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A Visit From Owlivia & Emanuowl

In Reception this week, the children are studying the book ‘Owl Babies’ by Martin Waddell.  In addition to printing owls with different sized circles, collecting real twigs for talons and making mathematical nests, what better way to complement this focus than by inviting four real live owls into school for the morning?

The owls arrived early in the morning with their owner Karsten to acclimatize into their new environment.  The hall then filled with children for our morning assembly and the owls performed graciously and confidently in front of rows of delighted faces.  Karsten talked about the individual characteristics of each owl and we all listened in wonder as he illustrated fascinating facts about the owls who were just a few feet away.

Owls fly silently and this is due to a clever wing design.  The comb-like feather edge breaks down the turbulence and effectively muffles the sound of the air rushing over the wing surface so that they can catch their prey without the unlucky creature being aware of the magnificent bird’s presence.  You could hear a pin drop as the children listened in silent awe as the birds flew from one end of the School Hall to the other.  Like the children, the birds have an excellent sense of hearing although we all learnt that the ear tufts on each bird have nothing to do with their hearing but are used to display moods.  The children watched as, before their very eyes, the tufts went from laid back anxiety to a more relaxed pert peak!

The owls are all cleverly named and this was warmly recognised by the enthusiastic audience as they were each introduced.  The beautiful Barn Owl was named ‘Owlivia’ and  ‘Emanuowl’ was the name of the tiny White-Faced Scops Owl.

Having delighted the whole school the owls were then taken to the Outdoor Classroom and the lucky Reception children went across to visit in small groups to meet and hear about Owlivia, Emanuowl and their friends, a beautiful Tawny owl named ‘Owlvin’ and a huge noble Bengal Eagle owl elegantly named ‘Maxwowl’!  What a magical day and judging by the wonderful work that this exciting visit generated it really was the ‘howlight’ of the week!

Annie Thackray
Head Teacher