Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Wildlife at Work

This is my first proper post about attempting to get the pupils I teach involved in wildlife, so for those of you who are not familiar with the school environment, I will give you a short introduction. Schools are interesting places to work. Each day is never quite the same, they can be brilliant, and they certainly have their challenges too. But, unlike some would lead you to believe, it is not all doom and gloom! We do have fun (pupils and staff alike), and there are lots of opportunities to get involved in almost anything...

2013 and 2014 Big Schools'
Birdwatch certificates
I run STEM Club at my school, that is 'Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths' Club. As part of this, I have managed to purchase and set up some great wildlife resources, like a bird box with installed camera that my tutor group and I are keeping close tabs on, and our bird feeders that are set up near the library -  a big help for the Big Schools' Birdwatch!

Noctuid moth chrysalis'
I also have a pop up 'butterfly garden'. I am planning on ordering the painted lady caterpillars that come as part of it soon, but at present I am guardian of seven moth chrysalis' (I've recently learnt they are not cocoons, because cocoons are the silky protection around the chrysalis). They have been in hibernation since the beginning of December, just after the caterpillars were saved from the greenhouse and delivered to my lab. After doing some research, it seems they may be Noctuid or owlet moths, but with over 35,000 known species of this type of moth, I think I'll have to wait until they emerge to really find out what they are!

We are also having discussions about what we're going to do with our 'wildlife garden' and 'nature area'. The wildlife garden once had a pond, but hasn't for a long time, and we want to get it back to how it should be, with a complete pond and wildflowers to make it a haven for wildlife once more. That will then make it a brilliant resource for the ecology based projects that the science department carry out, and as an extra-curricular resource too. Our nature area also has some fantastic aims; there will be raised beds to grow fruit and vegetables, there are the beginnings of an orchard, and there will be swathes of wildflowers to help the honey bees that we keep. This is a fantastic time because we are just starting to flesh out our ideas about exactly what to include and how we're going to do it, and the pupils will be helping us a lot with that.

I will finish with some of the action from our bird box thus far - the blue tits have been very busy this week, today in particular, and their nest seems to be almost ready! They are causing so much excitement, even in our year 11 and sixth form classes. Anyone walking down the corridor must wonder what's going on when there is a sudden "Oh! There's a BIRD!"
Date: 17th March 2014

Date: 18th March 2014

Date: 18th March 2014

Date: 18th March 2014

Date: 18th March 2014

Date: 31st March 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment