Alien invasion and amazing star gazing in Henley

Arnie Jordan is pictured with PCSO Aadila Hussain in front of the alien space ship that crash-landed at St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Henley.

YOUNGSTERS at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, in Henley, became roving reporters after an alien spaceship mysteriously crash-landed in the school grounds.

On the first day of the spring term, an area of the school’s field was cordoned off with police tape, and pupils were warned not to enter the area where the spaceship was.

PCSO Aadila Hussain, who is based at Alcester police station, along with the Herald’s Henley reporter Sarah Evans and photographer Mark Williamson, were all called to the scene, on Wednesday 4th January.

The ‘alien invasion’ kick started Year One and Two’s space topic. After assessing the scene and investigating the surrounding area, pupils and staff returned to their classrooms and listened to advice about how to write a news report from the Herald reporter.

Sarah and Mark also answered the children’s questions about newspapers. The children then re-enacted the day’s events, before writing their own newspaper report and Sarah returned to the school to read their finished articles.

Year One teacher Bronia O’Leary, said: “The children have really enjoyed writing their articles and the parents have mentioned it has all been really successful.

“It was nice for the children to see it all in action, re-enact the scene themselves, and write their own reports.”

Miss O’Leary also met a group of youngsters from her class, along with their parents, at Henley’s Stargazing Live event, at Henley Golf and Country Club, on Friday evening.

Complementing the BBC programme Stargazing Live, Stratford Astronomical Society looked at the wonders of the sky at night, on Friday 13th, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th January, from 6.30pm until 10pm.

There were talks on astronomy for youngsters and adults, astronomical games, and several powerful astronomical telescopes and binoculars were used outside.

Objects observed included the moon, Venus, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Orion Constellation and the Nebula, which is a star formation region.

George Matheou and Julia Waller, from the society, said: “We were very pleased how many children attended.

“Apart from the talks, some of the other activities that the children enjoyed were a quiz where participants could earn a Mars or Milky Way chocolate bar, an astronomical join-the-dots, a space word search and a solar system jigsaw.”

The pair added: “For adults we also had astronomy magazines and equipment on show along with information about what to see in the sky.

“As well as this on Friday and Saturday, we had telescopes outside for most of the evening, so that anyone could get some real experience of practical astronomy.”

The finished article: How St Mary's News reported the alien invasion
The finished article: How St Mary’s News reported the alien invasion