|Former Kidsfirst Mairehau kindy kid, Alfie is a HUGE fan of British veteran broadcaster and celebrated naturalist documentary maker, David Attenborough. Aren’t we all!|
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Considered a national treasure in England, Attenborough is loved the world over. Kidsfirst Mairehau Head Teacher, Raelene Forde’s words are spot on and ring true for many - “He is an amazing presence in our world, having brought the wonder and awe of the natural world to life.”
Attenborough’s passion for and affinity with nature began as a young child. He loved to gather up fossils, stones and other natural specimens for his own ‘museum’ collection.
A favourite was a gift of amber. The ancient insect life entombed within was to later inspire his BBC documentary exploring these remarkable fosilized time capsules or “jewels of the earth”.
After watching Attenborough’s ‘Alive’ DVD (that takes the viewer on a fascinating tour of London's Natural History Museum) Alfie was hooked. He was particularly enamoured by the moving moa skeleton, one of the many historic creatures that appear to ‘come to life’ at the museum through the use of special effects.
“Alfie has watched the DVD countless times and remains intrigued,” says Kidsfirst Mairehau Teacher Aide (and mum to Alfie) Helen Clayton. “He brought his fascination with moas to kindergarten and Teacher, Alison Huddle ran with it.”
Alison helped Alfie to research more about this extinct, giant, flightless New Zealand bird. She says, “Alfie drew some amazingly detailed moa drawings - some with four legs - he is an amazing artist.”
Recently transitioned to school, Alfie had created a piece of awesome fan mail for David Attenborough. It was a drawing of him riding a moa and an invite to meet for a cup of coffee at the Natutral History Museum café, when the family next travel back to visit relatives in England.
Alfie was over the moon when, just a few weeks later, he received a hand-written reply:
“Thank you so much for your letter. I am so glad you enjoyed the DVD about the Natural History Museum. I hope you will also have a nice time when you come to England.
I must tell you however, that Dippy the Dinsosaur is no longer in the museum. He has gone on a tour of other museums in the UK. Instead there is the skeleton of an even bigger giant – a blue whale.”
- David Attenborough.
“We did not expect and were naturally delighted with David Attenborough’s response," says Helen. “Maybe he took the time to write as he can appreciate, and loves the thought that he has really captured a child’s imagination.”
KIDSFIRST KINDERGARTENS ARE A NOT FOR PROFIT ASSOCIATION THAT HAS DEVELOPED AND MAINTAINED KINDERGARTENS IN CHRISTCHURCH, CANTERBURY AND ON THE WEST COAST FOR OVER 100 YEARS - AS THE PLACE LOCAL KIDS COME TO LEARN, PLAY AND HAVE FUN.