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    Alien Invasion at The Spinney

    Wow! What a week that was! I was invited to The Spinney to celebrate the impact the Phonic Fairy was having on their children, a high number of whom do not have English language as their first language. The school are achieving 100% pass rate for the year 1 phonic screen check, which is just incredible. So, to mark the occasion, I invited Claire Freedman, the author of ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ to join me in Cambridge. It was a day packed with giggles, song and dance. The children even made their own BookWings which were a joy to read.

    So how did it all come about? Well, I’ve always admired Claire’s children’s books as I could see the high engagement they provided for the children in my class. I enjoyed the Aliens Love Underpants theatre show and was delighted when Claire agreed to feature her book in StoryTime Phonics. When she said she would be delighted to join us for the celebration day I was over the moon – space pun intended!

    I’m always so excited to see how schools innovate and develop my original StoryTime Phonics programme, so it evolves as they tailor it to the needs of their children. When I was told that The Spinney had created their own bilingual BookWings involving parents and traditional stories written in a variety of languages – I had to fly in and meet the children. The Leadership Team there are so excited about StoryTime Phonics and speak passionately about how the programme has impacted their children . The teachers have put so much effort into embedding the approach consistently across the school, so awarding them the badge of honour was an easy decision.

    I have to tell you, seeing the children fly into the hall wearing their beautiful, handmade, bilingual BookWings containing stories from their own cultures was a moment I’ll never forget. Sheer Phonic Fairy Magic. It was only topped off by watching Claire Freedman and her alien friend dancing and singing along to our new song “Aliens love underpants” featured in the new Phonic Fairy App.

    What the photos don’t show you however, is that it a vey hot day, you can imagine what it was like for the poor caretaker who had volunteered to step inside the Alien’s very fluffy, very stuffy, costume!

    As we packed up the glitter, we had just one more important job to do. And that was to present the first two Phonic Fairy Awards for Outstanding Achievement. These went to Claire Freedman, and Head of the Spinney. I couldn’t imagine two more inspirational women to receive and wear them with pride.

    Keep up the exceptional work Spinney School, I couldn’t be more proud of you.

    With Fairy Wishes,

    The Phonic Fairy xx

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