The chickens and the eggs both come first for pupils at an Essex school

Hens are helping to bring lessons to life for 300 pupils at Hamford Primary Academy at Walton-on-the-Naze.

The pupils’ education got a futher boost when they successfully hatched 10 chicks just in time for Easter celebrations.

Friends of the school invested in a chicken coop, food, equipment and three hens in February thanks to a donation of more than £1,000 by the East of England Co-op, a major independent retailer in the area.

Directors of the Co-op have since visited the school to hear more about the chickens. One of them, Phil Hartwell, said: “The pupils are clearly enjoying having the hens in school. We are very happy to support this project which is inspiring young people about the world around them and helping them to develop new skills.”

The school has established a Chicken Club involving 70 children from Reception through to Year 6 who take turns to care for the birds, helped by a group of volunteer parents.

Academy Principal Benedick Ashmore-Short said: “Observing and looking after the hens and their chicks is a wonderful way for the children to re-engage with the natural world and also to discover more about how food reaches them and what a healthy diet and lifestyle consists of.”

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