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North Berwick pupils take the lead at Seabird Centre

©Steve Cox.

©Steve Cox.

New Junior Tour Guide scheme launched for visiting school groups

Conservation and education charity, the Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick, has worked in partnership with Law Primary School and Illuminate UK to launch a new educational experience for visiting school groups.

The Junior Tour Guides feature P6 pupils from North Berwick’s primary school who all had to audition for their starring roles. They have since had to learn an extensive script written by Illuminate UK Director, Karen McKenzie, which focuses on two time periods: the early 20th century and the modern day.

Split into groups, the pupils take visiting schools on a journey exploring four different themes: Edwardian ladies, bird watchers, fisherfolk and lighthouse keepers. With these key topics they are able to highlight the difference in attitudes towards marine life and conservation, and show how our relationship with the sea has changed in regards to tourism, fishing and other sea-based industries.

These exclusive tours are available for school groups who book education visits to the Scottish Seabird Centre on Tuesdays throughout the summer term. Each of these tours last around 40 minutes, taking the classes around different areas of the Discovery Centre, with a ten minute ‘play’ in each location.

Andrew Grieveson, Education Officer at the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “The Junior Tour Guide scheme is intended to provide children with a deeper understanding of marine life and the effects we have upon it. It allows them a new perspective of the Seabird Centre, delivered by their peers. Child-led learning is a great way for all children to become engaged in education in a stimulating and fun way!”

Poppy Wilson, from Law Primary School, who is one of the Edwardian ladies said: “I’ve really enjoyed the Junior Tour Guides because it has made me a lot more confident and helped me to learn a lot about North Berwick’s history.  I was new at Law Primary this year and it’s helped me to get to know more people at my school, too. It’s been an amazing experience.”

Karen McKenzie, Director of Illuminate UK, said: “Together we have created a promenade production which will delight young visitors. The children involved are true ambassadors for their local area – they’ve absorbed the story of North Berwick and its environment, they’ve learned storytelling and tour guide techniques to bring it to life for visitors and they deliver their performance with confidence and flair.

“Illuminate UK has 10 years’ experience creating Junior Tour Guide projects around Scotland and we’ve enjoyed every minute of this one, from creating the script and characters to leading workshops and rehearsals. I’d encourage schools to book now – this will be an inspiring experience for any visiting children and their teachers.”

The Junior Tour Guide visits should be booked in advance by calling 01620 890202 or emailing info@seabird.org There is no additional cost to general education bookings, which are available from £3 per child.

The Junior Tour Guide scheme has been possible thanks to funding from the Stella Moffat Trust; Horace and Helen Gilman and the People’s Postcode Trust.

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