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A Week of Animal Magic

For the last few years it has been a tradition at St Christopher’s to open the summer term with a wow! This means that the first day back contains something very special that heralds themes in the coming term and generates joy and excitement for our young pupils. In the past this has included a large smoking crashed rocket followed by ‘space’ term, a 42 piece orchestra followed by ‘music’ term and a visit from the celebrity Dr Ranj during a term dedicated to keeping fit and looking after yourself.

This year the children returned to a school field covered in animals for we had invited the wonderful Miller’s Ark to bring their mobile farm for the day.  At our school the motto is ‘be prepared’ for you never know what excitement will appear unexpectedly during the course of a week. It is not a place to work for the faint-hearted! We watched in joyful awe as the Bursar lead a donkey down the path, the Premises Manager wrestled with a large goose and a Teaching Assistant safely carried in a squealing piglet whilst lambs and goats were being herded in by all available staff! You won’t find that on any staff Job Description!

Seeing our young children with not just the farm animals but, as the week progressed, the domestic visitors including Terence the Tortoise, Georgia’s Gerbils and Henrietta the Hen taught us so much including alliteration!  As the children touched and handled the animals with various coats made from wool, fur, feathers and shell they experimented with adjectives, learnt scientific facts and overcame fears as they blossomed in confidence. There is no substitute for hands-on, interactive learning and the children’s subsequent recall of facts during their writing lessons was exceptional.  What a wonderful start to the new term.

Annie Thackray