Page last updated at 18:35 GMT, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 19:35 UK

Pupils turn into pigeon fanciers

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Pupils at a Lancashire primary school talk about the pigeons they look after and use in lessons

Pigeons, including one sent from the Queen, have become the latest teaching tool at a school in Lancashire.

Students at Peel Park Primary School in Accrington have become amateur pigeon fanciers after using the birds in many of their lessons.

A pigeon loft was installed at the school by their lollipop man and keen pigeon racer Terry Slattery.

He said: "It all started when I brought in one of my winning pigeons and the kids became really interested."

One of the students, Kamran Mullah, 10, is a pigeon enthusiast.

He said: "We are very proud to have these pigeons, particularly this one that has been sent from the Queen.

I am absolutely petrified of them, the children love them but I'm not quite as keen
Judith Williams, headteacher of Peels Park Primary School

"It is a privilege to have this bird, we are the only school in Britain to have a pigeon belonging to the Queen."

Their headteacher, Judith Williams, however, has admitted that she is terrified of the pigeons.

"I am absolutely petrified of them, the children love them but I'm not quite as keen.

"Terry has even given me a wooden model of a pigeon so i can get used to them."

Kamran pointed to another pigeon with a tail of white feathers and said: "This pigeon is a fantail pigeon. This one attracts all the other pigeons and makes sure they come home.

"I also collect all the pigeon's droppings and store them in this bucket and then I pour them in the composting bin and then I put the soil into the garden so it will grow."

The birds are also used in maths, geography, science and other lessons across the curriculum.



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