Wednesday 12 September 2007
St Patrick's Grammar School Armagh received a very special visit from James and Oliver Phelps, better known as the actors who play the Weasley twins in the Harry Potter films, on Tuesday 11th September.
The school was the top fundraising school in Northern Ireland from Mencap's Spellathon 2006/2007 competition, raising over £1,300 for the learning disability charity through the sponsored spelling test.
One hundred and twenty five pupils at St Patrick's Grammar took part in Spellathon, now in its fifth year in Northern Ireland and were sponsored for every word that they spelt correctly. This meant that the more spellings they got correct the more money they raised for Mencap's projects in Northern Ireland!
To get pupils even more enthusiastic about Spellathon, Mencap enlisted the help of James and Oliver Phelps who have supported the initiative for the past four years. This is the first year, however, that the Twins have visited a school in Northern Ireland. The Phelps joined the school assembly to answer questions about the Harry Potter films and stayed to sign Harry Potter books. The Phelps said, "It was great to visit the school to congratulate the children on their achievement and to thank the school for supporting Mencap."
Shauna Clements, literacy co ordinator at St Patrick's Grammar commented: "The children are all huge Harry Potter fans, so the Phelps' visit was a real treat! The children decorated our assembly hall for our special assembly with Harry Potter themed pictures so that the Twins would feel especially welcome. The pupils have also been particularly looking forward to getting the chance to quiz the Phelps on their roles as Fred and George Weasley.
"I thoroughly recommend Spellathon to all schools. We have taken part for the past three years and it is a great teaching tool, not only in terms of pupils' spelling but also for educating our students on learning disability. I am delighted that we have raised funds for Mencap's projects in Northern Ireland and look forward to introducing more pupils to Mencap and Spellathon this year!"
Any school in Northern Ireland can take part in Spellathon or fundraise for Mencap at any time of the year. To register for your free Spellathon Teacher Resource pack contact Catherine Knox on Tel: 028 90 690166 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or download your pack on http://www.mencap.org.uk/spellathon