This week the children at Appleton C of E Primary School were stunned by the sudden appearance of evidence pointing to a dragon living on the back field. Children were greeted on Monday morning by scorch and claw marks as well as large, sinister looking footprints. Shiny rainbow scales were also discovered. On Tuesday, a nest was found in a copse on the back field, complete with jewels and more scales. This was completed on Wednesday with the arrival of six eggs. This evidence was backed up by an eye witness report from year 6 teacher Mrs Barker, who reported seeing smoke and flames on Monday morning.
During the week children have been investigating the evidence and have consulted a range of dragon experts. On Thursday Mr James Mansfield, chair of the Appleton with Eaton Parish Council, visited in his capacity as chief investigator of local dragon sightings. Following the established protocols, Mr Mansfield collected sound and temperature readings from the eggs, which were then relayed to government experts. Fortunately the threat was said to be level 4, which was not dangerous enough to warrant the immediate closure of the school and evacuation of the site.
However, some children believed that this dragon evidence was a hoax, set up by teachers to trick children, or to garner publicity. Hoaxes are taken very seriously by the British Dragon Council, and can result in fines or even jail-time for heads found to be pretending that dragons are living in their school fields. To examine the evidence further, Oxford University scientist Dr Mark Richards visited the school to thoroughly test the evidence, including teeth and eggshells gathered from the nest, and gave an enthusiastic affirmation that the dragon evidence is real. Aided by pupils from year 5 and 6, he carried out a series of experiments which all had positive outcomes.
Dragon fever has spread throughout the school. Year 6 pupil Tiernan Brassill said, “It was quite a shock considering that dragons aren’t usually found in Appleton.” Children in Foundation Stage have created an enormous dragon, which even towers over the teachers. Foundation stage pupil Fergus Marcham said “One of the eggs has moved, so I think that they will hatch soon.” Children in other years have used the exciting discoveries to create a range of writing, such as instructions about how to catch the dragon, guides to caring for dragons and creative ideas about what might happen next. Teachers are thrilled with how enthusiastic the children have been.
The children of Appleton Primary School will continue to monitor the nest over the weekend and into next week. Experts tell us that it can take up to a week for the eggs to hatch, and the children are hoping to witness this momentous event.