St Albans Infants school hatches a plot to inspire literacy skills

Firemen retrieving egg from roof of Bernards Heath Infants School

Firemen retrieving egg from roof of Bernards Heath Infants School - Credit: Archant

Eggsactly what was going on at the start of a school’s literacy week turned out to be more than a yolk for the youngsters.

For the children of Bernards Heath Infants School in St Albans went from amazement at coming into school to find a giant egg on the roof to spending a week working out how it got there and what was hatched.

It was part of the school’s plan to make sure that literacy week was out of the ordinary – and they roped in the local fire brigade and a scientist from the Museum of Strange Objects to help.

Head Sarah Thomas-Burton called out St Albans White Watch for help after the children had discovered the egg and with the whole school watching, firemen climbed on to the roof, scanned the egg and lifted it down, leaving it securely behind a fence barrier.

In the meantime, the children were encouraged to let their imaginations run wild about what was inside the egg and write egg poems, newspaper stories and drawing and painting what was inside.

The following day a scientist from the Museum of Strange Objects came to visit and told the children all about an animal called a giant elephant bird and other large eggs that had been spotted around the world.

By midweek, a crack had appeared and the egg was wobbling which prompted the children to think an umbrella would be a good idea to keep the egg dry and a blanket was needed to keep it warm.

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Science came into play as the children wondered what the inside of an egg looked like, what sorts of animals laid eggs and what eggs needed if they were going to hatch.

By Thursday the egg had hatched, leaving behind some eggshells and brightly coloured feathers which prompted the pupils to make posters asking ‘Have you seen this bird?’

“The final day of literacy week was marked by an assembly where the children were given time to reflect on what they thought had happened.

Deputy head Hannah Rimmer said: “Whatever it was it certainly provided a very exciting week filled with a huge amount of opportunities to develop literacy skills.”

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