have visited have reported our sessions on their websites:
Another school included a report on what pupils had seen and learned:
“In Year 2 we have had some very special visitors! Last Wednesday after assembly we came back to our classroom to find it had been inhabited by lots of wonderful creatures! The creatures all had one thing in common, they all prefer the dark! The nocturnal creatures we met included a slippery slow worm, a slithering python, a hissing cockroach, a tiny little owl, a gorgeous gecko and a soft little hamster. In just one hour we learnt lots about these animals including where they live, what they eat and all about their babies.”
Accessible sessions for pupils with special educational needs
We are able to adapt our sessions so that they are accessible to all pupils. We have made a number of visits to Pennine View School in Doncaster which supports young people with moderate learning difficulties and associated special educational needs. Here are some pictures from our sensory session where we helped pupils understand how animals adapt to live in their habitats. For more details visit our Special Educational Needs Section.
Capturing pupils’ interest in Nocturnal Animals topic
We had a great morning at a Derbyshire looking at Nocturnal Animals. To focus on the idea of being active at night all of the pupils (and the teachers!) had dressed in pyjamas. Kelley Royal wrote to say:
“Thank you once again for today. The children had such a brilliant time, and they really enjoyed being able to touch and handle the animals. It has really captured the children’s interest in our topic and has given some of them an opportunity that they might never get again. It was great to meet you and your creatures and we can hopefully work together again in the future.” – Kelley Royal
A memorable Nocturnal Animals experience
The Nocturnal Animals session also went down well at a Sheffield school. Teacher Becky Trotter said:
“Me and my Year 4 class had a fabulous day with the creatures today, and it is sure to be a day the kids will remember for years to come! It has provided us with some great opportunities for learning, and I would recommend it to any teacher who is doing a topic linked to animals.” – Becky Trotter
Boris is a hit at out Nocturnal Animals event
And it was Nocturnal Animals again for a Birmingham school where pupils particularly enjoyed meeting our tarantula called Boris. Teacher Steph emailed to say:
“Hi! Thank you once again for such an exciting morning – the children loved it! My year 1 class couldn’t stop talking about it and have done some fantastic writing.” – Steph
Flexible session times
We are happy to adapt our session content and timing to meet each school’s needs. We were asked to present to all eight classes at one school within a day. We can do this by condensing the time of each workshop, but still allowing for every child to have a go at animal handling. Teacher Emma Trotter wrote to say:
“I just wanted to thank you on behalf of the children and myself for such a wonderful visit. The children loved the hands on experience but also were fascinating by all the interesting facts you had to share. Some of the children have produced lovely pictures and explanations of the animals. We will definitely recommend you and hand out your leaflets.” – Emma Trotter
We presented our interactive animal workshops to three Foundation Stage classes at this school, and were sent the following report from their newsletter:
“The children in Class 1, 2 and Reception, had a fantastic morning on Wednesday as ‘Meet a Creature’ came to visit to enhance their topic of plants and animals. The exciting ‘hands on’ presentations included small loveable lizards that liked to jump from one child’s hand to another; a bearded dragon lizard that was really comfortable being cuddled; snakes, a giant cockroach, tortoise, a massive slow worm, an enormous snail and an adorable rabbit called Flora who had a lovely walk around Class 1! All the creatures had been hand-reared and were really happy to be handled – the children had a really wonderful time! “
Teacher with a creature!
We were delighted to be featured in this school blog (and yes, Miss Newton was very brave!). Don’t worry though – we never ask anyone to hold a creature if they would rather not.
“The children have had another exciting week in year two. This week, the children met the animal man (Meet A Creature) and lots of interesting creatures. The children asked lots of questions and found out new information about each creature. Miss Newton was very proud of the children for being gentle with all the animal creatures and for being so brave. Even Miss Newton found some courage to hold the tarantula! The children loved exploring and finding out about all the creatures.”
The best day ever…
We presented our Mini-beast workshop to Year 1 pupils at a Yorkshire school and received the following comments from the form teacher :
“Hi – Just to say a big thank you for the minibeasts workshop. The children absolutely loved it and have been talking about it ever since. I overheard one boy saying it was the best day ever! It has really inspired them to find out more about creatures of all sorts and we’ve had great feedback from the parents too. We will be in touch again next year for another visit!
