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Baldock pupils adopt Arctic Circle reindeer as part of Nature Club

PUBLISHED: 14:56 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:57 21 May 2019

Students at Hartsfield JMI in Baldock have adopted a reindeer from the Arctic Circle, which they have named Brave Hart. Picture: Mika, Palosaari Reindeer Farm

Students at Hartsfield JMI in Baldock have adopted a reindeer from the Arctic Circle, which they have named Brave Hart. Picture: Mika, Palosaari Reindeer Farm

Archant

Students at Hartsfield JMI School in Baldock have adopted an Arctic Circle reindeer as part of their Nature Citizens Club.

The club members came up with the idea following a Skype conversation with a reindeer herder in March.

Key Stage 2 club leader Alix Marschani said: "We met some of the reindeer and had so many questions inspired by a real-life encounter in a remote, dark and snow-laden environment.

"The main question was 'where are the babies?'. A promise was made between ourselves and the herder that we would have our own school reindeer, who we have named Brave Hart.

"He arrived earlier this month and video clips of our baby reindeer were shared at the next Nature Citizens meeting. And if we could reply to him this is what the children would mention:

"We thought you looked so beautiful, so small and yet so strong. We watched as you ran after your mum on those wobbly legs and saw that you were brave, intelligent, and curious. Those stripes on your face and back make you look fierce and smart.

"Brave you are as you ready yourself for release into the wild, while Hart is part of our school name and is the old English word for deer.

"This meant you would be our Brave Hart! We are glad you loved the name too. We will learn so much about your life. Stay safe with your herd and we will meet you in June when you get tagged."

The Nature Citizens Club led the school to scrap the use of plastic straws which came with the school's carton drinks deliveries earlier this year.

"Bringing real-life learning into the classroom is essential if children are going to understand the challenges presented in the natural world by human action or other," Alix continued.

"Adopting Brave Hart is a powerful connection with a wild creature in its natural environment. We will learn how he grows and what the challenges are in the Arctic Circle for his herd.

"It is also an opportunity to tackle difficult questions in an age-appropriate and sensible manner, such as what will happen to Brave Hart when released into the wild? We are already discussing possible consequences because we are dealing with a real-life issue.

"The children's responses show that their ability to understand issues away from their immediate environment enhances critical thinking and develops empathy towards the wider natural world - and all because we adopted Brave Hart!"

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