Ben introduces today’s topic
Laughing in the playground, no 6, All About Our School
Interviews: Children of Webster Primary School in Moss Side, Manchester
Talk about how it make them feel to give a big smile
Dentist, Melanie Catleugh tells the children how to look after their teeth.
Samuel’s Smile by Jeff Caple, read by Simon Trinder
On looking after our teeth and how giving a big smile can make someone feel better
Read by Simon Trinder
One wet Saturday morning, Samuel was helping Mum tidy up. He’d put all his dirty clothes in the laundry basket, his books were stacked on the shelves and his toys were back in boxes. Samuel smiled to himself. His bedroom looked so tidy.
“I’ve found these old photos”, said his Mum. “Could you put them in that drawer, please?”
Samuel looked through the photographs. They were all of a younger him as a baby or as a toddler; with Mum, with Grandpa, and with his big brother, Christopher.
“Aaah, look at my little boy”, cooed his Mum. “Always smiling. You were the happiest baby ever!”
“Happier than Christopher?” Samuel asked.
“Oh yes, Christopher was just the opposite. He was always crying”, said his Mum.
That really made Samuel smile. His brother was four years older and seemed much better at everything. He was taller, scored more goals at football, read bigger books and did harder numeracy.
“I smiled more than my brother”, he sang. “Hooray!”
There was a photo of Samuel on a swing with Grandpa.
“Isn’t Grandpa’s favourite song about smiling?” he said. “That one he always sings in the bath.”
“Yes, that’s right,” laughed his Mum. “When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you.”
“Wow, imagine the whole world smiling!” said Samuel. “That’s a lot of people showing their teeth!”
He grinned. There was a big gap at the top of his mouth where two grown-up front teeth would soon be.
When it stopped raining, Samuel and his Mum went shopping. The high street was busy with lots of people. Some of them were familiar faces, like the lady at the greengrocer stall and the man in the pet shop where Samuel bought rabbit food. But as he walked along holding Mum’s hand he practised smiling at everybody, whether he knew them or not, to see if the words of Grandpa’s favourite song were true. If he looked at someone and didn’t smile, that person looked away or straight through him as if he wasn’t there. But if he smiled at somebody, a really big, friendly smile, then they smiled back. People seemed to catch a smile like they catch a cold, but smiles are much nicer to spread around than horrible germs.
“Huh! You look so happy”, said the man in the café that served the best ice cream in town. “You can have an extra scoop for that lovely smile.”
“Oooh I must say,” said the lady at the supermarket check-out to Mum, “your son has the best smile in the world. It’s made my day.”
Now Samuel didn’t have to practise smiling. He did it without realising. Knowing that you got a bigger ice cream or it helped make someone’s day - well that brought a smile naturally.
On Monday morning, he grinned and beamed all the way to school. Mrs Rogers had just taken the register when the classroom door opened and in stepped the Headteacher with a girl Samuel didn’t recognise. He thought she looked nervous.
“Eh, Class 2R, this is Hiroko. It’s her first day at our school. Her family have moved all the way from Japan”, said the Headteacher. “I want you all to be very friendly and give her a warm hello.”
Mrs Rogers said: “Oh, hello Hiroko. I hope you’ll be very happy in Class 2R. Who do you think you’d like to sit next to?”
Lots of the class put up their hands. So did Samuel. But he did something else too. As Hiroko looked around the classroom of unfamiliar faces with their hands in the air, she noticed one boy sitting towards the back. She’d thought she would choose one of the girls. They looked friendly enough. But there was something about this boy and the way he was smiling at her. It was the biggest, friendliest smile she had seen since she had arrived in this new country. Shyly, Hiroko pointed to him.
“Oh, that’s Samuel,” said Mrs Rogers.
Hiroko sat down and smiled back at Samuel. She pointed to the big gap at the top of her mouth where two grown-up front teeth would soon be. Now they weren’t smiling: the new friends were laughing.
Samuel's Smile was written by Jeff Caple