13th December 2019 — It has become a tradition at Hornsby House to give the children and their families a Christmas surprise on the last day of term. The animals from Vauxhall City Farm, a snow machine and even three camels with “kings” on board have featured in recent years but no-one was expecting a polar bear to make an entrance as children, parents and staff were singing Christmas carols in the playground.
A life-size animatronic polar bear called Bjorn padded into the playground, much to the amazement and delight of the children. He was fluffy, playful and friendly, with the odd hint of ferocity, and moved around greeting his enthusiastic audience. Bjorn stayed at school long enough to have fun with Reception and Year 6. He was gentle and kind with the younger children and a little more excitable with the older ones but they were all equally fascinated by him.
Bjorn was the perfect Christmas visitor, as the children have been taking part in a school-wide project on endangered animals, with older pupils researching, writing and illustrating an essay on an animal of their choice from the World Wildlife Fund’s endangered list. Polar bears are currently a vulnerable species, with sea ice loss from climate change being the single biggest threat to their survival.
Headmaster Edward Rees said, “Bjorn the polar bear was a wonderful Christmas surprise and the children had such fun with him – it was a memorable end of term.”
Credit to shootbernard.com for the photo.