HATCHING a lesson plan in nature proved a cracking success at a Sunderland school.
Pupils at Southmoor Academy were spellbound watching the webcam footage of 10 chicks hatching in a science lab incubator.
Anne Twine, a teacher at the Ryhope Road school, said that someone contacted the school, which already has a number of hens in its allotment area, to see if they would like to have the fertilized eggs to hatch out.
She said: “We were really pleased and put them in an incubator in the science lab and everyone has been enthralled watching them hatch out via a webcam on screens throughout the school.
“In the lunch hall the music videos disappeared from the screens because all the children, even the older ones, wanted to watch the eggs hatching and didn’t want to miss one.
“The science labs have never been so popular with people queuing to have a look at the chicks, which are so cute. And, the young people have been very careful with the chicks.”
Mrs Twine said as well as being fun for everyone, the project was also educational, such as everyone learning that chicks with a brown tinge are hens and the cream coloured ones are cockrels.
She said: “As they hatched we colour marked them, so we can keep a check on their progress and growth and we plan to keep them along with our other hens. They have already got names.”
Each Year 7 tutor group at Southmoor already has a hen, which they are responsible for looking after, and the school sells the eggs as well as using them in the kitchen.
Mrs Twine said: “The allotments, wildlife area and conservation area are a fantastic way for the pupils to learn about nature and respecting the environment and the headteacher is really keen to expand this.”