Well, for starters, there really is nothing typical about a school day involving a hawk but we try to integrate Harley as much as possible in our teaching. He is with us in class so the children can get an up close and personal look at him. They learn by not only hearing the information in our interactive presentation but by simply observing him in his behaviour and movements during the lesson.
We try to tailor the information in the presentations we devise so that it fits with the teaching style of the school we are visiting and each lesson has activities to end on such as wordsearch, crossword, anagram and colouring (and there are varying levels of difficulty for the different years/abilities).
To see an example of a possible lesson plan see below:
EYFS – Simple classification of different bird types, life cycle of bird, story of getting harley; end with activity
Y1 – Simple classification, food chains, dinosaurs and how they link to birds; end with activity
Y2 – We look into classification and food chains more in depth; end with activity
Y3 – Classification, food chains and how they affect our world, and how dinosaurs changed to birds; end with activity
Y4 – Classification, food chains, history of falconry; end with activity
Y5 – Complex classification, food chains and effects on habitat, evolution from dinosaurs, origins of words from falconry; end with activity
Y6 – Complex classification, food chains and effects on habitat, evolution from dinosaurs, origins of words from falconry; end with activity
These are designed to fit with each year we are with, so if this doesn’t fit with your particular plan please contact, we’ll be happy to discuss creating your own bespoke package!
For each year Harley is present in the class, sitting calmly on his perch. At lunch (or a pre arranged time) we fly Harley for everyones enjoyment.
If you have a Secondary or Sixth form class you would like us to attend please contact us and If there are any SEN children we suggest a ‘meet and greet’ alone with Harley to familiarise them with him better.
April 2018-Certainly, a not so typical example of one of ours special days was when we visited Richard Clarke First School in Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire. The morning went well with the younger classes taking great pleasure in meeting Harley. At first break we went outside to meet a few of the children and give them an opportunity to come and ask questions of their own. Before lunch we had the y2 class who were fantastic and revelled in the information. They were really engaged both asking brilliant questions and delivering fantastic answers and ending on that high we went outside to perform our flying display before the children went for lunch.
Now really, here is where every display falconer will have a moment of pause because they may understand why what happened did. You see this was a new area and it was a baking hot day in April so Harley was already a bit uppity. I allowed a few of the teachers to participate and as one cast Harley back to the perch he decided to instead head into the tree above. This would have been fine had he not been wearing a creance (a line of paracord, usually used during training) because what ensued was a bird with tangled feet. It was distressing, for both himself, and me watching (with the added anxiety of having the school children present). Both Harley and I knew he wasn’t getting down from there. To my luck the local firemen were at work nearby and within 20mins had arrived and begun to assess the situation. It was agreed upon the they would erect a ladder, and I would climb up the unlash Harley from the tree he had attached himself to.
Shakey legs and the ability to breathe greeted me as I got back to the ground, and of course we had to get a photo for their facebook page! I won’t be going up any tall ladders again soon either!
We got Harley back with 10 minutes to spare before heading back into class to deliver the talks for year 3 and year 4 which went fantastically so despite the minor mishap at lunch we still very much ended on a high.