Unusual ‘classmates’ make big impression at Parklands Junior School

Headteacher Julie Wilson and pupils with the Alpacas

Headteacher Julie Wilson and pupils with the Alpacas - Credit: Archant

Children became acquainted with their latest furry friends as they welcomed the new additions to a school this week.

Headteacher Julie Wilson and pupils with the Alpacas

Headteacher Julie Wilson and pupils with the Alpacas - Credit: Archant

Pupils at Parklands Junior School, Havering Road, Romford, greeted three alpacas – the new recruits to the school’s farm.

The cute creatures, which are usually found in South America, are set to inspire the children’s creative writing, according to headteacher Julie Wilson.

The alpacas, Blaine, Benny and Sonny, are joining Parklands’ goats, chickens, rabbits and duck pond.

Ms Wilson said: “It’s quite unusual for a school, especially in Romford, to have its own alpacas.

Headteacher Julie Wilson and pupils with the Alpacas

Headteacher Julie Wilson and pupils with the Alpacas - Credit: Archant

“And I think the children are already bringing in ideas for writing and literacy which is great.”

The animals are usually found at high altitudes in countries such as Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile.

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Ms Wilson said: “It’s great for the children to look at the social aspects of caring for animals too – it really enhances their cultural development.”

The alpacas are closely related to camels and llamas but are much smaller and have thicker wool.

Headteacher Julie Wilson and pupils with the Alpacas

Headteacher Julie Wilson and pupils with the Alpacas - Credit: Archant

“The animals are quite young, they’re very distinctive and they’re quite beautiful,” said Ms Wilson. “We have got a working farm and they’re a fantastic addition – the children are very excited.”