The aim of Project Kingfisher has been to introduce children and their families to their local river and encourage them to value it. During the most recent phase of the project, we have developed the programme so it’s now even bigger and better!
Our River Education programme has been running for a few years on the River Wandle. It has recently been expanded to include the catchments of two more south London rivers – the Hogsmill River and the Beverley Brook. Our sessions have been updated to ensure they are consistently engaging and providing high quality learning opportunities. An online booking process has been launched.
All these changes have enabled us to reach new audiences and pass on the message that the local river should be valued and looked after.
Our work in schools
Our in-school sessions introduce the school community (pupils and teachers) to their local river. The children take a virtual journey downstream, spotting wildlife on the way!
We have made the sessions more interactive, introducing actions to keep children engaged and to help them recall the key features of the wildlife they meet. Feedback from teachers has listed this as one of the pupil’s favourite parts!
There are now a total of 16 river sites where we are able to deliver our education programme making it easier for local schools to join in.
The programme has been developed to include a range of sessions for children from Early Years to Year 6. They cover topics such as River Wildlife, River History, River Health and Local River Features. Every session is designed around clear curriculum links and focuses on child-led learning. There is no substitute for getting children outdoors to engage directly with the river.
From feedback, it is clear that teachers recognise the value of these sessions and appreciate the enthusiasm they generate from their pupils. More information about Project Kingfisher can be found here.
Our Junior River Rangers programme has been launched. It provides follow-up activities for children to carry out with their families. Our first Junior River Rangers have completed the required activities to earn their badges and certificates.
These activities are free to download and are available to everyone. You don’t need to have participated in one of our formal education sessions to join in the fun! Junior River Ranger activities can be found here.
Project Kingfisher online
Sadly, we have had to stop delivering sessions with schools due to the Covid-19 crisis. However, we have found an alternative way of keeping Project Kingfisher going – by moving it online!
We have produced a programme of curriculum-linked river-themed fun for children to complete at home. These resources are freely available and are already proving popular. Although they are pitched at children ages 6-11, anyone can have a go! Why not try them out?
Project Kingfisher online activities can be found here.
Education continues to be one of the cornerstones of our mission here at the South East Rivers Trust. We recognise the vital role that the next generation can play in improving the health of our rivers for both people and wildlife.