St John Plessington Catholic College

Chester Zoo and Dana Prison Visits

Over the past few days, psychology and sociology students have had the privilege to attend enrichment experiences, one to Chester Zoo and the other to Dana Prison in Shrewsbury. On Wednesday, 11 of us went to Dana Prison, where we were dressed in jumpsuits, locked in cells and given the prison experience, as well as being able to explore the prison with the help of Graham, a prison guard who had worked at Dana for over 20 years before it closed in 2013.

As for Tuesday, 9 students had a discussion with one of the zoo keepers as to why the baby animals form the attachments they do with their mother, as well as how those attachments are different from how they would be in the wild, and why the animals behave the way they do with each other and the keepers. Whilst our individual awareness of how the prisons worked were different, we were all able to ask various questions about prison life and help to prepare us for the Forensics unit of psychology and the Crime and Deviance unit of Sociology in Year 13. Personally, I loved the experience as it has given me the chance to see how what we learn can be applied to the real world, which makes the topics much easier to understand and helps to explain it to other people. It also gives us the chance to ask questions that may not be answered in the classroom from people with first-hand experience in their respective fields, which means the information we get can be tailored to specific interests and therefore helps us with how we want to spend our future.

Abbie Christelow