Take me to your teacher! Alien's visit is top class
CHILDREN have been having lessons that are out of this world after a UFO crash-landed in their school grounds and an alien escaped from the wreckage.
The intergalactic project at Kingsland CE Primary, in Bucknall, began a fortnight ago when the strange spacecraft appeared and youngsters began following a trail of clues.
And the mystery was solved last night as 400 pupils and parents joined a skywatch at school and saw the alien emerge from behind a clump of trees.
Children then watched a fireworks display, so they could send light signals to Mars and alert the young alien's parents to her plight.
They awoke from a sleep-over at Kingsland Primary early today to find the alien had been rescued and the UFO craft had been left as a gift for the school.
Acting headteacher Sara Goddard said the dramatic learning scenario has had pupils engrossed.
She added: "The children think the spaceship is brilliant. We are now going to be using it for a year-long project involving the whole school.
"Each class will be doing a chapter for an online book about the alien and its adventures. They will design the online pages and write the stories.
"There will also be an artefacts pack, with items linked to the alien, such as a piece of rock."
Kingsland pupils are already used to gripping lessons because they hit the international headlines three years ago after a converted plane was installed in their school grounds.
The aircraft has been used as an outdoor classroom ever since.
Mrs Goddard: "Once you've got an aeroplane, what do you do next? We thought we needed to look to the universe."
The UFO disc has been made from steel and is sticking half in and half out of the ground.
Seven-year-old pupil James Higginbottom, from Bentilee, said: "When I first saw it, I couldn't believe it had crashed here. I was quite excited."
He is now keen to start writing stories and drawing pictures inspired by the alien's experiences.
James got to meet the alien in the flesh yesterday and also took part in the skywatch.
He was joined by his nine-year-old sister Faye Higginbottom. She said: "It has been more interesting than normal lessons. You don't usually get to see things from real life in a lesson."
The alien, known only as 187, who is aged nine in Mars years, spoke to The Sentinel before her flight back home.
Recalling how the crash happened, she said: "I was on my first mission. I was supposed to be following my parents, but I got lost.
"I decided to land at the school because I'd heard about the aeroplane being here and thought it would be a safe place to land.
"But I crashed. It was extremely frightening."
The UFO project has been developed jointly by the school and by Paul Hawkins, director of a company called Universal Learning.
Mr Hawkins said: "We were looking at how we could keep the momentum going after the plane project.
"The idea is the UFO will be used an outdoor learning space for the children. It will be a permanent installation at school."