Bunessan world Otter Day was totally otter-tastic

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Bunessan Primary School celebrated World Otter Day on May 31, with Mull Otter Group Committee and nine kind volunteers created a day packed with otter-centred learning.

Children in P5, 6 and 7, tutored by Val Leckie, made beautifully observed drawings of Eddie the Otter. With Marie Fox, their maths lesson became a practical approach to collecting data and a discussion about wildlife groups’ collection of statistics.

Mull Youth Theatre’s Andi Stevens’ lively drama session created acrostic poems with words and movements.

Pupil Molly, said: ‘The drama with Andi was my complete and otter favourite.’
How do you differentiate mink and otters? Mull Otter Group’s Nigel Burch and local Ranger Emily Wilkins taught them how.

The younger ones had a busy day, too. Anna Mockford, ably assisted by Ranger intern Georgia Platt, transformed them into otters using facepaints.

Local artist Julie Ward helped them make clay model otters and Jane Putsey showed them how to make otter prints.

Sue Morley helped them explore and understand an otter skeleton: ‘We found out some interesting facts about otter bones. We looked at them through magnifying glasses and tried to work out which bones went where.’

Jan Sutch Pickard and her granddaughter Katie skilfully gathered the children’s ideas to make a lively poem: A Romp of Otters. They said: ‘We had to think of really interesting phrases for the poetry.’

Others enjoyed Sue Penny’s telling of the travels of the Utterly Otterlys. Nigel Burch taught them how to spot otter signs in a specially created otter trail: ‘Everybody liked it when Nigel showed us how you can tell where an otter has been.’

What do you do if you find a sick or injured otter? Jane Stevens, chairwoman of Mull Otter Group, explained, then everyone had fun working in the Otter Rescue Centre.

Jenny DesFountain said: ‘Many thanks to head teacher, Sue Hawkes, for her support and hospitality. It was a pleasure to work with the focused and very well behaved young learners at Bunessan. Perhaps some of them will be the otter champions of the future?’