The RSPB's Big School Birdwatch helps children learn about nature



The Big Schools Birdwatch takes place in the first half of the Easter term.  The event gives children a great chance to get closer to nature and discover lots about it and the feathered visitors to their school grounds.  The results for 2017 can be found here - the blackbird was the most spotted bird.   Why not have your class check out the results and then see if they can spot the most common birds in your grounds?   

All it takes is an hour to watch the birds.  There are specially designed resources  with aCounting Sheet for ages 7-11, Parts of the Bird , and they can even make Pine Cone Lardy Bird Feeders.   There are also lots more - creative resources, activity resources, games, stories and survey sheets. Plus activities to do in and out of the classroom and the RSPB also does free outreach visits as well - they are working in partnership with Aldi to connect people to the world of nature. 
And you can run it as you wish - it can be project work, or part of efforts to improve your schools grounds or as the centre piece of cross-curricular studies.  And theRSPB also has an amazing range of resources you can use year round so do fly over and check out their website. 
Past activities teachers and children have enjoyed meant they... 
  • competed to identify birds 
  • held a special assembly
  • made bird feeders
  • used binoculars
  • created art work
  • learnt how to identify and count birds
  • gave them a real purpose for learning
  • increased their motivation
  • came into school to say what birds they'd seen in their gardens
  • made wallcharts, factfiles and birdwatching guides for others in the school to read
  • listened to the birds
  • listened to the bird song on the RSPB site
  • watched the birds eat the cake they made for them
  • held a video conference with a school in Mississippi and saw the inside of their woodpeckers' nest

Teachers have used the event for cross curricular teaching
Literary work focused on birds; one teacher reported "we used the information we collected to carry out investigations in maths, drawing graphs, drawing conclusions from our findings, to disucss probability" while another said that taking part in the event "helped us to our green flag status"  
All round, this event gives win-wins. 
  1. Children were motivated to learn about nature and the environment and enjoyed their lessons.  Teachers were able to take the event cross curricular and use the resources off the RSPB web site and learn more about nature themeslves
  2. Parents were motivated to get involved
  3. The birds benefited from increased feeding at a cold time of year. 
  4. And the RSPB surely got a higher profile across everyone in the community, which helped to promote the amazing work it does.

Education really works - have you read the story about children in India who helped a donkey, thanks to the education they had received on donkey welfare?  More...