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Inspired by their pets and other animals, the girls contested a long list of classes which included bringing in small pets from home, creating animals out of fruit and vegetables, writing poems, painting pictures, taking photographs and creating miniature gardens.

On the day the entries were judged, the hall was home to a varied array of furry, feathery, scaly and slimy beasts for the pet classes - Best Behaved Pet, Animals with the Best Trick and Best Child Handler. Alongside the more conventional rabbits and guinea pigs were a bearded dragon, a rooster called Picasso, an 89-year-old tortoise and Sidney the Giant African Snail.

In the ICT suite the tables were covered with inventive miniature animal-themed gardens and extraordinary sculptures of animals - amongst them a broccoli poodle, cauliflower sheep, black olive penguins living in a melon igloo, potato pigs, the life cycle of a butterfly and the classic childrenʼs story, The Hungry Caterpillar, all created entirely from fruit and vegetables.

The corridors of the school were decorated with the many entrants of the Animal Poem, Animal Drawing/Painting and Funniest Pet Photo competitions.

Head of the Prep School, Alison Miller, said: "Pets Factor is an annual event eagerly anticipated by all our pupils. The quality of entries is always outstanding and the girls never fail to amaze us with their enthusiasm, skill and imagination. Judging is always extremely difficult."

Ends June 2011

PHOTO: L to R Animal Magic. Saskia with Caramel, Evie holding Poppy, Laura with her papier mache snake inspired by the artist Gaudi, Lilly with Chesten and Erin with Charlie.

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