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Emma Thompson delights Globe Primary School children with reading of new festive tale

Nanny McPhee star Emma Thompson delighted Globe Primary School children with a reading of her new festive tale at the Victoria and Albert museum.

The Bethnal Green school gave pupils a pre-Christmas treat and a break from lessons in a journey from East London to the V&A in south Kensington. At the museum, Thompson gave a warm reading of her new book, Jim’s Spectacular Christmas, which was illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

This follows exciting news that the Young V&A will reopen next summer on Cambridge Heath Road in Bethnal Green. Globe pupils took part in creative projects such as co-design workshops and played a big role in plans for the redeveloped museum, which our local families can come and visit.

Terry Joy, head teacher at Globe Primary School, said: ‘What a marvellous aspirational lifelong experience for our children. To be inspired when being read to by children’s author, Dame Emma Thompson and to share the wealth of knowledge by illustrator, Axel Scheffler, both bringing Jim’s story to life.’

Jim’s Spectacular Christmas is a spirit-raising winter tale inspired by Jim, the real-life dog of the V&A’s founding director Sir Henry Cole, who was credited with inventing the first Christmas card.

At the reading Thompson, who played Nanny McPhee in the seasonal 2005 comedy flick, painted a vivid scene of Victorian Britain through the adventures of her canine protagonist, Jim. Scheffler, best known for his drawings in famous children’s book The Gruffalo, also gave Globe pupils the chance to showcase their artistic talent in an engaging workshop. Scheffler demonstrated how he created Jim’s signature scraggly look and encouraged the children to bring their own drawings to life.

Globe Primary School has also taken trips in the East End, including a visit to the East London Mosque in November, the largest Muslim place of worship in western Europe to learn about Islamic prayer and customs.

A handful of lucky pupils also met climate campaigner Greta Thunberg in July and were featured on a programme with her and comedian Russell Howard raising environmental awareness, demonstrating the impact young East Enders can have on the world.

Read another of our stories featuring Globe Primary School and the efforts of their previous headteacher to provide children with vital home learning equipment.

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