Zoo’s education award

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm education officers Catherine Tisdall and Amy Lissemore with a black and white ruffed lemur Noah's Ark Zoo Farm education officers Catherine Tisdall and Amy Lissemore with a black and white ruffed lemur

Monday, February 3, 2014
1:55 PM

NOAH’S Ark Zoo Farm has achieved recognition for the education programme it runs at its Wraxall site.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The zoo hosts more than 15,000 school children each year, ranging from infant school pupils to teenagers studying A-levels, and has now been awarded the Quality Badge from the Learning Outside of the Classroom scheme (LOTC).

The badge is a nationally-recognised benchmark that demonstrates that those places awarded it have met several stringent indicators for education.

Assessments are conducted by the Government-appointed Council for Learning Outside of the Classroom.

Noah’s Ark education coordinator Catherine Tisdall said: “We are very proud of our unique hands-on approach to learning at Noah’s Ark.

“Achieving the Quality Badge is the result of an awful lot of hard work from a team dedicated to providing an exceptional educational day out for visitors.”

The award comes after Alice Roberts, professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham, published an article in the Guardian in December raising concerns about how the creationist zoo promotes religious views to its visitors through posters.

Professor Roberts wrote how she fears such posters, which she said ‘distorted scientific fact’, could interfere with a child’s education.

* * *

* We have acknowledged there are contrasting views on this issue, and have added a line to make that fact clear – however, the award presented to Noah’s Ark is a reputable one, and we have reported on that fact without taking sides or passing judgment on the merits of the facility itself.

35 comments

  • @SteveOllington I've read Richard's comments a few times. I'm pretty sure he's deploying some heavy duty sarcasm.

    Report this comment

    johnlyons121

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Kind of strange to have a "learning badge" that is contentoutcome agnostic, but apparently that's exactly what it is. From the LOtC Quality Badge website: "The indicators are process-orientated (i.e. the way in which the provider works with the user to plan the experience and set learning objectives) and do not attempt to assess learning outcomes directly, as these remain the responsibility of the teacher or group leader." So the award is for the delivery, not the content. You could set up a Flying Spaghetti Monster zoo and still qualify for the award. Lol!

    Report this comment

    Steven Pam

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • It's shocking that an organisation which claims to encourage learning, should honour an organisation which aims to do the opposite.

    Report this comment

    Anthony Wood

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • A well-deserved award! From visiting this zoo I learned that the earth was created in 7 days, around 7,000k years ago, that evolution is a lie, and that all the world's creatures could fit on one small boat built by an alcoholic old man. Nice one!!!

    Report this comment

    bristolskeptic

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • A recent study revealed that in Germany not a single person under 28 years of age is religious. This form of dementia will come to an abrupt stop in less than a decade.

    Report this comment

    Marco Maltese

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Google ‘church times noahs ark zoo farm’ the second result is an interview given to The church Times by Mr Bush, founder and owner of NAZF. Here is a quote: “From the outside, our farm is not overtly Christian. But, from the inside, we are very strongly Christian. I am a Creationist, and we see the farm as a mission station to give people scientific permission to believe in God”

    Report this comment

    TK

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Your little footnote that this award is a reputable one misses the point that this is not an award at all - even a basic search about what an LOtC Quality Badge is will show you that it is not 'awarded' to those who are chosen as being particularly good at something. It's not a mark of excellence, or prestige. It is given when an organisation itself applies for it - and is given to anyone who pays for it and meets the minimum standards that are specified in the criteria. But 'Zoo applies for a bit of paper and gets it' is not quite as exciting a headline I suppose!

    Report this comment

    Tanya Kynaston

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • This totally devalues the Learning Outside of the Classroom Quality award, giving an education award to an anti science organisation implies a very low thresh hold of quality andor an agenda driven quality scheme. I think I will actively avoid anywhere with there stamp of approval.

    Report this comment

    Human

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Surely this is some kind of joke isn't it. There is zero educational content, only creationist propaganda here. Indoctrination and brainwashing of children to believe such nonsense should not be rewarded under any circumstances.

    Report this comment

    jason

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • Silly non-zoo gets non-award. Stop the press! Or why not get serious and wonder why these crackpots can get away with lying to our children. Lying is still lying, even when you think you're doing it for Jesus.

