Julie Foreman, RSPB Schools Outreach Officer, running Big Schools Birdwatch sessions

Big Schools' Birdwatch

From 3 January to 17 February 2017. Take part with your class - register and request a free resource now.

Big Schools' Birdwatch is an educational activity that gets your class closer to nature. It takes just an hour and works for all ages and abilities.

Every year, educators from every corner of the UK take part with their classes. There's plenty of flexibility to run it with any age group of children and we have resources to help. Join in with Big Schools' Birdwatch 2017 and help us make it the biggest ever!


Ydych chi eisiau i ofyn am becyn drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg? Cofrestrwch eich manylion a byddwn yn anfon poster dwyieithog chi.

Free bird ID poster

Register for Big Schools' Birdwatch and we'll send you a free bird identification poster for your classroom - the perfect preparation for the big day.

Watch our video on taking part

Big Schools’ Birdwatch. A class of children gets ready to go outside and count birds in their school grounds. Janine Holmes, Year 3 teacher: “The children had a really good time today and I think actually the staff had a good time. I had a TA [teaching assistant] out with the children and she came back in, all excited, to say that they’d spotted a particular bird that she didn’t think they’d see on the grounds.” Outdoors, children fill in Big Schools’ Birdwatch sheets, writing in how many birds they’ve seen. They look around with binoculars. “Getting involved with the RSPB was a way to show the children how much nature we do have around here. And actually, just after this afternoon, I’ve had a few TAs and teachers ask me, ‘Oh, what did you find? Did you find much? You found 16 species of birds?’ They were really very surprised.” Back in the classroom, the class completes an activity. “The different activities that we did fit in really well with the curriculum, particularly the science and geography. They also had some art and craft activities going in here, and then making bird food, using lard and seeds – lots of stuff that’s very messy but the children really enjoyed.” Children enjoy pressing a mixture of fat and seeds into pine cones to hang up outside for the birds to eat. “At the end of the day, I just asked the children how they found it and what was their favourite activity. And the vast majority of them, their favourite thing was that they could identify birds by sound, not by sight. I think most of them didn’t realise that birds have different sounds, and that they could figure out what a bird was without even seeing it.” Children return to their classroom after enjoying being outside doing Big Schools’ Birdwatch.

Play video

What is it like to take part in Big Schools’ Birdwatch? In our video (1 minute 39 seconds), hear from Year 3 teacher Janine Holmes: “The children had a really good time today and the staff had a good time too. The different activities that we did fit in really well with the curriculum, particularly the science and geography.”

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