‘Milk, Muck and Minibeasts’ was the theme for this year’s Kingfisher Award Scheme, which saw over 240 primary school children from across East Devon take part in the 26th annual event.
An earthworm made from a hoover and a radio station for cows were among this year’s creative displays, but it was St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Exmouth which was crowned the winner of the East Devon scheme, for their project work including a game which showed players how bees used a ‘waggle dance’ to find food and an interactive farm.
The class 5 pupils, aged 10, were presented with the prestigious wooden carved kingfisher trophy, books and prize money at an award ceremony at Bicton Arena on Thursday 4th July.
The judges commended the enthusiasm of the children, their depth of knowledge and their creativity. Feniton Church of England Primary School were close runners up.
Mr Jason Edmunds, Class 5 teacher at St Joseph’s School in Exmouth said: “The Kingfisher Awards brought a fantastic buzz to our classroom. The children were all actively engaged with their personal contributions and our collective project, and have been enthralled with all the learning they have been doing.
“The children have become true experts in the areas they chose to investigate and present: everything from how Sandstone is formed and becomes the rich soil we see beneath our feet, to what life is like for a dairy cow on Dalditch farm. We had models of bees and other soil living mini-beasts, identification guides, animations, artwork, diagrams, and some amazing poetry. We also had some living animals to show-off and explain the important role they play”.
Schools taking part this year included Broadclyst Community School, Exeter Road Community School, Marpool Primary School in Exmouth, and St Peter’s Church of England Primary School in Budleigh Salterton,
The children took part in a series of workshops, led by Clinton Devon Estates, to learn about milk, soil and pollinators, as well as the vital links between wildlife, farming and food production, in a fun, engaging and hands-on atmosphere.
When they returned to their classrooms, they were tasked with producing a piece of creative work inspired by the theme of ‘Milk, Muck and Minibeasts’, as part of the Kingfisher Award Scheme.
This year had a strong selection of creative and visual displays including; poetry, games, a song, beautiful artwork and 3D models, science investigations, and cookery books.
Kate Ponting, Countryside Learning Officer at Clinton Devon Estates said: “The quality of work this year was extremely high, and it’s so rewarding to see how much they have learnt and taken away with them from the field days.
“This is a brilliant scheme encouraging children to go and explore outdoors and learn about our countryside and farming, and something Clinton Devon Estates is proud to support.”
The Kingfisher Award Scheme was established in 1992 by the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes and friends and, since then, the field days and classroom projects have benefited around 12,000 Westcountry schoolchildren.
The East Devon workshops at Dalditch Farm are run each year by staff from the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust, Clinton Devon Estates, and an enthusiastic group of volunteers.
Events take place every year thanks to the support of local farmers and volunteers. Farmers who wish to host an event are encouraged to email [email protected].