It has been SO busy at school since we returned from Christmas, that I have not had a chance to update the blog! If you have been watching on the website, you will see that something very exciting has happened in school!

We have decided to have some animals within our Michael Drayton family! We are starting with chickens and then some rabbits (and possibly guinea pigs!) will join us in the Spring when the weather gets warmer. These animals will help us all learn about the responsibilities of keeping  animals and what we have to do to keep them really happy and healthy! Lots of our lessons and learning will be using our new members and we will all play a part in their care!

WildlifeKate did some assemblies and brought 2 of her hens in to show us all. We all learnt about what we are going to have to do to look after our chickens.

Mr Chadwick helped WildlifeKate to build a fantastic hen run within our ‘Quad’ area of school… a safe and enclosed area that is overlooked by lots of classrooms. It is the perfect place for our chickens as we know that the fox can’t get in! Also, this area means that lots of people can see and say hello to our animals as they pass through the Quad.

The run is built out of trellis panels and chicken wire was stapled along the bottom to make sure no one could squeeze through… especially if we have some chicks in the future! We wanted to make sure that some of the run was on slabs so we always had a clean and dry area we, and the hens, could walk on. This will make it easier to keep the whole area clean.

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We ordered a lovely new Hen house from the Internet and it arrived in a big flat box. This was a challenge for 4 Year 6 pupils! Working brilliantly as a team, they  read all the instructions, laid out and checked all the parts and then put the house together. Other than one minor hiccup when we realised that one panel was on upside down, we did really well… it looked amazing! The team then gave the whole house 2 coats of a special eco-friendly preservative and it was all ready to go!

Our hens have some from a garden centre, so they are used to people and activity.The centre want to re-develop the area the hens were in, so offered them to us. They are only about a year old.  WildlifeKate picked  them up on Sunday evening and they arrived in school on Monday morning. With a few finishing touches put to the run and some sheltered areas created from 2 old school tables, our chickens were ready to be released into their new home!

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They settled really well and we even had an egg on the first day. Everyone wanted to feel it as it was still warm!

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There are going to be some Year 6 pupils who will be taking on the role of ‘Animal Care Mentors’. This was a job that pupils had to apply for!  These mentors will be trained up in the care of our animals and will support the classes who will take it in turns to look after  them. WildlifeKate created a job application form, explaining the role and the requirements. We had to apply for the job and write a letter of application, explaining why we should get the job. It was a tough job but the applicants were shortlisted and finally, ten Animal Care Mentors were chosen! Well done to these children for excellent application forms and amazing enthusiasm. They will be trained up in the coming weeks.

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Check out our Flickr account and Wild Learning website at www.mdjs-wildlearning.co.uk to find out more and see some photos. You can also fill in a form to name the chickens  on this website as well…. they definitely need some names!

We are all very excited and very much looking forward to learning all about our new family!