Joining in with live lessons from the BBC has become a norm for many children in lockdown. For the Big Schools’ Birdwatch the advantage has been to allow the majority of the class, the home schoolers, to join in with the same activity as their peers in school. We all tuned in at the same time – our school name even appeared on the running list of schools watching!

The exciting part was to have the presenters go through the set worksheet with us. We filled in details of a diagram of a bird and discussed how to classify birds according to their main features using a key. We learnt about feeding birds and how to watch them without causing them to notice us.

As soon as the live lesson finished we started on our bird feeders and learnt a whole lot of new skills.

Once the carrots, cheese, apples and pears were grated, peeled and chopped, we mixed them all up with cooked rice, selected a pinecone to roll in lard, pasting the feed mixture firmly onto it.

A few fat balls made with the leftovers.

The birds came and we recorded their names for the RSPB count. And finally, we even got a printout of the recorded birds who came to feast on our tree.

Not only were we learning about the birds in our area, we were learning to observe detail, use a classification key and record and enter our data as part of a nationwide bird count. We also put our basic cooking skills using tools to use, and learnt that birdfeeders do not have to be expensive but can be created from suitable leftover food.

This activity took most of the school day and it was indeed memorable.