A Wild and Fun Learning Experience
R.E.A.L Schools, Johor Bahru’s ongoing efforts to promote active learning and provide enriching learning experiences took a ‘wild’ turn on 12 April this year when the school organized an educational trip to Singapore Zoo, commonly known by the locals as Mandai Zoo. Located at Mandai Lake Road, the zoo occupies a sprawling 28 hectares on the margins of Upper Seletar Reservoir within Singapore’s heavily forested central catchment area. Resembling an African safari, the zoo is home to hundreds of native and exotic animals such as orangutans, elephants, lions, zebras, cheetahs, and many more.
“Wow, I love this zoo!” remarked one of the Year 5 students. “I would say the best part about Singapore Zoo is just how un-zoo-like it feels; with free roaming monkeys and cage-less bio domes housing various wildlife that you can see up close without any glass separating you. The attractions and atmosphere were incredible,” commented one of the teachers.
This excursion provided students with a fun and authentic approach towards learning about ecology and environmental awareness. They also learnt the importance of preserving habitats which is crucial to the lives and welfare of animals. Walking around the zoo while learning more about the animals and nature’s rich biodiversity was an experience that typifies R.E.A.L education, which is to develop curiosity and interest for practical, lifelong learning.
Fun at the Farm
If you were to ask children where food comes from, their response would probably be “The supermarket!” Many urban children might not even know where milk and eggs come from, while some may believe that pineapples grow on trees. Agriculture is essential to our survival and it is our responsibility to educate the young generation on food production and farming techniques that protect the environment and public health.
In view of this, R.E.A.L Schools, Johor Bahru Campus organized another educational trip, this time to the UK Farm in Kluang for the Year 1 and 2 students. Taking place on the 12th of April as well, this trip aimed to address the importance of agriculture among students, whilst providing them the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge and fun, hands-on experiences.
UK Farm Kluang is one of the projects of Projek Pertanian Moden Kluang, which is under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Malaysia. Located at UK Agro Resort, it has a reputation of being Malaysia’s largest goat and sheep farm, with 100 acres of grazing land for 4,000 sheep. Whilst there, the farmers were happy to explain to the students about modern, 21st century farming techniques as well as how a real farm works and the different aspects of food production.
This trip provided students with an enjoyable experience and lasting memories. Not only did they gain new, interesting insights on farming and other useful, practical knowledge; they also got the opportunity to bond with their friends and teachers outside the classroom as well. Such initiatives go a long way in instilling good, lifelong values and practices on agricultural sustainability and production, thus shaping them to become responsible citizens.