by Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer - Discovery & Learning, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
When Naomi first contacted me to work with her on a Scratch Pantomime with children in Edinburgh, I was very excited by the idea but I must admit I didn't quite know what it would involve or how successful it would be. I also didn't know I would end up as Granny, so keeping in character here are a few words from Granny Sandie:
"Well me dearies, it still amazes me that after only a few hours the children performed from scratch such a good show. At the start all I wanted was a bit of piece and quiet, a little afternoon nap on my chair with my blanket keeping me nice and warm but I was awoken by 13 excitable children! And very glad I was too as it was a delight to join them on stage."
The following Friday the children visited Edinburgh Zoo. The afternoon started with a handling session featuring some of our smaller animals including an African royal python. The children learnt about vertebrates and invertebrates and about body coverings from fur, feathers, to skin and scales. Then a visit to two of our most popular animals Tian Tian and Yang Guang, the giant pandas, including learning about the importance of breeding programmes. We also visited our Budongo Trail, the chimpanzee enclosure and then up to the big cats with many other animals on route.
It was a delight to work with these children and despite the fact that in normal circumstances I would prefer to be considered younger than my years, I am actually proud to be remembered by them as Granny Sandie!
I have to thank all those involved and especially Naomi - a great idea and a great medium to deliver our message. I also hope to repeat the project with other youth groups.