Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Thanks from Schools - and some questions for teachers

Letters from a Stanley Junior School, Middlesex, UK. Click image to enlarge The school-children from Class 5JC At Stanley Junior School in Middlesex in southern England wrote to us recently. Thanks, everyone.

Shown below are a few extracts of the things they said. For other teachers reading this blog, we've included a questionnaire at the end which we'd ask you to complete and return to us.

Simone M: The parents were good when the babies were born, keeping them warm, the dad was going out and geting food to bring them. I have enjoyed waching them and found it interesting.

Stanley G: My teacher has been showing us the webcam of the peregrine falcons. They are very high up and always seem to be hungry. I am worried they will fall out of the nest. I would love a photograph of the peregrine falcons. I am sure my teacher will pay for it.
Lianne K: I am very very worried that they are too high up. They have a very dangerous nest they might die up there from the height can you do something so they don't fall out, and also I am worried that the bells might make the birds deaf.
George: I have learnt about them and know they are birds of prey. I have also learnt that they were very rare but now growing in numbers. Best of all I enjoyed watching the babies being fed by their parents.
Nassam A: My name is Nassam. I have enjoyed watching your video. I was worried the babies might fall down on to the street and die. I'm looking forward to watching more footage of the falcons.

I'm sure most of the readers to this blog -wherever we are in the world - would like to thank the children of class 5JC for writing to us. (They must all be around 9-10yrs old.)
The Peregrine Project Team were certainly pleased to hear from you, and we can tell you that the young chicks are very clever at staying on the nest ledge, and rarely fall out. But you'll have seen that a few weren't quite strong enough to make their first flight. (We have plans to stop that happening next year.) Of course, it helps to be up high, especially when taking that first flight - so we don't worry about that at all. Peregrines like being high up on cliffs and mountain tops, even if some of us humans don't! Nor should you worry that the Cathedral's bells may make them deaf. The bells certainly are loud, but not enough to damage their hearing. The birds seem to completely ignore them - and their hearing is still pretty good.

And from Red Class, Brigg School, Derbyshire:
Thank you for answering all of our questions. We were happy and excited to see them on the website. We learnt lots about peregrines. We enjoyed reading the answers. We are going to make a book all about peregrines. Our headteacher is going to put the name of the website on our school news letter. Some of the children have been to Derby to look through the telescope. They liked it when the birds were flying around in circles. We watched the video clips of the mummy bird feeding the chicks. They made lots of noise. Thank you very much from Red Class.
For teachers everywhere

If you are a teacher (anywhere in the world, but especially in Derbyshire) please have a go at completing this questionnaire which we hope may guide us to aiding more schools use our webcams. We want you to tell us what we need to do to help you take better advantage of them in class.

It's probably best just to cut, paste and edit the text in an email, sending your replies back to peregrines@derbyshirewt.co.uk.

1) Have you personally visited the Watchpoints or seen our peregrines for real? YES / NO

2) Has your school or class watched the webcams or used our blog? YES / NO
. . If YES, how often and in what way?

Once or twice / weekly / daily
General interest / Environment / Life cycles / ICT / Numeracy / Geography
Other-please specify:

. . If, NO, what are the constraints?
 Not aware
 Not relevant to teaching
 Too technical, or insufficient ICT resources
 Can’t view for technical reasons (sites blocked)
 Too distracting
 Other – please specify…

3) What would encourage you to use Derby’s peregrines as a teaching tool?
 Nothing – I use them already.
 A visit from an expert to talk to your class or assembly (Derby & Derbyshire schools only)
 A school visit to the Cathedral and Watchpoint (Derby & Derbyshire schools only)
 WEB: More background information on peregrines (FAQs)
 WEB: More help and ideas for teaching opportunities/links to National Curriculum
 WEB: Downloadable activity sheets
 WEB: High definition video clips on intranet/learning platform
 WEB: An hourly image archive for you to select, store and re-show images of your choice from any past hour, day or year. (if you like this idea, feel free to expand on how you might use it, or what functionality you might like to see)
 Other suggestions:

Would you be willing to pay for? (and how much):
Unrestricted access to live video feeds YES / NO
Classroom visits by experts with supporting material. YES / NO

Your Name:
Name of School:
Age of Children Taught:
Would you like us to add your email to our mailing list for peregrine news and updates? YES / NO

Paste and edit in an email, sending your replies to peregrines@derbyshirewt.co.uk


Penny said...

Delightful comments from the children! We were made members of the Young Ornithologists Club at school, and I hope that this project invests at least some of these thoughtful children with a lifelong fascination and respect for birds. xxx Penny

Anonymous said...

Two birds on 'pudding cam' (15.10 UK time) good to see them!!

Froona said...

It's great to get children involved. This way the children learn to understand the beauty of wildlife. They learn to respect the ways of raptors. And how these birds are needed to maintain the balance in the ecosystem. The peregrine falcon is one of the most fascinating birds and certainly the fastest of our planet. Great job you are doing! Froona

P.S. Thanks for getting the pudcam a bit closer on the youngsters!

Anonymous said...

pax Canada 9.45am
3 on the pudding cam

Anonymous said...

One birdie standing right in front of the pudding cam. Jennie, HK.

Froona said...

I think the juvies are taking more and more trips further away from the save Cathedral. They must be practising the tumbling and divebombing for the stoop. Wonder if anyone overthere has seen that already?
At the moment it's siesta. Love to see the wind blowing through the beautiful soft white-grey feathers as it does right now.
No bird is more terrific than the Peregrine falcon.

Anonymous said...

Three birds onthe pudding cam - lovely to see them!!