Mid-blizzard rescue mission as children save chicks
At the end of last month Acklington C of E First School won an Easter Creative Writing Competition run by Vision for Education.
The children and staff submitted poems and stories and were thrilled to receive an incubator and ten fertilised eggs last Monday. Consultant Justine Bell, who works at Vision in Newcastle, said that the entry was successful because “every person in the school wrote a lively piece of writing, we were so impressed with the standard.”
Although Acklington First School faces closure at the end of this academic year, the children are still keen to impress and grab every opportunity that comes their way.
Imogen Bush, aged 5, was given a special mention by the judges for her story about Terri the baby pterodactyl who was separated from her mummy.
Other entries included a story about George the Horse by James Hodgson, aged 6, and a poem about a magical rainbow by Amelia Aitken, aged 7.
Blizzard rescue mission
The eggs began to hatch last Wednesday when the snow had closed the school, but many of the children living in the village were able to hike through the snow and see the event first hand thanks to the quick thinking of Class 1 teacher Claire Jones, who contacted the parents.
But the excitement didn’t end there. A mid-blizzard rescue mission was launched the next day to move the chicks and brooding box in case of a power-cut during the worsening conditions. Dedicated parents and staff took a giant cardboard box, hot water bottle and blankets to the school and the chicks were then transported by sledge through the snow.
The precious cargo was sledded up the road to Imogen’s house where they were attended overnight, before journeying to James and sister Felicity’s house the following day, and then on to 5-year-old Dylan Gair, who already owns three adult chickens and may eventually give two of the chicks a home.
A lone unhatched egg was taken by staff member Danielle Forsyth and her son Casey, an ex-student of the school. Then, 36 hours after its brothers and sisters, the final egg hatched and 11-year-old Casey set to work building his own brooding box to keep the chick until it could be reunited with the others.
The eggs, provided by the company ‘Living Eggs’, yielded six males and four females for the children to study and enjoy before they find new homes. The unusual circumstances brought about by the weather have undoubtedly given the children an even more special experience they are unlikely to forget.