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Under cover

Literacy Ages 4 to 11

The great trunk mystery took a writing project to a new level of enthusiasm in developing pupils' questioning and writing skills.

A battered trunk was filled with various unusual objects, ranging from a feather boa to a carved walnut.

In Monday assembly, the school secretary interrupted normal proceedings to announce its mysterious arrival. The trunk was brought into the hall and excited debate ensued as to whether we should look inside.

Eventually it was opened and classes later took turns to examine its contents closely.

The local press covered the story and tension mounted about the identity of the trunk's owner. Meanwhile, a wide variety of text types were produced across the school in excited response.

Finally, the mystery person appeared in another assembly in the form of a "Swiss Countess" and her chauffeur, courtesy of the local amateur dramatic society. She gave a convincing account of her life through the objects and the children listened spellbound - even the cynics in Year 6

Nadia Stanbridge is a Year 4 assistant head at Steeple Mor-den Primary, Cambridgeshire

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