When are the ducklings coming in? Are they in today Mrs Howerd? These have been my morning greetings from Year 2 for the past two weeks.

I love animals. I love and keep ducks, so I decided they would be a perfect temporary addition to our classroom.

One morning last week the children arrived in school to find two, fluffy yellow, tiny day old ducklings. They snuggle together under their heat lamp, eat their food and drink their water. They peep a lot and can get quite loud. They follow whoever they decide is Mother duck and love to be cuddled so that they can stay snug and warm. Even our loudest most boisterous children turned into gentle giants in the presence of Poppy and Pebble.

The ducklings are proving not just to be adorable, but to be a valuable teaching resource. They have turned the classroom into a centre for observing, questioning, data collecting and most importantly developing a respect for living things. We have measured them, weighed them and calculated how much they have grown in two weeks. They have grown a staggering 18cm! We have made observational drawings, looking carefully at shapes, proportions and trying different pencil effects and we have thought carefully about their care and needs.

Year 2 went swimming so we decided it was about time we let our ducklings go swimming too. We set up a tub of water and introduced them to their first swimming pool. They loved it and so did we. They were instantly at home in the water, splashing and racing around the tub.

Lunchtime play was quiet, just Year 2, so we took them out on the field to enjoy the space and grass. Poppy and Pebble followed us all the way up, running with us and living up to their name of “Runner Ducks”. They and the children made a funny, delightful sight.

It’s hard to remember many things that we experienced in our early school days. I’d like to think that the time with the ducklings becomes one of those treasured long lasting memories. 

Jenny Howerd, Year 2 Teacher