THE pupils at Windmill Hill Academy are on the hunt for elephants, magpies, cats, tortoises and chameleons.

No, they aren’t setting up a zoo, but they are after cuddly toys that resemble these magnificent creatures — and it is all part of their learning.

Thanks to a number of donations the school has a nice collection going, however more are needed and they are hoping the local community can help them on their quest to find physical representations of their learning dispositions.

Explaining the term, Head of School Mrs Bassett said: “We are a visible learning school and are helping equip our children with the skills they need to be independent and life-long learners. As part of that we have things called ‘learning sails’, which are our learning dispositions. We chose the term ‘sails’ as our logo is a windmill and it fit in with that theme. Each sails represent a disposition; self awareness, connection, curiosity, resilience and reflection. Theses are all attributes we want our children to focus on developing for themselves.”

As part of the pupil’s learning each of the sails has been assigned an animal: Self award Sophie — elephant; Connecting Connie — magpie; Curious Clive — cat; resilience and tenacity Tom — tortoise; reflective Ralph — chameleon. These have helped the children connect with some pretty big terminology. The children have said: “The animals help us to remember our learning sails” and “Connecting Connie connects our old learning to our new learning.”

Mrs Bassett continued: “Over the years we have tried to make it more fun for the children, and some of these are pretty big words for our children to say and understand, so to help with their visual learning we assigned each sail an animal. It has been great and the children have really taken to the idea. You’ll hear them walking around saying ‘I’ve got curious Clive the cat’. However, we only have enough toys for one class and we would love to be able to offer physical animals to all our classes.”

Mrs Bassett said the parents/guardians at the school have been really supportive, with many buying or making animals — but more are needed. 

The school is hoping the wider Launceston community can help as they search for theses five specific animals. 

She added: “The community has been so supportive before, especially when we were putting together our COVID care packages, so we thought we would see if they can help again!” 

They need; seven elephants, eight magpies, eight cats, eight tortoises and five chameleons.

If anyone is able to help they are asked to drop the toys in to the school office.