Pupils at Wymondham's Robert Kett Primary School moved by Hiroshima girl's death to make 1,000 paper cranes
PUBLISHED: 10:54 28 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:54 28 June 2017
The tragic story of a girl whose life was tragically cut short in the aftermath of the atomic explosion at Hiroshima has motivated a group of schoolchildren to make 1,000 paper cranes.
And now the origami birds, made by Year 4 pupils at Wymondham’s Robert Kett Primary School, are to be sent to a Children’s Peace Monument in the Japanese city.
The pupils started making the cranes after learning about the life of Sadako Sasaki as part of their studies about Japan.
Sadako was exposed to radiation after the bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945, when she was aged just two.
She later contracted swelling and leukaemia was caused by radiation exposure and tried to fold 1,000 paper cranes to make a wish to be well.
Sadako sadly died before she could complete her task, aged 12.
She folded only 644 before she became too weak to make any more. After Sadako died, her classmates finished the project in her honour and buried them with her. Harley Golder, the Year 4s teacher, said he was “very proud” of the children, many of whom had been making cranes in their spare time to reach their goal.
The pupils made the cranes in many different colours using square pieces of paper - making 1,000 of the objects is a time-honoured tradition in Japan known as Senbazuru.
Mr Golder said: “The children just took this story to heart and have given up so much of their own time folding cranes for us to send - it has been lovely.”
Mr Golder said after spending so much time making the cranes, the pupils were keen to keep using their newly-acquired paper-folding skills.
He said: “We are all a bit origami obsessed now.”
One of the pupils said: “It has made me feel happy to do something in memory of such a special person.
“I think it is important that we always try and be friends with everyone and that way we can all live in peace when we grow up.”
The memorial in Hiroshima was built in Sadako’s memory. Children all over the world send origami cranes - also the Japanese symbol of long life - to be placed there as a commitment to peace.
Has something interesting happened at your school? Email education reporter Lauren Cope at firstname.lastname@example.org