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Reception class hatch chicks in their classroom in Gants Hill

PUBLISHED: 08:55 13 March 2018

Reception children at St Augustine's Infant School looking after the chicks that had hatched in class.  Children from Acorn Class with some chicks

Reception children at St Augustine's Infant School looking after the chicks that had hatched in class. Children from Acorn Class with some chicks

Archant

What came first - the chicken or the egg? Well,reception pupils at St Augustine’s are a bit closer to finding out after taking care of hatchlings for two weeks.

The Acorn and Chestnut classes at the school in Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill, are participating in a Happy Chick Company project which educates children about life cycles and helps, literacy, science and numeracy skills.

After watching the eggs hatch,the children help look after the chicks by giving them water and food, stroking them and moving them into a communal box.

Once the birds have got used to life outside of the shell the children then monitor and record their growth by weighing and measuring them.

Assistant headteacher, Kate Christou, said the children thoroughly enjoyed having fluffy visitors in their classroom and the school has taken part in the scheme for the last few years.

“The excitement you see and the look of awe and wonder on the children’s face were amazing,” she said.

“They have enjoyed watching them grow and it is a great stimulus for learning.”

There are four stages to the project and when the eggs are delivered children can cheep to the birds and hear them cluck back from inside.

Step two sees the chicks start to peck their way out of there shells. They don’t need any help to get out although pupils are encouraged to cluck at them to “make them feel at home”.

The Happy Chick Company said once they are out of their shells the baby birds will take a while to recover from all their hard work and will need to dry off in the incubator.

Once they are all fluffed up, when two or three have hatched out, they can be moved into the brooding box to eat and drink.

The children learn that chicks like company so will transport them in groups.

Stage four is one of the most exciting for pupils as they learn to care for them and hold them under supervision.

A spokesman for the company said: “ It is an inspirational experience that unites all ages, boosts morale and makes learning fun.”

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