Children from a Fenland school have proved there is no limit when it comes to ambition after writing and publishing their own book and presented it to the Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi.
Pupils in year 3 and 4 at the Orchards Academy in Wisbech were inspired to become authors after meeting children’s writer Richard O’Neill, who originates from the local area and has produced a host of books based on his childhood in the traveller community.
Headteacher Sarah Cullen explained: “At the very first meeting with Richard back in October the children asked whether it would be possible for them to become authors themselves after hearing his story.
“They were told of course it was more than possible and the project was born from there. Richard has worked with the pupils on the writing and editing of the book and helping them with that side of things but the title and story is all their own work.”
Called ‘The Wisbech Wonder’ the book which has its own ISDN number and will be available on Amazon shortly as well in local outlets, tells the story of a wondrous plant that grows from a seed planted as a part of a project to make the school environment a better place.
Once it produces fruit anyone who eats it finds the fruit tastes of their favourite food whether its Gorgonzola cheese or dairy milk chocolate.
The book has been illustrated by Michelle Russell a professional illustrator who has provided illustrations for Richard’s books.
She worked with the children who guided her every step of the way in how they wanted the pictures to look.
Sarah said: “It has been an absolutely amazing project. The children have loved every minute of it and it ended with them being able to show it to Nadhim Zahawi in the House of Parliament – that really was an ambitious achievement.”
The trip on Monday was organised by local MP Steve Barclay who promised he would arrange for the trip when he visited the Orchards Academy himself earlier in the year.
Sarah said: “The bookk was the work of all the children in years 3 and 4 but unfortunately we couldn’t take them all to London so we drew the names out of a hat. We took 15 in total and we had an absolutely amazing day. Only two of the 15 had ever been to London and they were mesmerised by the whole experience.
“Their faces when we stepped out of the London underground at Westminster tube station and they saw Big Ben were a picture. It blew their minds really. Steve Barclay organised a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament and then we got to meet Nadhim Zahawi. I think he was initially a bit sceptical when he was told the children had written their own book, but when we handed him a copy he was amazed by the work they had produced.
“We had a really fabulous day and now we are hoping everyone will enjoy reading the book when it is available. We hope to have it on sale in various local outlets and it should be available on Amazon shortly.
“It has proven to the children that anything is possible and hopefully we may have an author or two of the future here at the Orchards – as we have told the children anything is possible.”
Copies of the book are also available from the school.