Leeds pupils’ surprise as meteor ‘lands’ in school field

Ellie Priestley  and Joshua Tidmarsh both 9 with teacher Nina Spence and Sgt Nick Boyes  at Alwoodley Primary School in Leeds.
Ellie Priestley and Joshua Tidmarsh both 9 with teacher Nina Spence and Sgt Nick Boyes at Alwoodley Primary School in Leeds.
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Schoolchildren in Alwoodley got a surprise that was out of this world when they turned up to school to find a meteor had landed on their field.

The space rocks had already been cordoned off by police by the time children arrived for lessons as normal at Alwoodley Primary School.

Imaan Iqbal 8 with geologist Callum Abbiss at Alwoodley Primary School in Leeds.

Imaan Iqbal 8 with geologist Callum Abbiss at Alwoodley Primary School in Leeds.

The realistic events - which even fooled some parents - was actually an elaborate hoax set up by teacher Nina Spence, with some kind help in the form of her policeman friends and the nearby Mone Bros’ Blackhill Quarry near Bramhope who supplied the stone.

She said it was a great way to get the children learning about maths, science and English as they spent the day learning all about meteorites, examining the rocks, investigating samples, estimating their weight and writing news reports about the drama-filled events.

She said: “We didn’t tell them what it was at first, they had to work it out. We had spent the last five minutes of the day before talking about meteor showers, so that put it in their minds. The younger ones thought it was something giants brought in as they’re doing a topic on giants at the moment. But most thought it was a meteorite.

“The story was that it had landed in the night and the police had been called and had come to tape it off. They were really excited. The older children were doing newspaper reports and they filmed each other on ipads as if they were doing a news report. It was a whole ‘meteor day’.”

Puzzled looking  pupils Ellie Priestley  and Joshua Tidmarsh both 9 with teacher Nina Spence and Sgt Nick Boyes.

Puzzled looking pupils Ellie Priestley and Joshua Tidmarsh both 9 with teacher Nina Spence and Sgt Nick Boyes.

She said she thought of the idea after being inspired by people she follows on social media, adding: “People had done lots of different things for the day but not something like a meteorite. I thought it would be a nice hook to interest the children.”

Craig Morrell, manager at Blackhill Quarry, said: “We were only too happy to help out the school when we found out about their project and we sourced some shaped sandstone rocks that became meteorites.”

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