Egg-stra help for cluck-y pupils

Pupils at Malin Bridge Primary with the chickens they have just received from Rawgreen Cottages in Barnsley. Pictured with Jody Fenwick from Rawgreen
Pupils at Malin Bridge Primary with the chickens they have just received from Rawgreen Cottages in Barnsley. Pictured with Jody Fenwick from Rawgreen
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YOU’VE heard of egg heads but this is ridiculous!

When the sun is shining there’s nothing worse than being cooped up in the classroom.

So pupils at Malin Bridge Primary in Sheffield are getting out into the playground – to tend their very own coop of chickens which, it is hoped, might even help out with some schoolwork.

Four birds have been obtained from Raw Green Cottages near Cawthorne in Barnsley, a family firm which supplies high quality vaccinated chickens and coops.

Thanks to fundraising by the school’s parent teacher association, an enclosure for the chickens was paid for and built over the summer holidays at the primary on Dykes Lane near Hillsborough.

And Heeley City Farm gave advice on safety for both the chickens and the children, and tips on how to ensure the birds stay happy and healthy in their new home.

Now youngsters are getting to know their new feathered friends – some of which have only just begun to hatch.

Soon it is hoped the chickens will be incorporated into many of the pupils’ school lessons – from science and maths to writing exercises.

“The school’s aims are to bring a rural environment to the children, who are in quite a built-up, concrete environment,” said deputy head teacher Robbie McGrath.

“We are set up as an eco school, so it will help towards that.

“And we’re trying to make it a community project, inviting parents and carers to come in and help on weekends and in school holidays.”

The children will be responsible for feeding and supervising the chickens – which, if all goes well, should lay an egg a day. Pupils will clean out their roost and chicken run, and collect the eggs that are laid.

The chickens will also be used to teach the children entrepreneurial skills.

Each school year group will have responsibility for looking after the chickens for one month at a time, and will get to keep the eggs that are laid.

The school will then be encouraging the youngsters to make money from the eggs, whether by selling them directly or using them to make cakes, omelettes and other items to sell.

But first there’s a pressing task to be dealt with.

Robbie said: “The chickens have not yet been named – so the pupils are going to be invited to submit suggestions!”

Names will then be chosen from a shortlist by Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Coun Sylvia Dunkley.