PUPILS took to the stage after an intensive week of rehearsals for their annual primary school play.

Youngsters in years four, five and six from the SS Philip and James’ Church of England Primary School, in Navigation Way, North Oxford, performed the show Set in Stone at The North Wall Arts Centre, in South Parade.

They had a week to rehearse before they sung, danced and acted in front of parents in two performances last Thursday.

John Bliss, year five teacher and show director, said: “It was hard work but a very enjoyable experience. It gives the children with a particular talent for acting, dancing or singing the chance to shine.

“They also have the chance to take part in a whole play that they have been involved with from the beginning to the end and understand how a play works.”

Sofia said: “It was a great experience. We all had fun rehearsing and making the props.”


  • Nick Cook with pupils

Meanwhile, Botley children’s author Nick Cook caused a bit of a storm at the school promoting his debut novel, which is all about tornadoes, on Monday.

He took a machine into the Oxford school which makes a miniature twister. Mr Cook, 52, said: “It was fantastic. I did four workshops and every class lit up as soon as it started working.” The machine contains a mister which condenses water vapour into miniature clouds. This is then drawn upwards by two fans which create a vortex, in the exact reverse of how a real tornado is formed, being drawn down from the clouds.

Mr Cook’s debut novel, Cloud Riders, tells the story of a family of US storm chasers who uncover a surprising secret.

Hannie Osofsky, 11, said: “I found it very interesting. It was fun learning how tornadoes were formed and exploring the creativity behind the writing.”