Pond memories

The local common keeper approached us to build links and we thought it would be fun for Year 3 to name the resident pond birds. This grew into a whole-school project.

We looked on the internet to research the characteristics of the birds. The first was the solitary Indian runner, which looks like a small white goose. The children were delighted to discover that the bird gets its name from the fact that it runs but cannot fly.

The children produced poems, line drawings and watercolours and finally named the bird Skid. In the case of two white and brown birds, they played with their name (they were shelducks), calling them Cockles and Mussels.

The two white geese were aptly named Twaddle and Waddle. The children visited the pond daily and families and friends became familiar with Skid and the other birds. They gained an insight into the perils of pond life - sadly, Waddle didn't live until the official naming ceremony. It gave them first-hand experience of environmental issues.

Now there is a plaque by the pond with photographs of the birds with their names. The work included ICT-based research, library skills, poetry, observational art, and talking and listening.

Helen Frostick Deputy headteacher, St Osmund's Catholic Primary School, Barnes, Richmond

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