School teaches pupils pigeon racing
A Staffordshire school has introduced pigeon racing to the school curriculum - and teachers say children love it.
The sport, traditionally associated with flat-capped pensioners, has proved a massive hit at Kingsmead Technology College in Hednesford.
Pupils are so keen that after just 18 months they are already making their mark in professional competitions, reports The Mirror.
And teachers say the ancient hobby is an effective teaching aid in a range of lessons including maths, physics, geography and biology.
Teacher and loft manager Richard Chambers, who is in charge of the new pigeon syllabus, said: "The children love it.
"The sport helps the kids with maths when they're finding out who has won, and working out velocities by calculating distance and time.
"Geography benefits as a pigeon finds its way home by following contours of the earth as it flies over hills and valleys.
"And history is another area where the children are learning as I tell them how the birds were used sending messages back from the trenches in the war."
Fourth-generation pigeon fancier Mr Chambers, 28, even got pupils to race birds for the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.
And in one recent race in the Midland the novices managed a creditable 97th out of 5,500 entrants.