SSPCA takes its Animal Wise education programme online

The SSPCA has launched Animal Wise, a revamped educational programme designed to make learning about animals fun and accessible.

Saturday, 17th October 2020, 7:30 am
Engaging young minds...Gilly and her colleagues might not be able to visit schools but still want to engage with pupils. (Pic: Phil Wilkinson)

Scotland’s animal welfare charity is expanding its support of young people and communities from traditional classroom visits to include e-learning activities, virtual tours of centres and webinars.

The new Animal Wise package also encompasses the Society’s Animal Guardians programme, which works with children who are at risk of or have already shown concerning behaviours towards animals.

Gilly Mendes Ferreira, head of education, policy and research at the SSPCA, said: “We last revamped our education offering in 2009.

“A decade on, especially with the current restrictions due to Covid-19, seems the appropriate time to refresh our brand and embrace more of the virtual world.

“Due to the pandemic, we had to revise many of the plans we had in place, such as adventure clubs to be held at our centres, and adapt them for a digital platform.

“During lockdown we created downloadable education packs, which were downloaded over 6000 times.

“We also distributed around 1000 packs with the help of Barnardo’s and Police Scotland to children who did not have the facilities to access the packs online.

“We want to build on that success as we believe our support to schools should extend further than our one-off annual workshops.

“We want to support young people’s health and well-being, enhance their literacy and numeracy skills, introduce innovative ways to engage with STEM and inspire future career pathways.

“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.

“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.”

The services are completely free. For more details email [email protected]

To find out more about Animal Wise, visit