TEAMS from 11 schools gathered to pit their wits against an orienteering challenge around South Lakes Safari Zoo.

Years 3 and 4 pupils from Dane Ghyll, Pennington, St Columba’s, St George’s, Burlington, Sacred Heart, Croftlands Juniors, Holy Family, Penny Bridge, St James’ and Low Furness were all in attendance, with teams of eight taking part.

Each team member was given a specific role: team leader, who ticked off the checkpoints and made sure the other team members had completed their task; map carrier, who kept the map orientated, decided where to go next and worked closely with leader; fact finder, who recorded facts about each animal at the checkpoints; photographer, who took pictures of the animals and the team working together; code-breaker, who noted down the letter at each checkpoint, which created a word once all collected by the end of the course; and reporter, who recorded the adventure, things that went well or not, and the places visited and animals seen.

In total, teams had to visit 12 checkpoints, with two teams being sent out into the zoo at five-minute intervals following a briefing.

One went clockwise and the other went anti-clockwise, with the members having to work together to complete the course and solve problems.

“I was really excited about this event as it something quite different,” said Furness school games organiser Oliver Carswell. “Working closely with Lyndsay, the education officer at the zoo, we were able to come up with a course and all the resources the schools needed.

“The children in attendance hadn’t taken part in a school games competition this year and/or don’t take part in as much sport in or away from school.

“It was great to see the children working together to solve the problems in order to complete the course, this was really helped by the fact that the school staff members didn’t take over and put themselves in charge.

“There were lots of positive comments from everyone involved about how much the zoo has changed since they were last in.”