    Report this comment

    Joe Fogey

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • I've visited the zoo many times, and appreciate the effort they have made to spread something closer to the truth. There's too much science about nowadays: 'facts' and such. All taken on face value and not requiring any faith. And where has it got us? Nowhere, that's where. The Bible has been around for 2000 years, yet how long have the articles in such these 'esteemed' science journals? Nothing like as long. Whilst the Bible has the correct word of God, all of these journals, and all of their scientists can't even ever agree on anything. Always debating, updating and changing their ideas. The word of the Lord comes to you for free, yet all this science gets Billions from the government. The government should divert some of this wasted science money and create similar Creationist Zoos across the country. Perhaps in a similar way to their Free Schools?

    Report this comment

    RichardBiggeswade

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • Shame on you, Weston Mercury, this looks very like you've just printed their press release wholesale, without looking into what anti-scientific twaddle this place is trying to indoctrinate into children - They're trying to sneak their fundamentalist views into children via cute furry animals. You have a journalist responsibility to investigate this highly controversial decision, not just use their press release to fill some space between ads.

    Report this comment

    Chris Smith

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • How can they possibly award an institution for learning, when it teaches pseudo-science?? The author, Samantha Pope, should really consider researching a little in with her journalism... just Googling the name of the Zoo would do. I hope there's a statement made from this site tomorrow with regards to this.

    Report this comment

    SteveOllington

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • My point was that the Culling of Badgers trials have been ignored by n arc Zoo - Badger culling ought to be carry on !

    Report this comment

    bill

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Sorry. Sarcastic comment below was meant to be response to inane contribution from RichardBiggeswade.

    Report this comment

    Bob Hughes

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Is this not the place that objected to Badger culling trials and actually still gives shelter to these disease ridden animals?

    Report this comment

    bill

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Surely exposing young people to different ideas is part of education. As long as the teacher has input into the process and doesn't go along with indoctrination, scepticism is an important skill. Or do we go along with Thatcher and not allow the oxygen of publicity to ideas we disagree with?

    Report this comment

    jabba

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • I don't know what all the fuss is about ! I certainly think that the big bearded guy in the sky would love this award. The fact that he is ignoring all the abused and starving children in the world is neither here or there ....

    Report this comment

    Mr moo

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • The folks at Noah's Ark are quite welcome to their archaic Creationist views but their cynical efforts at promoting this agenda to schools in general should be the focus of journalistic exposure rather than the unthinking acceptance shown in this article. Education is about thinking and rationally assessing information not adherence to blind dogma, which is the realm of religion.

    Report this comment

    Ravi

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • Brilliant, Richard. But which God are we referring to?

    Report this comment

    Dave Yeates

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • @Richard Biggleswade "And where has it got us?" <-- To the moon, to extended life spans, so cures for diseases, electricity, cars, planes, the internet, pretty much everything you see the benefits of every day actually.

    Report this comment

    SteveOllington

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • As a Christian and a geologist I find this zoo an abomination. With there ideas of geological time they are presenting lies to all who go and misleading generations of school kids. This "zoo" deserves no awards and the owners should learn to be honest

    Report this comment

    Michael Roberts

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • Bill, I think you're missing the point. And FYI I wholly object to 'culling' the badgers too.

    Report this comment

    SteveOllington

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • I cant believe that an award would be given to a place that teaches children not to believe in science and evolution - that it is open to the public at all is a travesty! People choosing to waste money on this pap is freedom of (stupid) choices, but 'teaching' it to children should be illegal, not awarded. Reporters, actually research your words first?! My 10 year old could have done a better job at 'investigating'.

    Report this comment

    Lizzy

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • I cant believe that an award would be given to a place that teaches children not to believe in science and evolution - that it is open to the public at all is a travesty! People choosing to waste money on this pap is freedom of (stupid) choices, but 'teaching' it to children should be illegal, not awarded. Reporters, actually research your words first?! My 10 year old could have done a better job at 'investigating'.

    Report this comment

    Lizzy

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Absolutely. And where has truth and reason ever got us?

    Report this comment

    Bob Hughes

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • I am absolutely appalled that such an organisation should be recieving any awards whatsoever. This is a creationist zoo and peddles absolute twaddle about the orgins of the earth and the development of life on it. They think the universe and the earth is only a few thousand years old and that the bible contains a literal account of that beginning and that of man. I could go on. That such an institution exists in North Somerset brings shame to the area. That schools visit the place fills me with outright incredulity. I intend to write to whatever micky mouse organisation has made this award and tell them what a mistake they have made.

