The Kingfisher Award Scheme (KAS) provides children with the opportunity to go onto farms to explore the natural world.
“Touch, feel and see the relationship between food, farming and wildlife.”
First launched in Devon by the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes and friends in 1992, KAS now works with around 800 children a year across four counties (Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Wiltshire). KAS is now an educational initiative of the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group SouthWest (FWAG SouthWest).
1. The Field Day
The visit to a farm or wildlife site allows the children to connect with their environment, landscape and the wildlife habitats around them. The activities aim to give an understanding of how farming and wildlife are linked. Emphasis is placed on the food chain, ecosystems and life cycles within the natural environment.
The children learn by discovering for themselves, they are encouraged to use their senses, to ask questions and to have fun!
Learning is through hands on experiences, such as examining a fleece, pond dipping or owl pellet analysis.
2. The Project
Back in the classroom the children do further research on the themes of the field day and prepare a display. This is a team effort that allows the children to develop ideas and explore their natural environment at school and at home.
The focus of the display is led by the children so they can follow the topics which have sparked their interest, giving room for them to follow their own ideas.
3. The Picnic and Award
All of the schools are then invited back to the farm for a picnic where they present their displays to compete for the KAS Trophy. The judges are a panel drawn from farming and wildlife backgrounds with whom the children discuss their work. The afternoon includes activities such as making willow dragonflies, meeting the bees in our volunteers observation hive and listening our Kingfisher story teller.
The Kingfisher Award trophy is presented to the winning school.