The Infant House classes were treated to an extraordinary collection of animal bones, feathers, antlers, skins and photographs based on the wildlife in Richmond Park, Surrey this week. The children tried on antlers and touched animal bones. They also felt the softness of feathers and used magnifying glasses to investigate further interesting objects.

This wildlife collection enabled the children to study all kinds of objects close up. The children had a wonderful hands-on experience, which will hopefully inspire them to explore and appreciate the World around them!


Nursery Red and Nursery Yellow had an exciting experience during our annual Nature Collection workshop:
"I use the magnifying glass and I see bones of the squirrel's tail." Zara NR

"This is the reindeer's leg and it feels like it has feathers on it." Magnus NR

"I liked the feathers because they were really soft. My favourite animal was the owl. I liked its beak and how it can eat mice with it." Isabella NY

 "I liked the lizard skin." Oscar NY


Kindergarten children made the following comments:
"The owl feathers were really spotty." Said Freya KGB
"The antlers felt very heavy." Said Ted KGB
"I liked looking at the sparkly butterflies." Said Sienna KGB
"The 'horns' were the best part. They were from the red deer." Alessandro KGG
"Touching the feathers was my favourite part. They were very soft and I liked the spotty ones." Polina KGG
"I liked looking at the mouse bones with the magnifying glass." Charles KGG
"I liked the mole fur because it was really soft." Arthur KGG


Children from Year 1 and 2 said:

"The woodpecker must feel uncomfortable because it is very bumpy inside his home." Alayna 1D
"I found 100 mouse bones. They were really tiny and can break easily." Ellie 1D
"I enjoyed touching the snake's skin. It felt bumpy and smooth." Freddie 1D
"The antlers were so heavy that I had to use both hands to hold them." Gyaan 1D
"I was surprised because the bat's skeleton was so tiny and thin." Olivia 1D

While discussing what various animals eat, Susanna, the Nature Collection presenter, mentioned that owls eat other birds. A startled Jarlan 1M asked 'Do they eat other owls?' 'No. They only eat much smaller birds such as robins or sparrows.' was her response.
Isla and Isabel, 1M, were intrigued by the contents of a box and surprised when they read the label to find it was the pelt of a grey squirrel. 'But it has brown and orange fur and white at the edge!' Isabel noted. 'It is very soft' said Isla as she stroked it.
Charlie 1M found a pair of wings belonging to a woodcock. Susanna directed him to look at its skull and very long beak for digging insects out of the ground. 'How does it find the insects?' Charlie wanted to know. Apparently it has a very sensitive beak.
Josie 1M was curious to know more about the greater spotted woodpecker that was feeding its baby. 'How does it stay on the tree?' she enquired. Susanna explained that a woodpecker has two claws that point forwards and two claws facing backwards.

We loved our visit to the nature collection today and we learned lots about wildlife in our local area, including Richmond Park. These are some of the things we learned:
"I learned that every year the deer's antlers come off and they grow again very quickly". Carla 2W
"Rabbit fur is really soft and it comes in different shapes and colours". Ruby 2W
"Only the male deer grow antlers and not the female". Sean 2W
"Some of the feathers felt hard and some felt soft. I really enjoyed looking around at all of the nature collection". Daisy 2W
"Foxes live about 3 years. Badgers live for about ten years. A stag takes about 7 years to grow into an adult but it only lives for a few weeks once it is adult". George 2W
"I liked the animal skulls because you could see inside them and the jaw bones moved". Louis 2H
"I was interested by the antlers falling off the deer". Nicholas 2H
"I liked touching, feeling and seeing the mouse bones". Amelia 2H
"I loved the beautiful butterflies". Sophie 2H