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Youngsters have eyes on skies!

Posted onPosted on 4th Mar

Staff and students at Fountaindale School, Mansfield, spent time in the school’s grounds birdwatching as part of wider curriculum initiatives around the environment, ecosystems, and habitats.

All nine classes in the school took part in activities to help pupils immerse themselves in nature and familiarise themselves with the resources and technology used.

Each group spent at least 30 minutes outside, looking closely at their surroundings and listening to birdsong to help identify different species. The children then compared what they had noticed with the BirdNet app on iPads to determine the type of birds they had seen.

Children at Fountaindale, which is part of Nexus Multi Academy Trust, counted each of the types of bird noted and recorded the information on worksheets available from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). The data collected was shared with the RSPB as part of its Big Schools Birdwatch initiative, an annual event organised with the aim of increasing young people’s awareness of wildlife and improving the data available to the organisation.

Pupils also made bird food cakes with lard, raisins, cheese, bird seed, and peanuts.

The birdwatching activities are part of the work contributing to Fountaindale School’s bid for an Eco Schools Award, an initiative which recognises the hard work of schools to implement environmentally-friendly initiatives and projects.

Majella Robson, nature curriculum lead at Fountaindale, said: “It was great to see so much enthusiasm from the children and staff as we all took part in the bird watching activities. It was a fantastic way for our children to learn more about the world around us, engage with nature and foster important skills, such as evaluation and research, particularly through technology as they identified the birds using the app.”

Head teacher Chris Evans added: “Opportunities to spend time in the fresh air and grow our awareness of local wildlife are a core part of making sure the children enjoy their time at Fountaindale School, developing the skills they need to thrive.

“Fountaindale was recently awarded a Rights Respecting Schools Award by UNICEF UK in recognition of ongoing efforts to empower our students to understand their rights and responsibilities.

“Everyone should be given the chance to develop a love and respect for nature, and activities such as this ensure that the children in our care at Fountaindale can have this chance too, regardless of their background or levels of ability.”