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Sharing knowledge . . . Kakanui School senior classroom pupils show off the bird boards they have attached to a fence along the Kakanui walkway. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

A Kakanui School project is taking flight.

After learning about conservation and birds in term 1, the school’s senior class is now passing on its knowledge to their community.

The 28 pupils split into groups, each selecting a bird of their choice, before researching the species and its ecology, and creating an art work.

Scientists visited the school to teach pupils about the birds they had chosen, and their habitats.

Pupils also visited the Kakanui River to see how birds live in the coastal town.

Kakanui School teacher Gary Shirley decided to take the project a step further and share the children’s research with the community.

A photo of each bird — 12 in total — was printed on to a display board with a QR code.

Last week, the pupils tied the boards to a fence along a walkway near the school.

People can scan the QR code to read the children’s research about the bird, including its habitat and predators.

The birds include the South Island robin, tui, fantail, yellow›eyed penguins, kiwi, moa and fairy tern, which is critically endangered, with only 42 left in New Zealand.

Pupil Josie Tavendale (10) enjoyed the project and said the aim was to help protect species and help them flourish.

‘‘[It’s] to get more bird life into Kakanui . . .through helping other people learn,’’ Josie said.

Kakanui School had a theme of integrated learning, and this project incorporated reading, writing, science and technology.

Mr Shirley said the idea taught pupils how they could make a difference through their work.

‘‘It was really to draw everybody’s attention to the fact that it’s more than just the birds themselves, it’s the whole ecosystem in which they live,’’ Mr Shirley said.

The pupils walked past the bird boards the day after they were installed while they were out planting flax bushes nearby, and were proud of what they achieved, he said.

‘‘I think it’s been really successful because the kids have a purpose for their learning. While it’s quite a simple outcome, they’re very proud.’’

While people might think some of the birds were ‘‘odd choices’’, Mr Shirley allowed pupils to take the lead, and it left the door open for more in the future.

‘‘It’s got potential for people to look at it and go ‘what else?’.’’