Warden Hill Primary School Cheltenham

The Wildlife Quiz

The Wonderful Wildlife Team of Warden Hill

Once again, our school entered The Wildlife Quiz, run by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. The quiz started in 1976 with just six schools. This year it celebrates its 47th anniversary, with over 400 children from 70 schools taking part. Our team met every Wednesday lunchtime to learn about British Flora and Fauna. Mrs Catchpole, who led the club, was extremely impressed by not only the children’s knowledge but also their commitment and enthusiasm to learn about all aspects of British Wildlife. The team of five children selected to represent our school this year were Louis, Tom, Thomas, Orla and James.

Louis and Thomas have written about their experience of taking part in the quiz:

Round 1
We all felt the pressure in round one. As it is a knockout out quiz, we did not want to leave in the first round after all our hard work. We had a strong start and a few great rounds of answers. Some of the questions we were asked were: What is the name of a male and female duck? Answer: drake (male) and duck (female). What is an aphid? Answer: a Greenfly
By the end of the quiz, we were announced as the winners, with an unexpected ten-point lead on the opponents.

Round 2
We found this a tough round, with our individual questions being the hardest. Going into the specimens round, we only had a lead of 1 point. The specimens had us on the edge of our seats, we had to identify which plant was a Shepard’s Purse, we had never heard of it before, luckily we did get it right! It was a close match, but we came out victorious and through to Round 3 – The Cheltenham Area Final!

Round 3 (Cheltenham area final)
We knew that winning this round would crown Warden Hill Primary School to be the best wildlife quizzing team the Cheltenham Area, so we once again felt under pressure. We found the question difficulty had ramped up noticeably from the last rounds. After the first round, we were drawing with the other teams and felt that victory was in our grasp. After the next two rounds however, we were down four points. Despite this, the will to win remained in the team and we did not give up. In the final round, we managed to squeeze ourselves onto the Cheltenham Area winner’s podium, narrowly avoiding elimination by one question. We were through to the Semi-Final – something that has never been achieved by a team from Warden Hill before!

Round 4 – Semi-finals
We arrived at Robin’s Wood Country Park – the headquarters of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust – to find that they had set out the quiz in the shade of an oak tree. We were against other area winners – Lakefield and Sherborne. At the end of each round, the scores were close, often with us drawing with Sherborne. After the final round, the scores were added up and a draw between Sherborne and us was announced. Therefore, a tiebreaker question was needed. We were given a tube full of small bones which we had to look at to identify which animal the skeleton had come from. The atmosphere was tense and our parents were nervous wrecks! Nevertheless, we kept our heads. Tom thought the bones were from a Mole, as he had spotted a claw, which he recognised from when he dissected owl pellets in Year 5. Sherborne thought it was a Pygmy Shrew. After a hushed moment, it was announced that we were the winners! We were so proud of such an amazing achievement!

Sadly, we cannot compete in the finals because we are on PGL Residential. However, taking part in the quiz has been incredible fun, we have learnt so much and it has opened our eyes to the nature all around us.

Thomas and Louis