n Friday 22nd of April 43 excited year 7s and equally excited staff visited Colchester Zoo. The aim of the trip was to reward the year 7s who have achieved the highest praise points in their year group. Praise points can be earned for both academic achievement and for showing our Hylands Habits in lessons and outside the classroom – be respectful, be responsible and be resilient.

The weather was good to us as rain was predicted as we left, but luckily it held out for the four hours we visited the zoo. The students walked around in two groups (with two members of staff) and we managed to see pretty much every exhibit in the zoo. We did miss out on seeing the giraffes as this enclosure was shut as the zoo were dealing with the unfortunate passing away of one of their beloved rhinos, Otto. We were saddened to hear of this when we returned back to school and send our condolences from Hylands School to the zoo.

For some students this was their first ever visit! We had requests to see the wolves, the snakes and the lions, but the students were excited to see lots of the animals and learn about the conservation efforts of the zoo around the world.

The students were an absolute credit to themselves and the school as we all had a thoroughly enjoyable day! There will be further reward trips coming up for all year groups in the summer term to Thorpe Park, Colchester Zoo and Adventure Island.