Burley Middle School's Nature Trail

Information About Our Site

  1. Link to our CyberFair 98 Entry
  2. Link to Burley Middle School
  3. Date of Project: March 20th (finished putting up work so far on our web site, but work on the nature trail continues and so we will be updating this web-site continuously after the Easter holidays)
  4. School: Burley Middle School
    District: Bradford District
    City: Bradford, West Yorkshire, England
  5. Teachers or Classes:
    Year 8 pupils and Mrs. Barnett
  6. How many students worked on this project? 55-60
  7. Their ages were: 12-13 years of age
  8. Project Contact Email: school@burleyms.demon.co.uk

Project Overview

  1. We entered our Web site in CyberFair Category:
  2. Description of "Our Community"
    Our School field and grounds, and the area close by. We wanted to redress the ecological balance of the wild life in our school grounds, which was damaged by work close to school.
  3. Summary of Our Project
  4. Our present Year 8 pupils have over the last 18 months, put much time and effort into studying the wild-life in our school grounds, then planning and planting different areas with plants that will help to redress the ecological balance disrupted by man. They are hoping to make a nature trail to use for school work within our National Curriculum, and for other groups of people to use also. They still have much to do, but are experiencing problems with finance. We thought of putting our efforts so far onto the web so that others could see what we have been doing. We wanted to do this for various reasons.
    1. So that people who have already helped us (from within our community and those further afield) could readily see what we have achieved.
    2. To show people we are asking for help what we have done so far - and to hopefully attract others WE don't contact to help us.
    3. To share with others our research of the wildflowers, and maybe encourage others to take on the same sort of project.
  5. Our Internet Access
    At present we have an ISDN access with a Local Area Network of five computers. This has just recently been installed but we are still experiencing problems.
  6. Problems We Had To Overcome
    As you will see when viewing our site we have experienced some problems during the physical (real world!) work on our nature trail, and we are still doing so - much of this being due to funding. However as far as putting our work on to the web, we have had some but far fewer.
    Our web space was provided by CyberFair, which has been a great help. We have a total of ten computers on which we can Claris Home Page (our authoring programme) and they are on two different networks in 2 different areas of the school, so when all of the Year 8 pupils were working on different pages, the management of the site was difficult. When most of the pages were completed then all the pages were put on one network and the Computer Club could go about making sure everything was uniform, was completed and linked, and then do pages that were missing.
    We would have liked to use the Internet more for research, but until February we only had one computer attatched via a modem. Then we had our ISDN line in with an ethernet, but unfortunately we are still experiencing problems. It drops off line frequently - and will only allow one machine on at the same time much of the time. This should be sorted out after the Easter holidays. We hope so otherwise we will have REAL problems trying to evaluate the other 6 sites in one week! Fingers crossed!!
  7. Our Project Sound Bite
    It has involved the Science department in ICT., and produced teamwork both amongst the pupils and the teachers! There have been many children working hard on their parts of this project outside the lesson times - at lunchtimes and after school - including some who would normally only have taken part during their dedicated IT lessons.

Project Elements

This section explains how your project addressed the project elements found in the CyberFair Assignment to Schools.

1) How did your activities and research for this International School CyberFair project support your required coursework and curriculum requirements?

The Nature Trail web site fits in to our required National curriculum guidelines in many ways, particularly the new skills we have learnt.
For example, our I.T skills: our organization of files, making links, using the Internet, looking at page layouts, scanning, creating gifs, writing for an audience and using tools for checking work.
English skills used throughout this site include, writing for an audience, checking work and speaking to people. This web site has also been closely involved with our science curriculum work: the classification of species, creating keys and quadrats, studying a variation of species, learning about habitats and how different species adapt to their habitats. We have found that these 'hands on' methods of teaching are better than the traditional methods as you are able to see the actual processes happening in front of your eyes.
This website has also taught us a very valuable lesson in the field of teamwork. This has been done by having to work to a deadline and sharing computers with people we don't usually work with. From looking at the National Curriculum Specifications, we have learnt that the huuuuuuuge folder of all the stuff that we have to learn about has a lot more detail than you first think. There are so many specifications and points that a teacher has to take into consideration before teaching a lesson ( but we still think that teachers have an easy life ).

2) What information tools and technologies did you use to complete your CyberFair project?

The information tools and technologies we used included:

 At first, we found that our most valuable tools were the books we used in our science lessons to research various species, at the time we only had Internet access on one computer only but after using it, it widened our horizons as we found many useful sites. For example on bats, frogs and also found sites by schools who were doing similar things to us. Our school has now got Ethernet so we will be able to access the Internet on five machines, this will prove very useful.

3) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

As our school website has already had a lot of publicity both local, national and international, we are quite experienced at public appearances. As well as speaking to many different naturalists concerning the siting of plants and advice on which plants to buy and how to attract certain animals, we spoke to other groups and societies to ask to ask for donations and manual help to create the Nature Trail.

We have represented our school as ambassadors in many different ways. We have used the latest technology and traditional methods to contact different people in relation to our Nature Trail. For example two representatives from our school gave a talk on our Nature Trail for the Wharfedale Naturalists Society. We telephoned a bat specialist, The Times interface newspaper.

The outcome of us contacting all of these people is that we have had many donations and grants of money to help us develop our Nature Trail. Also we have been able to have expert advice on the sitings of the various areas in our Nature Trail and had manual help and donations of tools and plants to actually construct, maintain and develop our Nature Trail.

However, despite our many donations, grants and competition money, we still needed more money! So we searched the Internet for societies which may give us grants to develop our Nature Trail further. We came across 'English Nature' and gave them a ring. The Team Manager, Sharon Gun gave us the number for the local Team who we then rung. They are looking at our website and we're waiting to receive forms to claim a grant. We also gave a call to Wharfedale Naturalists Society to ask Mrs. Clapham for some info on resiting our butterfly garden and to come in on one of our cross - curricular days.

We emailed some of the other schools that have also entered the CyberFair to see if they would like to link with us and so far one school in Alta replied! We're hoping that some other schools entering the Cyberfair will contact us soon too!

4) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Our project formed stronger links between our community, because various people from our community have helped us with our Nature Trail and we've helped them by bringing back some of the wildlife that once existed in the village. This was lost when new houses were built in and around the village. The reason behind our project was to bring back the wildlife to Burley. It has also helped anyone wanting to learn about the different species of plants and animals. We are also letting people in our community visit the Nature Trail, hoping to interest more sponsors and get more support.

We asked our community for any help available manually and financially, and in return they were able see and experience the wonderful wildlife. Some of the wildlife that we brought by our Nature trail have also attracted new species to the people of Burley community's gardens.

Some of the people in our community that have helped financially or manually, we have returned the favor by advertising them on the Internet through our own web pages, we also did this for the national companies that donated money and advise.

5) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

From our community we have received a lot of help with our Nature Trail. Not only have we had manual help from parents and children attending our school, but volunteers from societies such as the Wharfedale Naturalists Society, giving us advice on the re-siting of our butterfly garden and a donation of money. Local friends of the school have also done their bit, for example, the 'Batman' (as we call him !) has shown us many different methods of building and siting bat boxes, as well as giving us tons of information on the life and habits of bats. We will be building these boxes in our Cross Curricula day on April 2nd. A local 'handyman', Tom Sumner has helped by donating and planting trees in our Nature Trail. Altogether this project has brought the small community of Burley together in creating a safe environment for plants and animals in our village.