Birds in Schools: Northern Queensland

Birds in Schools: Northern Queensland

Birds in Schools is an exciting schools project that will soon be launched in northern Queensland by BirdLife Australia and its Birds in Backyards Program. The project involves year 5 and 6 students learning about how to monitor birds on their school grounds, analysing the results of their surveys and using what they learn to create habitat for birds on their school grounds. The project culminates in planting a bird-friendly garden on school grounds – a great conservation action. It is linked to the Australian curriculum and the students learn science and maths as well as getting outdoors – a winning combination! Local councils are supporting the project through providing plants and other resources for the gardens.

The Birds in Backyards Program is looking for both volunteers and primary schools in Cairns, Townsville and Mackay to get involved in 2018. We are looking for 15 primary schools (public or private) as well as at least 3 volunteers from each region who will help the students learn about birds. We are trying not to make things too demanding or onerous – but with options to do more if you wish to. Volunteers would be:

  • Attending the professional development workshop (half day in March) to meet the teachers/council staff and learn about the project
  • Liaising with the teachers and helping with any advice they might need (though we at Birds in Backyards are available too of course) via email/phone
  • Working as a team to give a lesson (1 hr) on how to conduct a bird survey and taking them out to do one during Term 2 (April to June). If possible and if they are interested, going out for more bird surveys with them would be great too.
  • Taking part in an optional Q and A session with the students in both Terms 3 and 4 (again 1 hr). In Term 4 classes may also be presenting their research findings (another optional activity).
  • Come along and help out/celebrate at their planting event (which will be attended by local council staff too)

The Birds in Backyards Program will:

  • Organise you a Working with Children check if you don’t have one already
  • Have a phone chat with you in the near future to talk in more detail about it (if you have any questions)
  • Provide you with a copy of all the resources for the project 
  • Provide you with training at the Professional Development workshop in person
  • Be available at any time throughout the year to answer questions or assist in any way! 

Please contact Holly Parsons: holly.parsons@birdlife.org.au if you would like to find out more or if you are interested in taking part. If you are a teacher and would be interested in your school getting involved also please get in touch (note there is no cost for schools, with the exception of covering staff to attend the professional development workshop).

Image: Caroline Wilson

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