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The Scottish SPCA’s innovative education programme,

Animal WISE

, is being reintroduced in Lanarkshire schools through e-learning and virtual lessons.

The package is designed to teach youngsters about animal welfare in "a fun and accessible way".

Scotland’s animal welfare charity adapted its

Animal WISE

offering over lockdown, moving away from the traditional classroom visits to include virtual lessons, webinars and e-learning activities. Outdoor face-to-face lessons will be available from October 18 onwards.

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The programme also targets communities and adults and includes the society’s innovative one-to-one Animal Guardians programme which works with young people who have shown behaviours towards animals that are a cause of concern and has had over 180 referrals since it launched back in 2018.

Gilly Mendes Ferreira, head of education, policy and research, told Lanarkshire Live : "We expanded our education initiatives last year to embrace the virtual world and develop our digital offering.

"We can’t wait to get back to schools to deliver our cross curricular

Animal WISE

programmes in person again. We are also taking the outdoor learning approach so lessons will not take place inside classrooms but outside in the playground.

"With the help of characters Inspector Martha and her dog, Gibson, primary pupils will learn about the links between human and animal emotions, the welfare needs of animals, what it is like to be an animal rescue officer and how to become

Animal WISE

and be a responsible animal citizen.

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"There will also be opportunities to take part in STEM based activities and use clues to code their animal robot to respond to different situations. Our Martha and Gibson characters will star in animations, will give clues on different exercises and be part of the fun activities set out by our education team.


Animal WISE

secondary programme is designed to be interactive and engaging providing opportunities to take part in a court room role play workshop and decide the outcome of an animal welfare investigation and discuss career opportunities in a variety of animal related sectors, including veterinary positions.

"Secondary pupils will also have the opportunity to engage with the Scottish SPCA’s manifesto and discuss what they would do to make Scotland #BetterForAnimals.

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"Animal WISE supports health and wellbeing, enhances literacy and numeracy skills, introduces innovative ways to engage with STEM and inspires future career pathways.

"We promote the importance of positive human animal interactions and work with partners to protect that human animal bond.

"The Scottish SPCA wants to be seen as a key partner to every school in Scotland and support the school’s activities throughout the academic year.

“Animal WISE aims to educate every generation in a meaningful way. Our programmes align with the curriculum for excellence so there is a wealth of tools that can be used by teachers from early years through to secondary school.

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"Through our ambition to help develop the young workforce and support every local community we will also have new opportunities when it comes to engaging with colleges, universities and families no matter how old or young you are.

"Our services are completely free and we are encouraging teachers in particular to book now.

"Visit our website and choose from amazing opportunities such as face-to-face or virtual workshops, register for the e-learning courses and download the many resources that are available."

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