As of 01/04/23, Rainbow Preschool is under the leadership of Great and Little Shelford CE (A) Primary School. Existing policies for each respective establishment remain in place.

Chick Watch 2024

Chick Watch 2024
Please scroll down below to see updates of our ‘Living Eggs’ project.
Day 1:
Everyone was very excited that our eggs arrived at lunchtime today! Once they were placed in their 'home', everyone was very keen to learn all about how to look after them. We discovered that their first special home is called an 'incubator'. The eggs have to stay in there until the chicks hatch out to keep them safe and warm. It is very important that whilst the chicks are still developing inside the eggs, the eggs stay still so we placed some chairs around the incubator table to keep it safe and remind everyone not to touch it. We have to make sure that the temperature remains between 37 and 38 degrees at all times. Even though it looks like nothing is happening, we learnt that inside the eggs the chicks are busy growing and getting bigger every day! Look at the picture below to see if you can spot and count the eggs. The black lines on the eggs tell us they have chicks inside and are not for eating!
Everyone took turns to say 'hello' to the eggs and checked that everything was in order for them to grow and hatch safely. Afterwards we made posters to remind everyone of some of the things we have to do. Don't they look great?
In the afternoon, some children spied a white 'mark' on a couple of eggs and we even thought that we saw a couple 'wobble'. Is it a crack? We'll have to wait and see!!
Day 2:
We've had a quiet day on our egg watch today, but we've kept up our art and craft work to record what we can see and what we expect to happen. Lots of children definitely thought they saw a few wobbles and a couple of eggs had 'white spots' on them which looked like the beginnings of a crack again, but we'll have to be patient and wait and see!! 
Day 3:
The hatching has begun!!
Mrs Clarke was very excited to arrive at school this morning to see that one chick had just been born and even more excited when a second one began to hatch and amazingly popped out just 5 minutes before Reception arrived in the classroom! We didn't think things could get more exciting until we realised yet another was 'pipping' (cracking the egg open from the inside with its egg tooth) and fully cracked open really quickly in the middle of Carousel time! Wow! We had learnt that it can take a while for the whole 'hatching' process to take place, so were amazed how lucky we were to see one hatching live!
The chicks were clearly very tired after all that hard work, so we let them rest a little whilst they got stronger. They were a bit wet and floppy after their time in the egg, but very soon however they had started to 'fluff up', and gained enough strength to move around and even cheep 'hello' to us! We can't wait to cuddle them, but we know we have to wait until they are a bit bigger and stronger and out of the incubator before it is safe to do that!
By the end of the day our 3 chicks were looking strong and fluffy, so we moved them over to the 'brooder' (their next home) to give space for more chicks to hatch overnight. To make it comfy we lined the brooder with paper and sawdust, added in some food and water and most importantly checked that the lamp was on and warm  for them to huddle underneath to stay cosy.
Everyone has been enjoying recording what they've seen and what they think will happen next during activity time. In RE we've been talking about how special our names are, because they belong to us, so some children even decided to suggest names for some of the chicks, although at the moment it is tricky to tell which one is which!!
Day 4
We were very excited to arrive in school this morning to find that 6 chicks had hatched out overnight! The children observed that we now had 9 chicks and only 1 egg left! We had some super writing about what they observed. The chicks clearly prefer quiet conditions for hatching as the final chick made its appearance whilst the children were out at lunch so it was a lovely surprise for when they came in for the afternoon. Tomorrow we will move all today’s hatchlings over to the brooder to join yesterday’s 3 who have been busy discovering their food bowl (and even climbing in it to eat!)
Day 5
Today our 7 newest hatchlings joined the 3 older chicks in the brooder where they quickly made themselves at home and discovered their food bowl. Somehow they managed to knock over their water mid-morning meaning that they were all a bit soggy and more like ducklings than chicks until Mrs Fletcher could get them dried out at lunchtime! The children enjoyed spending time observing the chicks this afternoon and wondered how big they might be when we come back to school on Monday. "I think they'll be this big!" predicted one child, holding their hands about 30cm apart! Let's hope not or they won't all fit in the brooder!
The chicks have gone home with Mrs Warne for the weekend. Hopefully next week they will be big enough for the children to have a hold. 
Day 6:
All the chicks were a bit worn out after their journey to Mrs Warne's house for a sleepover, but they had a good night's sleep and woke up full of beans and ready to play this morning!
We have been careful to keep an eye on where they are moving around / huddling together to make sure the temperature is right for them. If they stay under they lamp, it means they are a little chilly and need some more warmth. If they stay away from the lamp they are getting a bit too warm and need to cool down! Thankfully they have been busy moving between the two and exploring the water and food bowls when they need it.
It is amazing to see how much they have developed already and fascinating to look at all their features in detail, including their smooth beak, dark black eyes, fluffy dander (down) and sharp claws. They seem pretty interested in looking back at us too!
Day 7:
Mrs Warne and her family have been looking after and watching the chicks carefully over the weekend and were amazed today to see that their wing feathers are already starting to grow, wow!
We're looking forward to holding them next week and seeing them develop more!
Day 8
The chicks arrived safely back at school today and Reception were amazed, again, to see how much they'd grown over just a weekend! We noticed that one little chick in particular appeared to have grown almost half their wing feathers and was having lots of fun flapping them!! The chicks are needing lots of food to help them grow, so we now have to check that they have 2 bowls of food and a change of water every day. We also need to make sure that their brooder is cleaned out every day, or it will get a bit messy in there!
Today's additional excitement was holding the chicks. Everyone was very brave and listened very carefully to the instructions given to sit still and quietly so they wouldn't get scared and to use a 'cupping' method to hold them safely but not too tightly. We encouraged the children to hold one hand flat for the chick to stand on whilst their other hand curled over the top, although some chicks had a different idea and decided to sit in some people's laps!! We were very proud that everyone managed to hold or stroke one of the chicks, well done! They're so soft and cute!!
Day 9:
As the chicks have grown, Reception have loved being able to be up close to observe them eat, sleep and play! We were very interested to look at all their different features and noticed how on their feet they have 3 claws at the front and one at the back. This helps them to grip onto things as they move around. Now that they are growing so much the chicks are getting very hungry and get excited when their food is topped up each morning and afternoon. Some get a bit over excited however and end up climbing over each other to get there or even sitting in the bowl! They make a bit of a mess with their food, but don't seem to mind as later on they end up pecking up all the spilt bits from all over the floor! We're continuing to enjoy recording all our observations by chatting to each other (or our Y3 buddies) or through art, literacy and small world play!
Day 10
As they have got older we have noticed that the chicks necks have been growing longer which has helped them to be able to preen themselves a lot more. They've been pecking underneath their wings to keep themselves clean and fluffy and enjoyed flapping their feathers whilst jumping around. We learnt that when they grow up, they can fly, but not for long distances, so will probably only only flap from their hen house to the floor. 
Everyone has been taking turns to clean out the brooder every day (and have an extra cuddle) as the chicks have been eating a lot of food so making a lot of mess!
Day 11
Today was the chicks' last full day in the classroom before they head off to their new homes tomorrow. We have continued enjoying watching them grow and are amazed by how much they have been eating! The children have continued to observe the way in which they are changing and have been doing some wonderful writing to record this and some lovely artwork too. The chicks were clearly tired after a busy week as they all lay down for a sleep together this afternoon once the children had gone home! We will be sad to say goodbye to them tomorrow but 3 are off to a new home with one of the school families so we will be able to have updates on how they are doing.