Academy9’s Early Birds, inspiring the next David Attenborough?  

As part of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, which takes place at the end of January each year, the Academy9 team headed to primary schools in Newtonmore, Kingussie, Pitlochry and Aberfeldy to work with P3s on the topic of the great wildlife on their doorsteps. 

In the Early Birds session, pupils learned about the range of birds in the Highlands through three interactive tasks. Ecologists, Joanna & Amy introduced the pupils to a variety of local birds, from Robins to Capercaillies. The next section of the event considered food chains and how conservations efforts are important to ensure food chains are not disrupted. For the final activity, the pupils were asked to find cards with different birds printed on them in their play area with the purpose of teaching them about rare and common species. While there were plenty of cards with common birds, fewer cards with rare birds were also hidden. Throughout the day, pupils learned about sustainability, ecology and biology in an engaging way in preparation of the Big Garden Birdwatch. They also used their listening, communication and teamwork skills to complete tasks as a team.  

While the Early Birds event coincided with the Big Garden Birdwatch and topics in the pupils’ curriculum, there are wider benefits to running these events. Research has shown that direct engagement with nature in childhood contributes to care for nature later in life. Childhood experiences of nature increase the likelihood of positive attitudes towards the environment in adults.  

Early Birds provides pupils with a learning experience outside the classroom and the pupils loved the activities. Below are clips of what they had to say about the experience: 

If you feel encouraged by reading about our events then please contact us if you would like further information.  

Or take a look at our project resources to support you when working in schools. 

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