Wildlife Watch Club & John Muir Award

Wildlife Watch Club has been running as an afterschool club for several years in partnership with Shropshire Wildlife Trust.

We offer sessions once every half-term and aim to be outdoors whatever the weather. Past sessions have involved:

  • fire-lighting
  • bug hunting
  • pond and stream dipping
  • bird feeders
  • pollinator hanging baskets
  • hedgerow detectives
  • hibernation houses
  • nocturnal life
  • mud, glorious mud!
  • woodland detectives
  • bird watching
  • plastic pollution
  • mud pie faces

As well as having fun outdoors, we learn about and explore the outdoor environment through our school grounds and other local environments. We encourage the children to explore further back at home too. Every time a child attends a Wildlife Watch Club session, they earn a sticker for their Hedgehog Award. Once they have achieved this they can move onto their Kestrel Award.

Have a look at some of our photos in the gallery.

From September 2019 we are offering a new challenge for Wildlife Watchers in years 4, 5 and 6 who will be working towards a John Muir Award. Find out more here.

Click the picture to find our more about who John Muir was:

Over the year we will share our journey of discovery...

Please also have a look at the photos in the gallery too.

Autumn Term 2019

As well as our Monday lunchtime sessions we also meet for after school sessions every 3 weeks. Our first session was on Tuesday 10th September. The weather was warm and sunny. After exploring microhabitats around the school grounds we enjoyed some raspberries from the Corvedale Centre for Children's garden. Yummy! We also worked together to make the words JOHN MUIR AWARD using natural materials.

We've enjoyed trying out our camera trap in different locations around school. So far we've spotted birds, squirrels, cats and some field mice. We also collected some fruit and vegetables from the garden which Heather, our school cook, used to cook delicious dinners!

Quite a few of our group have chosen to do the optional tasks and we've enjoyed sharing these together in our Monday lunchtime sessions. One was about microhabitats at home and another was all about trees near home. We've had a great selection of posters and photos as well as some great artwork.

Our second afterschool session on Tuesday 1st October focussed on trees. It was rather cold and wet but we managed to explore the trees in our school grounds and walked down to Delbury Hall woods to see some larger specimens.

Our third afterschool session on Tuesday 22nd October involved making hedgehog houses out of willow and wire. It was sunny for the first time in weeks but we still lit a fire to keep us warm.

Over half-term we began thinking about completing our own wildlife project at home as another optional task. We shared our ideas in one of our Monday lunchtime sessions. These include: hedgehogs, a bug hotel, toad shelter, birds, a nature area and trees.

We have also been learning about the life of John Muir in our lunchtime sessions. 

Our fourth afterschool session on Wednesday 20th November began later at 6pm when it was dark. It was too cloudy to properly stargaze but we enjoyed going for a walk across the fields in the dark and making hot chocolate using the kelly kettles when we returned. The fire kept us warm and we toasted marshmallows.

Our final afterschool session of the autumn term was on Tuesday 10th December when we explored the school grounds in winter. Maddy brought her spotting scope in and we used binoculars to watch birds. 

Spring Term 2020

We began the term reviewing progress on the optional wildlife projects. Some people had adapted their projects and others were inspired to make a start on their own.

Our sixth afterschool session on Tuesday 4th February took us on a walk around the local area. we took turns in map reading to find the footpaths and waded through some rather long muddy puddles on one track!

For our seventh afterschool session on Monday 2nd March, Reuben had suggested a natural pampering session. Mud face masks, refreshing cucumber eye masks and tasty mint leaves were sampled. We created mud sculptures and mud shelters and generally got rather muddy (again!).

We carried on learning about John Muir's life in our lunchtime sessions. It was shocking to learn about him being temporarily blinded and how this inspired him to walk in nature. People continued to share their own tasks. Emily brought in a fabulous model of her farm and explained about the stewardship scheme they had to care for the environment. 

AND THEN....everything stopped because of lockdown for Covid-19.

Summer Term 2020

When school reopened for year 6s in June, they spent some time planting out the school pond and gardening in the school grounds. We were delighted to be able to award Reuben, Maddy and Grace with their John Muir Discovery Award certificates at our outdoor Leavers' Assembly.

Autumn Term 2020

While we are back at school, the restrictions on how we are working mean we are unable to run any sessions.

Spring Term 2021

and still we wait...

Summer Term 2021

With the lifting of restrictions, we are able to run afterschool sessions again! There will be separate  sessions for our three children in class 4 and for the six children in class 3 who began this award journey over a year ago.

We had fun making nature mandalas as we explored the grounds again. Each group chose different conservation activities to work on within the school grounds. Class 3 children converted the old mud kitchen into a bug hotel and cleared and replanted the flowerbeds along the side of the school with flowering plants to attract pollinators. Class 4 children worked to tidy up and improve the pond area. Both groups have also completed fact files and posters about John Muir's life for our display board in school. They have also reflected on their experiences through undertaking the award.

To complete our award journey we have a final celebration session in June where the children are choosing activities to enjoy our grounds together - mud, campfire and pond dipping are the top suggestions so far!