Schoolchildren take over the zoo on a mega Monday school trip

12 February 2014

Hundreds of primary schoolchildren from across South Wales took over a popular zoo and animal attraction for the day this week.

Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo opened its doors especially on Monday (February 10th) to allow more than 350 pupils from seven schools to come on an educational visit. Many of the three to seven-year-old pupils went on the trip as part of the Cornerstones’ project ‘Mini Zoo’ they are studying this term. 

Folly Farm education manager Victoria Smathers said: “We normally only open at weekends in winter but were inundated with requests for educational visits from local schools  working with the Cornerstones curriculum, so decided to throw open the gates and hold  a special open day for all schools to come and visit together.

“It was great to see the zoo so full of life and the children engaged in learning about the animal world, meeting creatures up-close and asking so many questions.

“We look forward to seeing some of the work the Cornerstones pupils produce through the Mini Zoo project in the remainder of their term.”

Class teacher at Ysgol Gymraeg Brynsierfel, Linda Rees, who took pupils on the Folly Farm visit said: “Our visit to Folly Farm engaged pupils thoroughly with the Cornerstones Mini Zoo project and will inspire them to enjoy cross-curricular learning around our animals’ theme right through to the end of term.”

‘Mini Zoo’ is one of 70 comprehensive learning projects which make up the Cornerstones creative curriculum, now used by 415 schools in Wales – that is more than 25 per cent of all Welsh primary schools.

Many schools have adopted the Cornerstones curriculum because it is a fully bi-lingual resource which puts creativity at the heart of learning and helps teachers plan and prepare exciting, engaging and rigorous lessons, covering every aspect of the National Curriculum for Wales.

Carmarthenshire-based education specialists, The Learning Partnership Wales (TLP), are Cornerstones’ partner agency in Wales and work directly with schools who buy into the creative curriculum package.

TLP director Wendy Thomas said: “The Cornerstones curriculum offers a powerful and irresistible approach to learning. It provides schools with the foundation on which to develop an innovative and creative curriculum secure in the knowledge there is full coverage of the National Curriculum for Wales including links to the Literacy and Numeracy Framework.”

The Learning Partnership Wales will be holding a free ‘Cornerstones Open Day’ on Tuesday 11th March to tell primary school teachers more about the curriculum package. Contact Wendy Thomas on 01554 749043 or or visit to find out more.

Schools attending the Folly Farm trip included YGG Blaenddulais of Neath; Ysgol Dewi Sant; Ysgol Gymraeg Brynsierfel;  Milford Haven Junior; Pendergast Primary; St Mary's Catholic Primary of Pembroke Dock; and Ysgol Gymuedol Beulah.

Education supply company Cornerstones, was set up by a team of teachers in 2011 with the express intention of spreading and supporting a creative learning philosophy across schools in England and Wales. It headquarters are based in Yorkshire.


Photo shows a pupil from Ysgol Gymraeg Brynsierfel studying a scorpion during the Folly Farm schools visit.

For further information about Folly Farm, please contact Victoria Smathers on 01834 815030 or email

For further information about Cornerstones please contact Julia McInally at Cornerstones on 0844 335 0300 or

Cornerstones Education Ltd was established in 2011 and now works with over 600 primary schools across England and Wales. Cornerstones produce a range of educational resources and their primary product is a creative curriculum package for three to 11-year-olds. The curriculum is packed with exciting and engaging ways to help children learn; encouraging them to engage, develop, innovate and express themselves, while at the same time meeting all government-required learning targets. Cornerstones resources are designed to help teachers deliver high quality lessons. They also save them time planning and enable them to spend more time with children in the classroom.

Cornerstones is based at Fields End Business Park, Goldthorpe, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S63 0JF, tel: 0844 33503000.  See

Additional media contact: Steph Pollard at or on 01226 766900/ 0776 196 4492.

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