    Report this comment

    Bob Hughes

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • Dear Richard Biggeswade: "I've visited the zoo many times, and appreciate the effort they have made to spread something closer to the truth." <-- it's not closer to the truth, it has no supporting evidence, and is contrary to what evidence there is. "There's too much science about nowadays: 'facts' and such. All taken on face value and not requiring any faith." <-- Taken on face value means it does require faith, you just totally contradicted yourself. Aside from that, nothing should be taken on face value or faith alone, it should be supported with evidence... that's what makes 'facts' and such. "And where has it got us? Nowhere, that's where." <- The computer, electricity, and internet you're using to make that comment come from science. It's also provided longer life spans, disease cures, space flight, and much much more. "The Bible has been around for 2000 years, yet how long have the articles in such these 'esteemed' science journals?" <-- There are other conflicting myths that have been around for longer, does that make them more true than the bible? If so, surely you should be worshipping Dionysus or one of the older gods? "Nothing like as long. Whilst the Bible has the correct word of God, all of these journals, and all of their scientists can't even ever agree on anything. Always debating, updating and changing their ideas." <-- that's what makes it science, that it can be worked on and updated as new information comes to light, that it can be tested with theories proven and dis-proven. You find this a bad thing? "The word of the Lord comes to you for free, yet all this science gets Billions from the government. The government should divert some of this wasted science money and create similar Creationist Zoos across the country. Perhaps in a similar way to their Free Schools?" <-- and what exactly is the end result of this 'free' information? What has it done, beside cause genocide, discrimination, bigotry, and ignorance?

    Report this comment

    SteveOllington

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • @Steven Pam - "You could set up a Flying Spaghetti Monster zoo and still qualify for the award. Lol!" Well, clearly, since that's essentially what's happened here..!

    Report this comment

    WesWhite

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • I know many people enjoy visiting this zoo, zoo farm or safari park (whatever it likes to call itself). However, I find it strange North Somerset Council's other "educational" establishments are monitored to ensure religious teachings are balanced with scientific teaching yet this zoo farm appears somewhat one sided in its approach. Cannot understand why there is an agenda to indoctrinate any message except the welfare and protection of the animals within the site.

    Report this comment

    Annette Hennessy

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

  • worth emailing the folks at Education outside the class room and tweeting a bit to maybe something like: @CLOtC taking an anti science stand, and endorsing Noah's Ark Zoo creationism as good education. A quality mark worth avoiding?

    Report this comment

    Human

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • The covert way NAZF set about promoting their creationist agenda is appalling – a zoo is about biology, evolution and ecology to hijack this in the name god is contrary to educational legislation. What really pains me about this story is that quangos and other government bodies are so happy to indorse such an insidious establishment – this is plainly either laziness or incompetence on behalf of the LOTC Scheme et al. Attending NAZF for just a couple of hours (and I have done so) will leave any educationalist with the ability to read in no doubt that a trip to NAZF is country to legislation regarding the teaching of creationism and actively harmful to a child’s scientific education.

    Report this comment

    TK

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Really, it's not OK just to post this press release verbatim and not do some basic journalism. You should for example, read eminent local scientist Professor Alice Roberts' article on why she won't be taking her children to this place, or read about why the zoo got thrown out of the trade organisation due to its circus associations. But above all, pedalling the myths of creationism and the denial of evolution is not worthy of any type of award of any value, and is, at the very least worthy of some skeptical investigation, and dare I say it, quality journalism.

    Report this comment

    paulnuk

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • As a journalist and editor I have to say this article is shockingly poor. It starts off one sided, forcing a weak apology and 'other view' to be added afterwards. This is a sad lesson in doing your job as a paper and not just rewriting a press release. The key to this story is that a creationist zoo has been given an award by an organisation set up by the government. That's the angle. Although it may arguably have been spiked when you look at the quality of this award, which charges those who enter £200 and is largely based around self evaluation. Only a proportion are actually verified. There's more on this 'reputable' award here. http:www.lotc.org.ukwp-contentuploads201201LOtC-Mark-Handout.pdf

    Report this comment

    Joe Lepper

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • I have to agree with other respondents that this is a shoddy piece of journalism. Never mind googling the name of the place - your own archives should show you that there has been sufficient controversy about this appalling place to warrant some proper journalism, not just the rehashing of a press release. Or perhaps Samantha Pope, News Editor, is a creationist herself and buys into the claptrap peddled by Noah's Ark Farm Zoo? Not only is the religious preaching practised by this place offensive, but the conditions in which the animals are kept are reportedly appalling as well. The sooner it is shut down the better.

    Report this comment

    Verns

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Family notices Advertise Your Letters Competitions Reader travel iwitness24 Facebook Twitter

Join our newsletter

Local Search 24 – North Somerset
Looking for a:

Location:

Search radius:

North Somerset's trusted business directory