Sussex

Chessington surprise: Pupils go to theme park instead of exam

The class and their coach Image copyright St Andrews School
Image caption The surprise trip was a reward for the students' hard work during SATs tests

Primary school pupils who thought they were due to sit an exam turned over their papers to discover they would be going on a surprise theme park trip.

Staff at the school in Horsham, West Sussex, secretly organised the visit to Chessington World of Adventures.

The exam paper said they had been "tricked" into thinking they had a "science test" but would actually be spending the day on roller-coasters.

Their teacher said it was a "treat to say well done" for their hard work.

The year 6 class at St Andrews School in Nuthurst had spent the week sitting SATs exams.

Deputy head teacher Sam Bacon, who planned the surprise, said: "I felt like I wanted to do something slightly more for them as they had been working so hard and it came to me that we could surprise them."

He emailed parents to get permission and swore them to secrecy.

"They kept the secret brilliantly," he said.

The mock exam paper told children to not to make any noise, allowing their classmates time to read the question.

Image copyright St Andrews School
Image caption Details of the surprise trip were on the third page of the exam paper

"Once I knew that everyone had read the question, I confirmed it and there were quite a few tears of joy and more disbelief," he said.

Mr Bacon, 31, said the school's approach was to avoid "stressing children out" about SATs.

"We tell them that it is important to try their best, but the result does nothing more than to tell them what they can do in those specific subjects, and there is far more to education than that."

Details of the trip posted on the school's Facebook page prompted a flurry of supportive messages.

A former pupil wrote on Facebook: "What a beautiful thing to do. I went to this school a billion years ago and I am so pleased to read it's still very special. Fantastic."

Another said: "That's made me cry. Fantastic."

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites