Post by Miss Flo Hayles- Class 1 Teacher at Pendock Primary School
Pendock Primary School's Big Schools' Birdwatch
At Pendock, we were inspired to take part in the RSPB's Big Schools' Birdwatch due to our unique rural location and recent curriculum focus. We have spent this term concentrating on local wildlife, drawing the Term to a close with a Forest School workshop about robins. We looked at their habitats, diet, appearance and temperament and made them some delicious fat balls to hang up in the school grounds. When we had finished our work on this and the food had been eaten, we were fortunate enough to arrive back from playtime one morning to find a cheeky robin had let himself into our classroom! The children were incredibly gentle and compassionate in their attitude towards the little chap, helping us to identify him and find the best location to set him free based on our recently acquired knowledge of robin's habitats. The same robin returned the following week to watch us all take part in a workshop on the field with the Marines! He also appeared during our birdwatching hour, making a guest appearance several times. We thought he was trying to trick us into believing that there are lots of very important robins around here - but we had learnt by then that robins are quite territorial, solitary creatures when to comes to other feathered friends. The children were not fooled by him and it was wonderful to see them apply what they had learnt to this context!
The bird watch enabled us to enjoy a mindful hour, during which time staff and children were able to be quiet and still, appreciating the wildlife in our hedgerows, trees and skies. In our circle time afterwards, one child commented that it was "quite a spiritual thing" to be working together on this activity. Another said it had "taken their mind off all the things I want for Christmas" and that it was "good to think about the animals too at this time of year." Stopping and looking at birds, learning about them and doing something to help them not only ticked a vast amount of the boxes across EYFS and National Curriculum objectives this term, but even tapped into 'real life' skills, understanding of the world and our School values of compassion, generosity and respect. Thank you for encouraging us to take part at Pendock Primary School!
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