Pupils returning to a rural primary school after their half-term break had a big surprise when they found a mysterious craft had crash-landed in their playground.
The unidentified flying object appeared overnight in the grounds of Church Preen Primary School, with children arriving for their first day back to find debris scattered among the grass.
Parents dropping children at the gates were greeted by two police officers who had cordoned off the crash scene, a forensic scientist, and journalists who had dashed to see the unexplained wreckage.
But, sadly for UFO enthusiasts, the landing was staged by the school’s head teacher with the help of local authorities and RAF Cosford.
Parents were told in advance and asked to get involved in the surprise by playing along.
Head teacher Dave Tinker described the pupils as “wide eyed and slack-jawed” as they saw the sealed-off site.
Mr Tinker said: “The pupils have so many questions and are really excited by it. They have really got involved in the day.”
RAF Cosford helped supply the debris and two community support officers from West Mercia Police spent the morning taking the schools 70 pupils on a tour of the investigation site and talking to the classes about their work.
Throughout the day “eye witnesses” came to the school to talk to the older classes and Shropshire Star journalist Katy Meaney spoke to the pupils who helped gather facts to write a newspaper article.
The purpose of the surprise exercise was to spark ideas and provide a theme for a week of creative writing.
Helen Whitehead, who teaches children aged four to six, said: “The exercise got the children thinking, Is it part of the moon, or has something has travelled from Mars?”
Mrs Kate Ross teaches class two. She said the day had provided the class with a perfect opportunity to meet various people and learn about their jobs.
She said: “The children have been able to meet professionals and ask lots of questions. The day has really fired up their imagination. They haven’t stopped talking about it.”
“My class has moved the situation forward and will be taking on the role of TV reporters at the scene.
“We will be using the crash as a basis for lots of creative writing.”