Youngsters confront spider phobias at Sidmouth College

STUDENTS at Sidmouth College were encouraged to feel the fear and do it anyway, by confronting their phobias of spiders and snakes.

A year 11 youngster brought in some of his exotic pets – including a furry salmon bird-eating spider, similar to a tarantula, two snakes and a scorpion – during an A-level psychology lesson.

He gave a talk on phobias and offered his fellow students the opportunity to confront their fears by handling the spider and one of the snakes.

Molly Jacobs was rewarded for her bravery by discovering that the arachnid was softer and lighter than she expected, although she said it had a disconcerting grip.

The lesson was designed to give pupils a “real taste of anxiety” and explore the “faulty thinking” that can lead to phobias.