CARING pupils from Upton Heath Church of England Primary School have raised over £1,500 for Chester Zoo, smashing their original fundraising target of £400.

Staff and pupils at Upton Heath C of E Primary School were inspired to support their local zoo after hearing of the plight of the charity, with teachers coming up with the idea of an art themed fundraiser.

Pupils were asked to take a virtual day trip around the zoo using the Chester Zoo online map and planning the journey to see their favourite animals.

During the ‘journey’, children were asked to stop and draw their chosen animals, asking friends and family to sponsor them for every animal successfully ‘visited’ and drawn.

The official ‘day at the zoo’ for Upton Heath pupils was Wednesday, June 17, with pupils entering into the spirit of the occasion, creating their own Chester Zoo signs, dressing up and proudly displaying their artwork in their homes.

The fundraiser was also utilised as a learning experience in school with children designing their own zoos, making timetables and writing fact files and guides on how to look after different animals. There were lots of fun features included by pupils in their zoo designs, including queues of people returning to the zoo, and even a monorail reminiscent of Chester Zoo’s old monorail.

One pupil from Upton Heath Primary School raised a massive £117 after creating a virtual zoo plan and drawing many fantastic animals.

Children at Upton Heath have also been getting inventive with others ways of fundraising for Chester Zoo.

A total of £116 was raised by one enterprising pupil by painting pebbles like animals and selling them to friends and family, and another raised £150 by selling some of his toys on eBay. More money was raised by a pupil from the school by creating animal handprints for donations. Two sisters from Upton Heath even raised £500 for Chester Zoo with a sponsored run.

Conrad North, headteacher of Upton Heath C of E Primary School, which has been caring for key worker children throughout the pandemic and opened to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 on June 22, said: “The response we’ve had from our families at Upton Heath to our Chester Zoo fundraiser has been heartwarming, with some children virtually visiting and drawing every single species of animal at Chester Zoo.

"We’ve also had children and classes arrange additional fundraising for Chester Zoo with sponsored walks, art activities and more, which all shows just how valued and important the zoo is to our community. We’re pleased to have been able to support Chester Zoo at this time.”

Upton Heath Primary School, which is located on Upton Lane, just moments away from Chester Zoo, will also be relaunching its house teams with each house team named after an endangered animal at Chester Zoo.

Mr North added: “Chester Zoo supported us as a school with resources to help our children investigate various endangered animals and choose their favourite.

"The top four endangered animals have been chosen as our house team names for September 2020, which will be Asian Elephants, Asiatic Lions, Eastern Black Rhinos and Sumatran Tigers. I’d like to thank Chester Zoo for helping our children to learn more about conservation, and all that they do for children and schools in our area and beyond.”

You can find out more and get involved with the Upton Heath Chester Zoo fundraiser by visiting their Justgiving page at