Tables turned as teachers get a lesson in learning with animals


Hartpury College shared its expertise on opening young people's eyes to the wonders of all creatures great and small this week.

Teachers from colleges throughout the UK headed to Hartpury for a special event hosted jointly by the College and Vetnet, called ‘FE Animal Management: Overcoming the Challenges’.

Most sessions were delivered by Hartpury's Animal Management staff, who were able to give an insight into the careers and learning opportunities that studying this field can offer, including innovative approaches to using studying animals to enhance Maths and English skills.

They were also able to offer advice and guidance on overcoming the barriers to learning for college students who choose to study animal management.

The first two sessions were 'Careers Information, Advice and Guidance', which focused on advising and guiding learners effectively into the animal management and related industries and 'Exotics', which looked at overcoming the challenges of keeping an exotics collection that is used for teaching and learning.

The next session, 'English and Maths' looked at how literacy and numeracy can be embedded into the Animal Management curriculum effectively and how studying animals can help promote the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) agenda.

In the final talk, the delegates were given guidance on making anatomy, physiology and dissection work engaging for learners and how to overcome the resistance of young people to embrace these learning opportunities and practical experiences.

Finally, they were able to enjoy a tour of Hartpury's extensive and ever growing animal collection, which features more than 60 different species.

Head of Animal Management at Hartpury College, Grace Watkins, said: "The institutions that came to the event were really enthusiastic about what they had learned and it was a great opportunity for us all to share our learning and best practice.

"Overall, they rated the event close to nine out of 10 on average and we were delighted the event was so well received.

"There can be a misconception that the study of animals is not academically robust or career-focused and events like this help us to bust those myths. The delegates were really impressed with the science behind our programmes and our focus on embedding Maths and English into our students' learning.

"We were also able to show them the breadth of careers that are available within the animal industry and share the stories of our students' successes, who have gone on to some fantastic careers and to carry out really exciting research."

Hartpury offers a range of BTEC Diplomas in Animal Management and has recently launched a new BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Science. To find out more, go to

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