DJ Simon Mayo’s novel ITCH inspires pupils at Whitton Community Primary School in Ipswich to engage with science

Radio 2 DJ and author, Simon Mayo visits pupils at Whitton School, Ipswich after six pupils won a co

Radio 2 DJ and author, Simon Mayo visits pupils at Whitton School, Ipswich after six pupils won a competition to make a radio show about his latest book. Pictured with winners Freddie, Ryan, Jamie, Lorna, Fariha and Aimee - Credit: Lucy taylor

Radio DJ and author Simon Mayo visited an Ipswich primary school in celebration of their radio show success.

Radio 2 DJ and author, Simon Mayo visits pupils at Whitton School, Ipswich after six pupils won a co

Radio 2 DJ and author, Simon Mayo visits pupils at Whitton School, Ipswich after six pupils won a competition to make a radio show about his latest book. - Credit: Lucy taylor

Whitton Community Primary School took part in a nationwide competition in March that involved creating a radio broadcast interpretation of Mr Mayo’s debut novel series ITCH.

Random House Children’s Publishers UK launched the primary school competition in partnership with Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) and the British Science Association to mark National Science and Engineering Week.

The BBC Radio 2 presenter gave a talk on Tuesday about his book to the pupils, followed by a question and answer session and a presentation of prizes to the winners.

“They were very good, it was very funny and very clever”, Mr Mayo said.


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“The memorable bit was that it was humorous, they had this feature called ‘Chemical or Comical?’ and I remember listening to it thinking ‘yeah these guys know what they are doing’ – so it was the obvious winner.”

The pupils made a six-minute show based on the adventure novel, which tells the story of a 14-year-old science-mad boy whose life is turned upside down when he discovers a new and powerful element.

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Headteacher Richard Dedicoat said: “It’s fantastic, one of our main aims here is for children to be inspired, to have aspirations about their future, to be excited about their learning and to learn across as many different subjects as possible.”

The pupils who created the winning show are 11-year-old Fariha Ahmed, Aimee Emmerson, 12, Jamie Lambert, 12, Lorna Hodgson, 11, Ryan Hard, 11 and 11-year-old Freddie Acott.

Fariha said the project had inspired her to become a writer when she grows up and said it had sparked her interest in the periodic table.

Whitton science teacher and PSQM hub leader for Suffolk, Claire Seeley, initiated the school’s involvement in the project.

“It’s part of our ongoing mission for science in our school to make it exciting, accessible and something for everybody to enjoy – it’s not a mystical unattainable thing”, she said.

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