STUDENTS at Taunton Academy have welcomed some new additions into school.

They have taken in six white leghorn chickens, which had previously been intensively farmed, to live free range at the school's new farm unit.

The hens will live alongside pigs, polytunnels, ponds, fruit cages, raised beds and an outdoor classroom used for Sixth Form land based studies and science lessons for all ages.

Eggs from the highly productive breed will be used within the academy for baking, cooking and science lessons as well as for specialist link-up activities within local primary schools.

English teacher Matthew Naum, who has been involved in the farm project, said: “The hens previously lived in the cramped confines of a barn to produce eggs on an industrial scale. Now, they have a free range lifestyle.

“Students can see their large floppy red combs from a distance as they chase each other in their spacious enclosure and they provide a great opportunity for 'hands on' style learning.”

Six leghorns were chosen, two apiece, to represent the Academy's core values of aspiration, integrity and respect.