Jack scales new heights with lizard project

Photo Neil Cross'Penwortham Priory Academy pupil Jack Roscoe, known as Lizard Boy, with his tortoises Trevor and Gwinevere
Photo Neil Cross'Penwortham Priory Academy pupil Jack Roscoe, known as Lizard Boy, with his tortoises Trevor and Gwinevere
  • Student creates reptile centre at Penwortham school
  • Geckos housed in new £750,000 science block
  • 14-year-old also works with alpacas and Shetland ponies
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ONE Penwortham schoolboy has scaled ambitious new heights with his project – a reptile department for his school.

Jack Roscoe has created a reptile centre in Penwortham Priory Academy’s new science block.

Photo Neil Cross'Penwortham Priory Academy pupil Jack Roscoe, known as Lizard Boy, with his tortoises Trevor and Gwinevere and school gecko Georgie

Photo Neil Cross'Penwortham Priory Academy pupil Jack Roscoe, known as Lizard Boy, with his tortoises Trevor and Gwinevere and school gecko Georgie

The 14-year-old, who lives in Lostock Hall, is nicknamed Lizard Boy by his classmates at the Crow Hills Road school – and he doesn’t mind a bit, as that is exactly how he sees himself.

So much so that, when the new £750,000 science block opened at Priory recently, Jack put a proposal together to headteacher Matt Eastham to ask if it could house reptiles – and he was successful.

“I have two tortoises at home called Trevor and Guinevere,” said Jack, who lives in Lostock Hall with his parents and sister Chloe.

“I have a 
snake called Slinky, that was originally my sister’s but she is now scared of it, and I have a lizard, a uromastyx, called Sonic.

Jack’s enthusiasm and knowledge were there to be seen

Matt Eastham

“My mum isn’t so sure about them. She likes the tortoises because they are slow but I don’t think she is so keen on the snakes and the lizard.”

Jack’s enthusiasm for the reptiles shines through so much so that, when he heard about the new science block, he had no problem tackling the headteacher and asking for some geckos to be housed there.

“I was shaking when I had to put a proposal together and present it,” said Jack. “I had been in other schools where there were ducks and school pets and we already had snails here so I went into Mr Eastham, told him the cost of a gecko, where I could get one, how I would look after it and how much it would mean to me to have one at the school.”

Mr Eastham admitted he was impressed: “Jack’s enthusiasm and knowledge were there to be seen.

Photo Neil Cross'Penwortham Priory Academy pupil Jack Roscoe, known as Lizard Boy, with his tortoises Trevor and Gwinevere and school gecko Georgie

Photo Neil Cross'Penwortham Priory Academy pupil Jack Roscoe, known as Lizard Boy, with his tortoises Trevor and Gwinevere and school gecko Georgie

“The big thing was he actually wants to teach other 
students about geckos and how to take care of them as well and I couldn’t do anything but support him.”

So Jack got the school’s first gecko – called Georgie – an incubator to house her and food, including meal worms, crickets and locusts.

Then Jack went to Mr Eastham again last month.

“I wanted a male gecko as the school could then learn about breeding and we could run it as a breeding project. Thankfully Mr Eastham said yes so we got George, who is only a couple of weeks old.”

Only Jack, along with science technician John Evans, have the key to look after the geckos and Jack admits his confidence has blossomed because Mr Eastham helped him on his project.

“It helped me as the school believed in me and supported me and I think it has also helped the school as it adds to their appeal.

“I also go to Myerscough College once a week on their Animal Care Course and I look after Alpacas and Shetland ponies – I do prefer the smaller animals though!

“I want to be a zoo keeper, an exotic vet or a reptologist in the future.”