The Rutland Ospreys may be a few thousand miles away at this time of year, but for the first time members of the Osprey Education Team have stayed at their posts this autumn and winter, and we continue to spread the Rutland Osprey Message at schools and colleges all over the area. Ken, Jackie and Pete have launched several new and exciting initiatives this autumn already, and there are lots more to come in 2016.
A few Ospreys were still around when our great friend from The Gambia, JJ (or to give him his full name Jungkung Jadama) came over for Birdfair. We took the opportunity to introduce him to two of our local primary schools, and he had a great time talking to the staff and pupils at Edith Weston and Whissendine. Just after that, at the beginning of October, we joined in with BOW (Bye-bye Ospreys Week) with a Skype call at Edith Weston School, linking with Osprey friends in Spain, the USA, and of course The Gambia. The Edith Weston children had all made up sentences beginning with the letters O – S – P – R – E – Y , and they read them live to the other countries.
We have devised a new presentation featuring our old friend Ozzie, and will be trialling it in our visits to six local schools in December. Ozzie is the only Osprey in the world to have his own Christmas Special, and it will be on for a limited period only! Another new presentation is ‘The 100th Chick’, the story in words and pictures of that very special event which took place at one of the nests earlier in the year. Children and adults alike have really loved it. We are so grateful to Kayleigh and Tim, who have helped us put these new presentations together.
Another new resource which has been selling well is the new book ‘Be an Osprey Expert’ by Jackie and Pete Murray, which enables children to discover every aspect of Osprey life through a series of activities and practical tasks. We will be building it into school visits to Lyndon next season. New Osprey books are in the pipeline for next year too, so watch this space!
Most weeks have seen the team out and about, presenting the Osprey Roadshow all over the county. We visit Catmose Community College in Oakham twice per term, as part of their Wednesday afternoon programme whereby students choose an activity to attend. More and more schools are coming on board as they hear of our shows. In mid-November we took part in Stamford High School’s ‘Big Biology Day’. Students, staff, parents and other visitors showed a lot of interest in our stand, and we made many new contacts.
2016 is likely to be a great year for all of us. It is the 20th Anniversary of the Rutland Osprey Project (1996 – 2016), and that great achievement will be marked in many ways – the development of our new Osprey Ambassadors Scheme in schools, more new books, and a spectacular Osprey Festival in July, involving local schools in Osprey-themed activities covering Art, Music, Drama, Creative Writing, Science, Ecology and the Environment. Not forgetting, of course, the 3rd World Osprey Week in April.
If you would like to know more about The Osprey Education Team, do please get in touch. And if you are in any way connected with a school or college not yet on our database, please tell them about us!