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Former Children’s Laureate Celebrates Opening New Academy

Former Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne’s visit to the Folkestone Primary Academy on Friday 11th of October, proved to be the icing on the cake for the pupils and staff following a weeklong celebration which saw the Under Secretary of State for Education and Childcare, Elizabeth Truss, officially open the new school building.

The award winning author and illustrator has written forty seven children’s books and was awarded the acclaimed Children’s Laureate in 2009 through until 20011.  During his time as Laureate he promoted the importance of picture books and children’s illustration, as well encouraging children to be creative and use their imaginations in their own story writing.  His visit marked the end of a very exciting week of creative study of many of his thought provoking and emotionally engaging books.  The week saw the children explore his stories and themes by engaging in reading, writing, drama and artwork.

Miss Louise Chantler, Head Teacher of the Primary Academy, also comments: “It was an absolute honour to welcome Anthony Browne to our new school. We are so grateful to him for giving our deserving children such a fantastic opportunity. I'm sure that this day will be one which the children all remember as one of the best of their primary school days.”

Throughout the morning, Anthony Browne took part in a number of activities. Staff and pupils listened to him talk about his books and life as an author before unveiling a plaque opening the brand new school library which is aptly named ‘The Anthony Browne’ library. After, budding artists were given the opportunity to take part in playing the   ‘Shape Game’ with Mr Browne and members of the School Council then chose their favourite Anthony Browne book and, having signed it, he then added it as the final item in our school time capsule and sealed the casket.  Following this, he then helped the children plant a tree in his honour. The morning finished with a whole school ‘Voices in the Park’ picnic lunch which culminated in Anthony cutting an enormous gorilla cake which all the children shared. 

The organiser of the visit Mrs Sarah Uden, the Senior Literacy Leader at the Folkestone Primary Academy comments on the morning’s event: “What an amazing day!  Anthony Browne was so generous with his time and took part in everything that was asked of him.  He will always be a true friend of the Primary Academy and is welcomed back anytime.”