HENS are usually kept to lay eggs, but at Amble County Secondary School egg production is a secondary consideration. The 30 Light Sussex birds which live in the school grounds are there primarily to lay the foundations for a knowledge of mathematics.
The headmaster, Mr E Johnson, believes in sugaring the pill and turning a dry subject into something more alive, but the children who take rural science have to count the cost.
The poultry are looked after on a rota system by the class. Eggs are graded and sold to private customers, and then carefully kept records are fed back to the classroom where costs are worked out and recorded on graphs.
“We are not out to train poultry farmers,” said science master Mr R I Elliott, who is himself an agricultural graduate of King’s College, “but there’s no doubt how keen the boys are on the hens.”