THE sound of clucking can be heard around Holy Rood Junior School after it took delivery of a batch of feathered friends.

The school, in Upham Road, has taken on eight Pekin Bantams in a bid to win an eco-schools award.

The chickens, being cared for by each class’s eco-warrior, have proved a hit with the pupils during assembly and lunchbreaks.

Teaching assistant Aveen Kavanagh said: “We are aiming to be a sustainable school and get a sustainable award.

“There is a dedicated chicken per class. The children will be tending to them and caring for them. Next year we might get some eggs and hatch them.

“We always take them out for half an hour or so at lunchtime and we have children all around the fence.”

The chickens had a starring role in assembly last Friday.

Aveen said: “Luckily, they were well behaved; both the chickens and the children.”

Year 5 eco-warrior Georgia Oldridge, 10, said: “I have never held one before. They are really fluffy and quite big. I like holding them. I was scared at first, but then I got used to it.

“I have been changing their water and every lunchtime we put them out for the other children to look at. All the classes are deciding on names. Some of them have names already, but some haven’t.”

One Year 5 class has decided on the name Henrietta for its white and brown chicken. Its eco-warrior, Archie Best, nine, said some birds were daredevils. He added: “Some of them got out over the fence. We had to get them back.”