The VIVARIUM at Sri Bestari Private School Kuala Lumpur came to life on the bright sunny afternoon of 7 April 2021 with the release of fishes into the aquariums, a pair of tortoises and rabbits at a dedicated area at the school. A Vivarium brings the meaning of a ‘Place of Life’ which is an enclosed area for raising animals or plants where observation and research are carried out. It is a miniature semblance of an ecosystem for a particular species with controlled environmental conditions where studies are made.
Sri Bestari Private School KL is an Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) Pilot Centre where Science is taught via Inquiry which is successful in nurturing curiosity, creativity and a critical attitude towards the natural world around us. Students engage in numerous experimentation activities to develop their critical thinking and the need to innovate in trying to understand visible or invisible matter or phenomenon. Through the years, the school has invested additional resources and platforms for teachers and students to complement their Science Curriculum to provide an opportune for experiential learning as opposed to merely a knowledge-based approach. Professor Emeritus Yves Quéré, one (1) of the pioneers of the La Fondation La main à la pâte together with Nobel Laureate Professor Georges Charpak and Professor Emeritus Pierre Léna, is himself is an ardent advocate of developing understanding of natural occurrences around us than just merely acquiring knowledge.
The school has a dedicated Paddy-Plot for students to understand rice planting and harvesting techniques, an Outdoor Science Lab to explore nature at its best, an Edible Garden where they learn about seedling and cultivation of vegetables and now The Vivarium. As modern living today does not accord students an opportunity to experience husbandry in its most natural environment yet have to rely almost wholeheartedly on mother nature to provide for their food chain, Sri Bestari Private School Kuala Lumpur has and will continue to provide for this experiential and exploration which will have a profound effect in their learning and understanding of how nature works.
Pn Siti Normah, the Head of Primary School noted that, “The interest and performance of students in Science and the environment is on the rise the past few years ever since the inception of the Inquiry-Based approach in Science at the school. The purchase of the high-powered commercial telescope to explore the Solar System has captured the attention of the students to the realm of the universe beyond earth and this provides numerous learning opportunities and experiences for our students. The Vivarium is one additional initiative that will have a positive learning effect in the long run”.
Besides Science, observing animal behaviour is very therapeutic for many especially in times of this Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown where life is very much confined to school and in the home. Ms Daisy James, the Head of the Education and Learning Support Academy (ELSA) for students with learning difficulties, autistic or dyslexic is a great advocate of the outdoors and mother nature as an effective form of therapy for her students. With the setting up of The Vivarium, students will not only explore Science but also utilise it as a calming avenue in times of stress.