The duck continuum…

Education is full of continuum’s of which children are judged by. It’s a good indication as to where a child is, where they’ve come from and possible progression for the future. Having previously lived in Hungerford where there are masses of hungry ducks living on the canal that tourists and residents love to feed there were some things I noticed when Oliver was feeding them.

When he first went to feed them he would sit in his pushchair, be handed the bread and he would then;

  1. Just sit happily eating it.

If you tried to introduce the idea that the duck would possibly like the bread he would get immediately cross, burst into tears and then carry on eating it.

Then I noticed that when he could walk he was happy to get the bread, and could;

  1. Throw whole pieces into the canal to float on the water

This would have him in giggles but really annoyed the ducks as lots of them would fight over the one piece and eventually 1 would run of with it being chased by at least 20 others.

Then he got the idea that you were supposed to;

  1. Rip little bits off and throw the little bits to the ducks and they then ate them.

This is the epitome of the duck continuum. A child who stops here has reached the summit, fulfilled their potential and should get a gold star.

But then….

He turned into a 5 year old boy who;

  1. Tried to hit the ducks with the bread and giggled when he did so.

Despite being encouraged not to then distinctly being told ‘DO NOT AIM FOR THE DUCKS!’ He carried on this for ages even commenting on accuracy of aim, congratulating himself on distance of throw and adding points for perceived difficulty along the way.

Meanwhile his baby brother was 1. Just happily sitting eating the bread….

The he became a 6 year old boy who not only threw the bread at the ducks but;

  1. Tries to get the bread to lie on the back of the duck so the duck can’t get it.

Imagine a 6 year old in a complete collapse of giggles on the grass desperately trying to show us his handiwork. He even;

  1. Awards himself points as to make it a more complete (almost marketable) game.

I’m sure there is an app somewhere to play online with others…






The boys feeding the ducks in Hungerford.


About littlewhitecottage

Emma is a qualified teacher with 14 years of teaching in many different settings. From teaching adults and children at a music school to choosing to work in a demanding primary school that was failing (which meant moving from an outstanding school – her colleagues were aghast!) to running her own sewing business for the last 5 ½ years teaching all ages how to sew: Emma loves to teach.
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