It’s the end of what was a busy and exciting academic year for Falconry for Schools. The project was delivered to 26 schools combined in Hampshire, Cornwall, Yorkshire and Lancashire between January and July 2014. In December, the project recruited three new instructors who attended a training day led by course director Judith Wrighte.
During the training day the instructors, Sharon Bindon, Sandra Johnson and Bob O’Hanlon were taken through the course materials and issued with their comprehensive Falconry for Schools ‘kits’. The course materials have proved to be a big success with the instructors who have been impressed with the kits’ contents and ‘ease of delivery’, and some teachers have also given their positive feedback, finding the project to be ‘Most enjoyable and interesting’, ‘Well structured’ and ‘Full of practical experiences to engage the pupils.’
Sharon Bindon (pictured), the instructor for Cornwall, Somerset and Devon commented, ‘I am keen to get going again in the next year. There hasn’t been one thing in the kit that the children didn’t like. The children have been engaged and interested all the time but I must say that Henry my Little Owl helped.’ ‘In one class there was an autistic child who normally doesn’t manage half an hour in the classroom. He spent all day with us, engaged in the activities, talking and cutting and sticking – it was a heart-warming moment.’
The Falconry for Schools project aims to preserve falconry’s heritage by encouraging young people’s interest and involvement in falconry. The project also aim’s to help in the conservation of birds of prey. Juliet Evan’s, the Science Co-ordinator at Carbeile Junior School in Cornwall wrote, ‘The Children have become more aware of the plight of owls in this country and the children have raised money to buy a Barn Owl Box, that we shall be placing, with guidance, in the school grounds.’ ‘I am very grateful to all those who have made this experience possible for the children at our school, to get up close and study these amazing creatures.’ Many teachers have also commented on how some parents have said that their children have, ‘Really enjoyed their falconry experience.’