I have always been fascinated by ducks and other wildfowl. As a child, one of my favourite books was The Story About Ping. These days I’m bewitched by the rather naughty duck on Farmer Brown’s farm and the star character in Giggle Giggle Quack.
As a child I was lucky enough to have several pet geese, whom we trained to come and find us for food when we called “Geese-geese! Geese-geese!” I named my first goose “Don’t Know” so that when people asked me its name I replied “Don’t Know”. It was my idea of a joke back then.
So when I was visiting Coombes School I was delighted to see the resident ducks and the hands on infant project about these birds.
The ducks are kept right outside one of the Year 2 classrooms. Imagine being able to look out of the door to this sight:
The pathway along the side of the duck run, was covered with children’s chalk drawings.
The ducks have a large area in which to roam amongst fruit trees and grass. As you can see, they have their own little temporary pond too. They need a safe place to roost at night, away from interested foxes.
The children have to look after and handle the ducks. This includes incubating eggs and raising ducklings.
The children kept duck diaries and wrote about their experiences of looking after the ducks.
It may appear a daunting challenge to have livestock in a school. There are costs involved such as setting aside a suitable fenced area, ensuring shelter, paying for feed and organising the cleaning and care routines. But the interest and joy that children show suggest that the effort is worth it. This Youtube clip from The Coombes School may help inspire you!