Module 2


Understanding the lives of seabirds and the threats they face is key to igniting an interest in seabird conservation. This is best done if the pupils can connect with and relate to the specific seabird species they have in their own local area. This module allows pupils to continue their investigations and research into their local context of seabird populations. This could include the opportunity for fieldtrips to the coast or to local islands to see the birds first-hand themselves.

Class research and investigation

Explore as a class the local seabird populations and what threats they may face from predators, allowing the children to immerse themselves in seabird conservation through biosecurity and find their own interests as a class or individually.

Key Module Questions:
  • What seabirds do you have nearby? 
  • Where are their main nesting sites and how big and healthy are their populations?
  • Do you think any seabird colonies in your area are at risk of predators?
  • What predators are there? Rats, mink, stoats, feral cats, mice, foxes, hedgehogs
  • What does extinction mean?
  • What possible routes are there for the predators to arrive?
  • What other aspects of biosecurity do you find interesting?
Learning outcomes: 

Pupils can distinguish fact from opinion and can recognise when information sources try to influence them and how useful these are. Pupils can persuade, argue, explore issues or express an opinion using relevant supporting detail and/or evidence. Having discussed the variety of ways and range of media used to present data, pupils can interpret and draw conclusions from the information displayed, recognising that the presentation may be misleading. Pupils can report and comment on current scientific news items to develop their knowledge and understanding of topical science. Pupils can use digital technologies to search, access and retrieve information, and are aware that not all this information will be credible. 

Key vocabulary
  • Extinction
  • Predator
  • Prey
  • Seabird names
  • Population
  • Nesting
  • Biosecurity
  • Invasive

Session Structure:

Work through the presentation slides above and click on the relevant activity links below for downloadable resources. A suggested session structure could be as follows:

  1. Icebreaker (5mins) Watch this stop-motion Lego animation below designed by pupils from Small Isles and Achaleven Primary schools
  2. Quick Challenge (10 mins) A timed challenge. Using a stopwatch set at 2 minutes, ask the children to write down a definition of biosecurity in 12 words. Share a few. Repeat again but this time a definition in 8 words. Then finally a biosecurity definition in 4 words
  3. Introduction (5 mins) Start looking at the predators which might affect the local seabirds. Predators include mice, rats, stoats, mink, hedgehogs and even feral and domestic cats and they eat the eggs or baby birds before they have a chance to grow! These predators only arrive on islands due to human activities. Can the pupils guess how the predators reach an island?
  4. The Steven Island Wren Story (30 mins) Click on the activity link below to read the story and complete the worksheet.
  5. Research (30 mins or more) Click on the activity link below to research into local seabird populations. Consider your local area. If your island/nearest island has many predators, then research a nearby seabird colony which has fewer/no predators. Depending on class size, this might be best done in groups looking at each question or as a whole class. You can compare different answers and ask where the facts have come from and whether some facts are more reliable than others.
  6. Big Schools Bird Watch (1hour – 1day) - Click on the activity link below and do some bird related citizen science. Can you monitor the local seabirds to get an idea of what species you have? This activity counts towards your RSPB Wild Challenge Award
  7. Plenary (30mins) Click on the activity link and do the Treasure Hunt Quiz designed by pupils from Achaleven Primary and Small Isles Primary in Argyll & Bute. Or choose one or more of the fun activities below that have been developed and designed by other Scottish school pupils to help consolidate their learning.
Module 2

Story The Story of the Stephens Island Wren

Module 2

Research task Research local seabirds - which species are there and how safe are they?

Module 2

Wild Challenge RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch – count the number of seabirds in your area

Module 2

Quiz Treasure Hunt Quiz - can you solve the clues?

Module 2

Outdoor Game Flying Football - football... but not as you know it!

Module 2

Arts & Crafts Seabird Arts and Crafts - let's get making!


All modules

Module 1


An introduction to biosecurity and why it matters. Includes outdoor games

Module 2


Researching seabirds including tasks, model building and games

Module 3


How to help seabirds including games, treasure hunts and identifying tracks

Module 4


Setting a design challenge and biodiversity action planning

Module 5


Groups present and evaluate ideas including news-reading, games and writing

Module 6


Spreading the word including stories, map activity and games