Birds of Clay
Birds of clay – school workshops from Leeds Castle Aviary
Using modelling to teach children about birds
In 2007 new craft workshops were introduced into the schools programme at Leeds Castle. One of these is ‘Birds of Clay’ which uses the birds in the aviary and wild fowl around the grounds as inspiration for creating clay miniatures that children can take home.
A new ‘Who am I?’ quiz was also created for the aviary which is used by schools and day visitors alike. The new workshops are delivered by a professional artist and are linked to the KS2 science curriculum ‘Living things’.
Children conduct investigations in the aviary and on site and make sketches of three birds from three different habitats. They also learn about adaptation and compare body parts of different birds looking closely at species variation. They then choose their favourite bird to create in air-dry clay and learn different art techniques in the process.
The workshop is followed by a guided tour of the aviary by the Leeds Castle aviary staff. Schools are also invited to take part in our ‘adopt a bird’ scheme. Schools are also included in the daily falconry displays that encourage their participation and up close observation of birds of prey.
Leeds Castle has recently been awarded the prestigious Sandford Award for Heritage Education and was praised for its innovative approach to environmental education. As BIAZA members the BIAZA award would be an important recognition of our contribution to zoo education.
Developed by: Leeds Castle Aviary