& Events


Studying the circle of life

- March 12, 2013

Not content with just reading about where baby animals come from, children from Gorton House now have a front row seat to the real-life version of events.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Ask the children of Gorton House and they’ll now be ready to give you their opinion.

The children have been so excited this past week watching eggs hatch in an incubator, before transferring the new chicks to their cosy home under Perspex glass.

Putting theory into practice

The children have read lots of books with an egg and chicken theme.

Their favourites are The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett; The Cow That Laid an Egg by Andy Cutbill, and The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins.

So having studied the theory, they were keen to put their knowledge into practice by showing their educators, parents and carers how to be gentle with the delicate little chicks.


The chicks are the first thing the children want to visit each morning as they arrive. Their siblings also take a turn to hold the chicks and have a feel of their soft fur.

First steps

This week, the children even took two of the chicks out for a walk to another part of The Infants’ Home.

“It was glorious,” says Vin Christanto, the Director of Gorton House.

“We put the chicks in our rattan basket and off we went.”

Along the way, Vin heard the following conversation between some children when the chicks stopped for a nibble.

Iris: “Look! They are eating!”

Millie: “They like grass.”

Zoe got excited when the chicks climbed onto Vin’s shoe.

“Look, Vin, they are climbing on your shoe.”

Zoe gently helped the chick to get down on the ground. The children then tried to collect some grass for the chicks to eat.

The learning behind the fun

Vin says the chick adventure highlights the importance of providing children with natural resources in their learning environment.


“Last year, we observed spiders and earth worms, and watched some silk worms turn into cocoons, and then transform into beautiful white moths.

“I am proud to say our children show they appreciate other living things in their own environment.

“They are learning to be gentle, and to respect nature and to learn from their observations. This links to an outcome in the Early Years Learning Framework that children be connected with and contribute to their world.

From chickens to humans

The children of Gorton House have read lots of picture books, and learnt about the life cycles of different animals, such as chickens and silk worms.

This year,  some families are expecting their own new addition, so children are getting used to the idea of having younger siblings.

“We want children to observe how life begins inside an egg, and learn where little chicks come from,” says Vin.

“My dream is to take our children for an excursion to a farm. For the moment though, we’ll keep bringing the farm to the children.”

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