Two micro-pigs spent a week at a south London school to help its primary pupils to develop their English skills.
Seven-month-old Stacey and Jane were brought in to Dunraven School to tie in with year 1 pupils looking at The Three Little Pigs, and the year 3s studying Charlotte’s Web, which features Wilbur the pig.
Pupils observed Stacey and Jane and then wrote a diary entry from their perspective, using what they had learned about the pigs’ personalities to determine the tone of voice they used.
The quality of pupils’ writing improved significantly
David Boyle, the school’s head, said: “Rather than just saying to the pupils ‘Oh, there’s a pig, why don’t you write from the pig’s point of view?’, we got them to watch the pigs for a while and study their behaviour to find out more about their characters. One of the pigs was much more sedate, and the other one was inquisitive and spent much of its time annoying the other one.
“From observation, the quality of the pupils’ writing improved significantly.”
The school also tied in the pigs’ visit with the science curriculum, teaching pupils about their life-cycle, as well as safe handling and feeding.
“People who were initially a bit grumpy about the idea of animals coming to school changed their mind as soon as they saw them,” Boyle said. “A number of our partner schools have asked how we did it and are now planning a pig week themselves.
“The pigs brought access to the curriculum, a focus for particular knowledge and understanding, but most of all, they brought joy.”