Crocodile Joe and his entourage recently crawled and slithered into Laxton Junior School in Oundle. Pupil Felicity Mansergh, aged 9, spotted a competition in the National Geographic Kids magazine to design environmental posters, with the prize being a visit from Crocodile Joe and many of his animal friends. Form four, Felicity’s year group, had just completed posters to encourage people to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ as part of their learning on the environment and this was exactly what the competition called for. The children’s posters were created in a variety of ways using recycled materials and after they had been displayed in school they were boxed up and entered into the competition.
National Geographic Kids magazine liked the variety of posters and the way the children had thought outside the box by including recycled materials and rubbish on their designs – and the year-group as a whole won the competition.
Consequently, Crocodile Joe arrived with snakes, geckos, lizards and tarantulas. Form four had the chance to see the creatures up close and hold a few. The morning proved to be a great way to learn about the exotic creatures, with children saying afterwards: “Our morning with Crocodile Joe was spectacular”; “We learnt that a crocodile’s brain is smaller than a thumb but its head is as big as its tummy” and “Crocodile Joe helped me to say goodbye to my fear of touching snakes”.
Headmaster Mark Potter commented: “Crocodile Joe’s visit was wonderful. Our children learned all about how he rescues the animals after irresponsible owners and breeders release them into the wild and I am so pleased that our children’s knowledge and care for the creatures means that they would make very responsible pet owners indeed.”