Educational and memorable
Lucy Kay put up a lovely comment on our Facebook page after our visit to her school:
“I would highly recommend Dean and Meet A Creature. We have a fabulous afternoon with an educational and exciting experience for all the children! Thank you so much!” – Lucy Kay
We also received Facebook feedback from teacher Nikki Topliffe who said:
“Thank you for visiting our school this morning. It was a fantastic experience! The children loved meeting each creature and were able to remember lots of facts about each one!” – Nikki Topliffe
Science week sessions
We presented to all of the pupils at a Leicester school as part of their Science Week activities. Teacher Jo Gordon wrote to say:
“I would just like to say the biggest thank you from all of us. Dean and his fellow ranger Lydia were absolutely amazing and had our pupils enthralled with the amazing collection of animals they brought with them! They were with us for the entire day and were so flexible with the timetables I presented to them so all our 600 pupils could see the animals. There was such a lovely ‘buzz’ around the school and the pupils produced some fantastic pieces of writing on the animals that they saw. I couldn’t recommend Dean and Meet A Creature enough for school visits and will be looking to book them again for next year!” - Jo Gordon (Literacy co-ordinator).
We have attended many schools with our creatures for Science Weeks and have always had a great time inspiring the pupils about the natural world.
We visited this school with only a few days notice – however we took a great selection of animals and the pupils had a great time meeting them all. We received this feedback a day later and its so great to know when we do well.
Many thanks for Friday, the children and teachers had a great time with all the creatures. It was a fantastic way to end their topic and the hands on aspect of the morning was thoroughly enjoyed by all. It was super to arrange the morning at such short notice. Once again thanks and look forward to working with you again.”
- Emma Holmes
Melissa Davies was very impressed with our visit and was very kind to comment on how much we inspired her pupils – this is great news and something we always endeavour to do.
- Melissa Davies
Habitat and Adaptation
We have visited some great schools over the years and were particularly please to receive these comments from a school we have visited a number of times in Leicester for a habitats and adaptation themed visit :
“I just wanted to thank you for an amazing day yet again. The pupils absolutely loved it. Pets at Home are going to be inundated with children buying rats! Thank you so much and hopefully see you next year.”
- Janine Carpenter
We are so pleased they keep booking us and are looking forward to visiting them again and it looks like the rats were a winner!! :)
Children at a Lancashire school were fascinated to meet so many unusual animals at close quarters. Teacher Gail wrote to say:
“I would just like to say thank you very much for Friday morning. The children absolutely loved it, seeing and being able to touch the animals was a real treat for them.” – Gail
Launching a learning project “Beast Creator”
We continue to receive smashing feedback following our visits. Here is a recent one that we are particularly proud of from Abbey School in Sheffield:
“Many thanks for your excellent presentation this afternoon. I know that the children really enjoyed themselves looking at and handling the different creatures. It was amazing to see individuals stepping out of their ‘comfort zones’ to stroke or handle the creatures. I am sure that this ‘real experience’ will be a super way to launch our imaginative learning project: ‘Beast Creator.’ - Steph
It is so good to feel appreciated and to know our work is adding value
We attended a Belgrave St. Bartholomew’s Academy in Stoke on Trent and gave 14 x 30 minute presentations on mini-beasts. It was a lot of fun and very well received. Following our visit teacher Luci Kendrick posted on our facebook the following comment:
“Dean came to our school for a packed day of sessions with children from across the Primary School. His sessions were educational, engaging and fun! The children all had a fantastic time, learning lots of exciting facts, and all staff commented on the excellent sessions in comparison with other providers we have used. I would fully recommend! – Luci
This is teacher Holly Jaques holding Boris the tarantula on our recent visit to her school – Holly and the staff enjoyed our Rainforest session. Holly said:
“Thank you for a fantastic morning. I think the teachers enjoyed it as much as the children!” - Holly Jaques
Feedback from Parties and Events
“Thanks for a great experience yesterday Charlotte and her friends had a great time and I think the parents enjoyed it as much.” – Kay Ashworth
