March 11 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, December 14, 2013
It was the worst possible news in the run up to Christmas - Santa had lost all his sacks of presents after a mischievous elf took his sleigh for a joy ride.
But don’t panic - after an emergency call from the North Pole, the man in red recruited pupils at a Taverham infant school to lead the international effort to save Christmas.
Shocked children at Nightingale First School first heard about the calamity when Father Christmas interrupted a Tuesday hymn practice at the start of the month to tell them Dodger the elf had taken the sleigh, lost the sacks and left the vehicle far away. The pupils agreed to help.
One boy said: “We got a Skype from him in an emergency assembly and I was very worried at that time but now I really enjoy finding out all the clues and trying to solve them.”
Another recalled: “The builders were on top of the roof and they found as big red sack. Mrs Price though it was rubbish but then she saw it was one of Santa’s sacks.”
The rescue effort, which includes a blog called The Great Sleigh Mystery, has seen schools across the world interact over the internet to help each other search for special Christmas sacks, and solve the clues inside them.
They have turned up in places as far apart as New Zealand, Italy and Bradford, and through their efforts pupils have learned about geography, language and team work.
Headteacher Jackie Loughlin said: “They have really taken it to heart. They have rung up relatives across the world to ask them to look out for sacks and presents.
“The geography has been amazing. They have looked at the maps and countries and boundaries. They have looked at sizes of countries.
“It’s been a terrific project and the children have really enjoyed it.”
Yesterday Father Christmas turned up at Nightingale First School in person to say thank you.
IT teacher Kerry Hastings said pupils were initially worried they might not receive their toys, but were soon confident they could help Father Christmas sort out the problem.
She added: “They feel like heroes. They think they have saved Christmas for children all across the world.”
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