The Big Schools’ Birdwatch 2020

The Big Schools’ Birdwatch 2020

Schools across the UK are currently taking part in the Big School’s Birdwatch 2020. Run by the RSPB, the Big Schools’ Birdwatch is an annual survey, where pupils go out into the playground and take a record of all of the birds that they see.

Why not get your class to take part? It fits well with many areas of the curriculum for all age groups and your pupils will love becoming ‘citizen scientists’.

How does it work?

Get your pupils to wrap up warm and then go out into the playground, or onto the school field, if your school has one. They should try to be as quiet as possible to encourage the birds to appear. Armed with a clipboard and worksheet (download available on the RSPB website here), they should record how many of each species of bird they can see at any one time. This should prevent birds being counted twice.

There are 20 types of birds to watch out for, as well as space to add any others that aren’t on the list. The survey should take approximately one hour. Once you have recorded your results, you can submit them to the RSPB on the website here. The information is vital for the RSPB. It allows them to track changes in bird population and try to support bird species which are in decline. You can see the results of the 2019 Big Garden Birdwatch here.

Download the PTS Bird Identifier

If you don’t have the time to spend a full lesson doing the Big Schools’ Birdwatch this month, why not download our free bird identifier? You can use this as a handout for your pupils, who can use it to do a mini survey in the playground. If you put some bird feeders outside of your classroom window you can even track your visitors without going outside. Why not keep a mini whiteboard with a list of all of the birds you’ve seen this week?

We’d love to know how you engage your pupils with wildlife. Have you taken part in the Big Schools’ Birdwatch this year? What did you see? Would you recommend it to your fellow educators? Let us know if the comments section below.

Read More…

In 2012, a report by the National Trust, called Natural Childhood, laid out not only the problems that children’s lack of experience of nature creates, but also the positive benefits that allowing children to spend time in nature without adult supervision can bring. Here we summarise the key points of the report and give some helpful tips on how to engage your class with the environment.

In 2015 there was an outcry from a group of 28 authors, when the Oxford Junior Dictionary removed fifty nature words, including kingfisher, otter and minnow, and replaced them with modern, technological terms. We look at Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris’ response to this, as well as giving you some great ideas for classroom activities here.


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