“I would just like to say a really big thank you for making our daughter Millie feel special on at her birthday party – she loved it, she said it was the best party she had ever had!!! And so did all her friends, Millie and her party was the talk of the class for the week! We thought the party was great, it was different and interesting. The animals and Dean were fantastic with the children on the day- he had so some much time for the children and was very patient, professional and informative. I would highly recommend your company to other parents.” – Pete and Lauren
“Excellent party for my son. Kids said it was the best party ever!” – Nichola Mills
“Gosh the party on Saturday was FAB-U-LOUS! You were all fantastic – the kids loved it and Emily had a wonderful time. THANK YOU so much for the effort and love you put into it – it was sincerely appreciated by us all.” – Alison Constantine
“Thank you so much for doing Kezia’s party yesterday. It was absolutely brilliant. Kezia enjoyed herself so much and I have had some amazing feedback from friends.” – Angela Lawson
“Just wanted to say a massive thank you for today it was brilliant. Everyone has said how good it was.Thank you again. Deborah, Nanan and of course Millie x ” – Deborah Bragg
“My daughter Sophie loved meeting Dean and all his creatures at her 6th birthday party. There was quite a big turnout, and Dean kept all the kids engaged throughout the session.
They loved that they could touch the animals, and the parents commented on how it was a lovely idea, something different than the usual kids’ party.
I would highly recommend Meet A Creature, and would definitely book them again.” – Sarah Clarke
“I would highly recommend meet a creature for parties or school bookings. They recently did my sons 5th party and they all really enjoyed it. It was something different and also educational in a fun way. He was very patient with the children as they were quite young and it was great to be able to pick the animals we wanted. Highly recommended! :)” – Elaine Waddingham
Kerry Chinn booked us for a full Deluxe Party Package which included animal handling to the animal themed games and a creature craft table with lots of glue and sparkly dust.
Kerry emailed to say: “A Great BIG FAT Thank you for Gabriel’s amazing and, in his own words, “EPIC” Birthday party !!! The feedback from both the children and parents was brilliant, they all loved it. It was great to get so close to all of the various animals, to look, touch and learn about them made for a truly memorable experience !!! ” The Best party EVER !!! ” and you have the patience of a saint LOL. Once again THANK YOU Dean :-)” – Kerry Chinn
“Thank you so much for entertaining 12 eight/nine year old girls at my daughter’s birthday party today. Sammi and her freinds (and family) thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the experience. I would highly recommend Meet A Creature to anyone for a child’s birthday party or school visit. We all fell in love with Beady the Bearded Dragon! – Sammi’s mum
“Thank you so much Dean for coming to Gabriella’s birthday party today. We had an absolutely wonderful time and the kids and parents loved it! Thank you so much, we learned so much and lizards are definitely going on our pet wish list now! Thanks again, Joanne Ashley-Gordon, Rob and Gabriella.”
This was great to receive following a fair we attended :
“It was great meeting the animals and their team of humans. They are very well looked after animals and if you’ve ever wanted to meet an unusual animal this brilliant company offers a great way to do it. Keep up the good work guys – Anthony”
Complete SuccessSometimes we receive the best news ever – our parties are always well received and this parent really took the effort to let us know how well it went“Just wanted to thank you and Naomi for a brilliant party.Both Naomi and the animals were fantastic!The children were enthralled and had a brilliant time.The animals were very relaxed and happy with the children and Naomi’s approach to each animal encouraged the children to leave their fear behind and touch each animal with care and excitement.Holly has informed me that, and I quote ‘it was the best party ever!’The feedback from parents has been great and many of the children expressed the same sentiments as Holly.Hope to see you all again”
Crofton Kids’ Club
In addition to providing animal workshops for schools, we offer hands-on animal experiences at kids’ clubs, fayres and Christmas events. Our visit to Crofton Kids Club went so well we received the following testimonial:
“The staff and children said it was abs brilliant, very informative and just super, we have used various animal display companies over the years and it seems you have topped it!!! Thanks so much!”