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Greatstone Primary School in 'meteorite' hoax

A school has admitted a story about a meteorite hitting its grounds was a hoax.

Teachers from Greatstone Primary School on Romney Marsh sent a press release on Wednesday morning to various news organisations claiming a smouldering boulder had crashed onto its playing fields.

The elaborate news account showed pictures of a fake meteorite cordoned off with smiling children crowded around it.

Greatstone Primary School
Greatstone Primary School

It even included accounts from named pupils, claiming the object had been stolen after it landed on Monday last week.

A spokesman for the school this morning admitted the press release - sent from teacher Brooke Ward’s official school email address - was untrue.

Sent to ITV, BBC and KentOnline, the press release reads: “We are two year 5 teachers from Greatstone Primary School.

“On Monday January 8 an unidentified object was found in our school field. The pupils in year 5 investigated the rock which led to much learning around our new challenge for the term.

“From their research, the pupils believed we had found a meteorite. We had a long action plan but when we arrived at the school the next day it had gone.”

It continues: “The grounds have been searched with no luck. The police have been contacted and a theft and trespass has been recorded.”

The email was signed by teachers Brooke Ward and Jemma Gorham.

Attached to the press release were four news reports claimed to be written by pupils.

Their stories included quotes from staff, including the head teacher, telling how upset people were that the item was stolen.

It even claimed police had failed to investigate the alleged incident.

When KentOnline contacted the school, head teacher Nicola Wood apologised for any confusion and said the 'meteorite' was designed for a school project.

She said: "We are really cross that somebody has disturbed the children's learning by taking the rock.

"The teachers are gutted it has been taken."

Kent Police confirmed they had received no reports of a stolen meteorite.

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