Big Schools’ Birdwatch - What can it do for your school?

Pack requests close on 2nd February and submission of results is open now (until 21st Feb)

https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-teachers/schools-birdwatch/

This is an exciting time for young people with many young leaders taking action for nature recovery with a louder voice for conservation issues than ever before. There is a heightened awareness of conservation issues such as; the impact of climate change, habitat loss, plastic waste to name a few and many young people are proving to a be driving force for chance. This is an impassioned context for an activity such as Big Schools’ Birdwatch which gives tens of thousands of children the chance to take collective action to help save nature across all four UK countries.

See two schools who completed their survey during December 2019…

*Pendock Primary School near Worcester;

https://community.rspb.org.uk/getinvolved/learning/b/learning-blog/posts/pendock-primary-school-s-big-schools-birdwatch

*Northgate High School and Sixth Form in Ipswich, Suffolk

https://community.rspb.org.uk/getinvolved/learning/b/learning-blog/posts/big-schools-birdwatch-at-northgate-high-school-and-sixth-form

Time to fit ‘extras’ into the school day is an ill-afforded luxury for most teachers so here are some suggestions about how to use Big Schools’ Birdwatch to enrich the curriculum and use it to support the delivery of something you would be doing anyway;

Maths 
The most natural link in maths is through statistics or data handling. This year’s survey sheets have been updated this year to support concept of number by including tens frames and subitizing dots. Once you have submitted your results, you will see them presented in the format of your choice; pie chart, bar graph or pictogram.

Science
Applying knowledge of habitats, adaptation, biodiversity and food chains/webs to the birds they find or expect to see. This links especially well if they have taken actions to help wildlife already such as putting out food and water or planting for wildlife where they can start to monitor the impact their actions are having.

Afterwards children could share if anything in their results surprised them, why do they think this was? Didn’t see anything? What does this tell us? The results may prompt further investigation/projects into habitats and a retest?

English
The survey lends its self to a wide range of writing styles; non-fiction? Write a news report about your school’s participation- perhaps even send it to the local paper! Or a persuasive piece to your local council about what more they could be doing for wildlife in your area based on your results.

Fiction? Birds have featured in so many forms of writing throughout time; poetry, diaries, stories etc. How about writing from different points of view? The observer and the bird- like Roald Dahl’s Magic Finger! Take a book about birds as inspiration; Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and John Schoenherr (younger children) or The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico (older children).

https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-teachers/schools-birdwatch/

It contributes to your Wild Challenge Award...

One of the activities for Wild Challenge is Big Schools’ Birdwatch so you could use this year’s Birdwatch to start your Wild Challenge Award or as part of gaining your next award. It is a great way for children to monitor the impact of the other activities they have done as a part of Wild Challenge such as putting out Food and Water for Wildlife, Planting for Wildlife or Homes for Birds.

Working together- By sharing your class’s results with us, we can create an enormous and diverse data set giving an insight into which species are visiting school grounds and in what kinds of numbers. Importantly, the children will have had a voice and have acted to help nature. We send you a downloadable certificate and post out a thank you pack containing an A1 wall poster and information about our FREE Wild Challenge Award scheme for schools to help you continue your journey to help save nature.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-teachers/schools-wild-challenge/

Continue to develop your grounds as an outdoor learning resource and help wildlife in your area too!

RSPB Outreach sessions are delivered by our subject specialist learning team across a number of cities in the UK helping you make the most of your school grounds as a learning resource and to support wildlife in your area. All sessions are designed to meet areas of the curriculum in your UK country whilst offering children an enriching experience along with the empowerment and agency to take further action to develop their school grounds for wildlife beyond the session. All sessions also contribute to achieving your Wild Challenge Award!
The RSPB subsidises 50% of the cost therefore in England and Northern Island one 90 min session = £60 (+VAT)

For more information and to book your session please follow the link below;

https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-teachers/school-outreach-visits/

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