London, Jan 29 (ANI): Having been considered a pastime for pensioners once upon a time, pigeon racing has now found its way onto the school curriculum.
The sport has been trialled over the last 18 months among a small group of children - and has proved to be a massive hit, the Mirror reported.
Teachers instructing pupils in one of the world's most ancient hobbies said that it gives great benefits in other lessons like maths, physics, geography and biology.
And children are getting to know their feathered friends so well they are wowing rivals in professional competitions.
Teacher and loft manager Richard Chambers is in charge of the new pigeon syllabus at Kingsmead Technology College in Hednesford, Staffordshire.
"The children love it. The sport helps the kids with maths when they're finding out who has won, and working out velocities by calculating distance and time," he said.
"Geography benefits as a pigeon finds its way home by following contours of the earth as it flies over hills and valleys.
"And history is another area where the children are learning as I tell them how the birds were used sending messages back from the trenches in the war," he added.
Fourth-generation pigeon fancier Chambers, 28, even got pupils to race birds for the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.
And in one recent race in the Midland the novices managed a creditable 97th out of 5,500 entrants. The birds have been donated to the school from pigeon fanciers from across the country.
The Midlands National Flying Club has also backed the move to introduce racing at the school, saying it would help make the pastime more popular. (ANI)