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Last Updated: Tuesday June 10 2008 17:20 GMT

Adam tries school's pigeon power

Derek Graham takes the birds into class

If you struggle with maths and English or find it hard to concentrate in class, you'll love this...

A school in Gateshead has adopted some racing pigeons to help pupils with their lessons and say it's a big success. Adam went along to find out more.

I've never been bird-watching in a classroom before! But they do it quite often in St Agnes Primary School in Gateshead because they've adopted some racing pigeons.

Every few days, pigeon-fancier Derek Graham brings his birds into school. They take part in loads of lessons.

Peter said: "You can use them for lots of topics. In science, we learned about their water-proof coats. In art, design and technology we've been designing lofts for them to live in."

Brendan, 10
Brendan thinks the birds make lessons more interesting
The teacher, Miss Woods, thinks they're also pretty handy for maths, because the class can measure the distances the birds have flown and how fast they were flying.

And Brendan reckons they make school a lot more interesting: "It's better in lessons because you've got something to focus on.

"If you've got the same old lessons every day, you know what's coming at you and that can be pretty boring."

Classroom poo

The birds are easier to hold than I expected.

Relasing one of the pigeons for the race
Adam had a three-mile race with one of the pigeons!
Ruby, who was carrying one of the pigeons called Sparrow, said: "They wriggle quite a lot and they're quite soft, but I'm scared that I'm going to let go of him!"

And they've only pooed in the classroom once.

Adam v Pigeon

Racing pigeons have the amazing ability to find their way home from wherever they are. But no-one really knows how they do it.

So how fast are they? We decided to have a race.

We released Hannah (who is actually a boy!) and then jumped in the car. She finished the three mile journey AGES before we did. But then she didn't have to worry about traffic jams, speed limits or traffic lights!