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Year 9 Bristol Zoo Trip

On Monday 19th September, Year 9 went on a trip to Bristol Zoo to collect research for our DT and Art projects. In Art we are looking at an artist, Henri Rousseau, well known for his paintings of animals. We are going to be creating our own painting in the style of Rousseau later on this term. In DT we are going to be creating products to be sold at a zoo. We will be looking at prices, packaging and target market groups when creating our product. In Product Design we are creating jewellery, in Textiles we are creating doorstops and in Food we are making food for a zoo’s café. 

When we arrived at the zoo we were each given a booklet of information we had to find and record. Everybody was very excited and split off into groups. Bristol Zoo was a great zoo to collect information from, as they have a wide range of animals, plants and flowers. We all took lots of photographs of the animals, plants and architecture. These photos will be used later in class as inspiration when designing our products and beginning our Rousseau inspired painting. It was great being able to see the animals up close rather than through photos, as it gave us lots of ideas that we can use in our Art and DT lessons at school. It also enabled us to gather primary information and evidence. Also it was enjoyable and interesting learning about and watching the animals and seeing the beautiful plants and flowers. In our booklets there were lots of tasks we had to complete. Firstly, we had to make sketches of any graphics (texts, borders, images) we saw on signs around the zoo. These sketches will be helpful when creating our own packaging in DT. The next task was to sketch three things (plants, flowers, animals or architecture) that we found especially interesting.

I drew some tropical fish from the aquarium, an amazing statue of a gorilla and a beautiful flower display. Then we had to design a table that we could record the types of people at the zoo in (young or old, male or female, younger or older children, couples or families). This information can be used to see who our target market group are. Then we can aim our products at the people the zoo mostly attracts. Next we had to visit the zoo’s café and gift shop to make notes on the prices, packaging, promotions and production of the products. This was very interesting and we managed to gather lots of primary information that we wouldn’t have been able to find on the Internet. We also made notes on how health and safety was addressed around the zoo, on products in the gift shop and when displaying and storing food in the café.

Lastly, we went around the zoo and filled a double page spread in the booklet with sketches of the flowers, plants and animals.

This was great practice for art, but also these sketches will be great inspiration when creating our own Rousseau inspired paintings. When everybody had finished working, everybody had fun in the gift shop, spending their money on stuffed toys and key rings to take home as souvenirs of the great day we had! 

When the day was over, we were all sad to get back on the coach. We all thoroughly enjoyed our day at the zoo. Not only was it very fun looking at the animals and plants, it also gave us a great opportunity to collect important first hand information for our projects.