Arrival of pets is aminal magic for youngsters at Swindon's Ruskin School

This Is Wiltshire: Making friends Ruskin Junior School pupils enjoy their new pets. Main picture, Travis with a tortoise. Below left, Jack and, below, right,  Bethany, Arlie and Charmaine with a chicken Pictures: SIOBHAN BOYLE Buy this photo Making friends Ruskin Junior School pupils enjoy their new pets. Main picture, Travis with a tortoise. Below left, Jack and, below, right, Bethany, Arlie and Charmaine with a chicken Pictures: SIOBHAN BOYLE

CHICKENS, guinea pigs and tortoises have been welcomed into Ruskin Junior School thanks to fundraising by the school council.

Pupils raised £3,500 to pay for a courtyard area to be refurbished so it can house animals twice a week.

One of the teaching assistants will be bringing a variety of animals into school for the children to look after for the day in the new area, which is called the Sanctuary.

Karen Agambar, the family co-ordinator at the school, said: “The school council said classes want pets so we looked at the logistics of keeping animals in the classroom.

“Although we loved the idea we thought this would be better.”

The school council raised money by running tuck shops and cake sales.

“One of our teaching assistants, Sue Jones, keeps a menagerie of animals and she will be bringing them in twice a week for the children.

“The children have been picking them up, there has been lots of excitement in school.

“It is all about nurturing and caring for the animals. Every class will take turns looking after the pets. It is really great for the children’s well-being.”

Concrete grey slabs were taken up for the new area and they were replaced with crazy paving, astroturf, gravel, sensory plants and a water feature.

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