School's 'Fantastic Mr Fox' gets award for story time which went global

Mr Fox

Mr Fox has won the Mark Murphy Breakfast Show Award for making a difference during the coronavirus outbreak. - Credit: Elm Tree Primary School

An inspiring and much loved teaching assistant has won an award after his spellbinding story time became a global hit.

Since lockdown began in March this year, Elm Tree Primary School’s Mr Fox in Lowestoft - dubbed 'Fantastic Mr Fox' by colleagues - has been reading stories daily for children via the school facebook page ‘Elm Tree Primary School – Home Learning Hub’.

Daily stories were filmed in and around the school, and at various locations around the local area including the beach, Everitts Park, Carlton Marshes and Southwold for all to enjoy.

Well-known stories by children’s authors Julia Donaldson, Roger Hargreaves and Annabelle Tellis were shared.

Mr Fox’s videos reached as far as Australia, where author Annabelle Tellis now lives.

Mr Fox

Mr Fox has been reading to children throughout the pandemic. - Credit: Elm Tree Primary School


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She was delighted that her story had been enjoyed by so many children and she sent the school a framed picture from ‘If my Dad was a Dog’ and copies of the book.

She has also created a new character called ‘Foxy’ in her new novel, inspired by Mr Fox.

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On Wednesday, Mr Fox was contacted by BBC Radio Suffolk to ask him to appear on the Mark Murphy Breakfast show to talk about the lockdown stories.

During the interview he was awarded with the Mark Murphy Breakfast Show Award for making a difference during the coronavirus outbreak.

The school's caretaker, Mr Mansell, has also helped to keep the spirits up of parents and children with his daily jokes, dancing and various Christmas hats and outfits.

Mr Mansell

School caretaker Mr Mansell has also helped to keep spirits up. - Credit: Elm Tree Primary School

Parents commented on Facebook “Well Done Elm Tree, you’re all doing a great job!”, “Mr Mansell deserves an extra special Christmas present this year for keeping everyone’s spirits up on the way in and out of school.”

Mrs Halliday, Headteacher commented: “The children have been amazing throughout 2020.

Mr Mansell

Mr Mansell dressed up as Santa. - Credit: Elm Tree Primary School

"We have worked hard as a team to ensure that the children and parents feel as safe as they can in school. This year we have had to adapt to new ways of learning and keeping in touch.

"With Christmas being different this year too, we have put together all of our Christmas performances on DVD for parents so they don’t miss out on what we are usually able to invite them into school and join us for.”

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