'OWLS School' - Raising Nature Awareness in Young Children. Every year we take part in this programme which is aimed at primary schools. It takes place throughout the school year and involves an OWLS leader visiting classes and delivering a series of lessons on biodiversity subjects. These are aimed at creating awareness, education and enjoyment of nature through a fun and hands on approach. The programme aims to take place mostly outside in the school grounds or local surroundings to allow students to learn about their surrounding biodiversity.
Some of the topics & activities we've looked at this year with our Owls Leader 'Mouse' include:
An Introductory wildlife slideshow looking at Ireland's biodiversity
Autumn: Seeds and how they disperse. Local walk and games looking at the differences in colour, shape and size of seeds and how this relates to their dispersal. We also learnt about hibernation and what Irish animals hibernate during winter. We were set some outdoor challenges on this topic.
Predator and prey: We learned about the different ways in which Irish animals catch their prey, what methods are used to capture prey and what methods prey use to avoid detection or escape. We took part in outdoor games based on concepts discussed.
Winter adaptations: Our OWLS leader discussed changes or difficulties Irish animals face in winter, how they adapt to these and we played outdoor games based on these ideas.
We made our own Bird Feeders with our OWLS leader.
Bird identification and bird watching walk using binoculars. We learned how to identify common Irish birds and then we played a game of bird bingo around the school and local area to see how many different birds we could spot.
Amphibians. We learned about Irish amphibians and took an in depth look at frog life cycle. Our OWLS leader brought in different stages of tadpole for children to see up close.