Letchworth primary school children ‘traumatised’ by Cluedo-themed game

PUBLISHED: 11:54 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:54 29 November 2018

Parents say their children were left traumatised after a graphic Cluedo activity at Letchworth's Garden City Academy. Picture: Google

Parents say their children were left traumatised after a graphic Cluedo activity at Letchworth's Garden City Academy. Picture: Google

Archant

Several parents have said their children are “traumatised” after a Cluedo-themed activity at a Letchworth primary school.

It has been claimed that Garden City Academy’s ‘Big Write’ event last week – designed to develop pupils’ storytelling – has left some children scared to go to school.

Kathryn Sykes, whose 11-year-old daughter attends the school, has said the activity was left her and other parents “absolutely livid” and their children “frightened and upset”.

She told the Comet: “All the children came out of school and were traumatised, telling us that they’ve seen a dead body under a blanket, blood on the floor and watched scary CCTV footage at school.

“Children have since been up all night, suffering nightmares and anxiety, as well as being genuinely upset and afraid to go back to school.

“They were very upset about how weapons had been talked about and discussed how they were used. Cutting someone’s throat open with scissors, punching a screwdriver into somebody’s head, pushing somebody off the top of a building – the list continues.

“Myself and many other parents from the school are absolutely livid that this has happened.

“We’re all now left to comfort and heal our frightened and upset children. We want to bring light upon an absolutely horrendous breach of teacher trust.”

A mother of a six-year-old boy at the school added: “My child is traumatised to go to school. The project was about a Cluedo game where they had to find the killer – they didn’t have to go into that much detail.”

The Big Write game was presented to children from Year 2 to Year 6. Following the session, Garden City Academy headteacher Jenny Redgrove sent letters to parents stating that she had deemed “one aspect to be inappropriate” and apologised for any distress caused.

Ms Redgrove told the Comet: “We organised a ‘Big Write’ event which was based around the game Cluedo, as part of our push to engage children in their writing.
“The event was very popular with the children and we have had many positive comments from families.

“This is a primary age-appropriate project that has been tried and tested in primary schools across the country, and children were reassured throughout that the event was not real.

“While the vast majority of children thoroughly enjoyed that day, we are aware that one aspect of the event upset a couple of children, and we have addressed this.

“The children were told very clearly at the outset that the scene was not real, and we can confirm there was no mention of scissors at all.”

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