Halstead: Head teacher apologises after ‘alien egg’ discovery leaves children in tears
15:49 10 July 2014
The head teacher of an Essex primary school who apologised after a giant ‘alien egg’ planted in the school’s grounds to inspire learning ended up scaring some pupils, has said he received “overwhelming support” for the project.
The egg was part of an exercise at Holy Trinity Primary School in Halstead designed to spark children’s imagination and get them thinking creatively.
A letter published on the school website said the “amazing discovery” had been “cordoned off”.
Head teacher Jon Smith wrote: “After I sent a photograph of our discovery (right) to the National Museum of Strange Objects in London, the Investigator in Chief, Dr Violet Strangeways, dispatched an Investigator to perform a site inspection and then authenticate the discovery.
“Dr Strangeways, from the National Museum of Strange Objects has asked me to ensure that our children remain vigilant and put all their energies into research and investigation in order to help the museum ascertain the origins of this amazing discovery.”
Mr Smith emphasised that, “the area and object are 100% safe and pose no threat whatsoever to the public.”
However that wasn’t enough to assuage the concerns of some parents, who complained on Twitter that the stunt was a “prank too far”.
One said: “tell me i’m not the only parent whose child hasn’t eaten lunch & has been in tears about the “discovery” ? Prank too far?”
Another wrote: “glad you said that my son does not want to go to school anymore and has been in tears since he come home#nothappy (sic)”.
Other parents immediately pounced to the school’s defence. One wrote: “How absolutely pathetic !!! Kids need to toughen up !! Great school project !!!! Brilliant idea, great to see !!!”
Another said: “Honest to god. And to think 14 year old boys were queuing to fight in World War II…”.
However the episode prompted Mr Smith to write another letter on the school website apologising if it hadn’t been made sufficiently clear that the egg wasn’t dangerous.
He added that the exercise had resulted in “an enormous amount of high quality work, in a variety of forms, related to the egg”.
Mr Smith said the reaction to the project had been “overwhelmingly positive” and he hadn’t received a single complaint about it.
“I have been inundated with emails from around the world giving overwhelming support for what we’ve done,” he added. “The children had a fabulous time; it was a great learning experience.”