The Gruffalo heads back to school as Sheffield summer of fun kicks off

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South Yorkshire schools take part in region-wide Meadowhall competition to win a visit from the world-famous Gruffalo

Hundreds of school children have been taking part in a region-wide competition organised by Meadowhall Shopping Centre, The Gruffalo Experience and Macmillan Children’s Books that saw a Very Important Gruffalo – making its way to a South Yorkshire school this week.

The competition - organised to celebrate The Gruffalo Experience returning to Meadowhall this summer – has been running over recent weeks where young pupils were asked to send drawings as invitations to The Gruffalo to try and persuade him to come to their school.

After casting his orange eyes over the huge pile of entries The Gruffalo finally chose Churchfield Primary School in Cudworth, Barnsley, as the overall winner, with a special runner-up prize going to Brightside Nursery and Infants School, Sheffield.

Churchfield pupils were so excited for the Very Important Gruffalo (VIG) visit where they got to meet the 6ft Gruffalo who was armed signed copies of The Gruffalo from the author Julia Donaldson. The school also won a pile of books as tall as their teacher, thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books. Runner Up prize was a pile of books as tall as one of their pupils for Brightside N&I School.

“We wanted something to celebrate the fact The Gruffalo Experience is coming back to Meadowhall for a second year but also something that would fire up the children’s imaginations,” said Meadowhall Events Manager Alex Caley. “The response we have had to the competition has been brilliant, probably one of the hardest we have ever had to judge.

“The Gruffalo headed into school for pupils to meet their larger than life hero in the flesh – or fur, so to speak!”

Churchfield assistant headteacher Melanie Morrell said: “The children were so excited by the visit and we have just had our new library opened which is decorated in the theme of the Gruffalo Wood so it was perfect timing! It is a magical story and this was a magical day for the pupils before they broke up for the summer.”

Starting on Monday July 18th and set to run throughout this summer, The Gruffalo Experience is an interactive walk through experience that brings the story to life using magical sets, music, puppets, talking characters and, of course, The Gruffalo himself.

Last year’s event held during the Easter holidays was a sell out and organisers are confident this summer’s event will prove just as popular.

Tickets for this ‘edutainment’ experience can be booked online, in advance, and ticket prices start from £7.95* per person with children under two-years-old being able to visit for free. For further details, prices and bookings please visit: http://unit10eventive.com/gruffalo/

Unit 10 Eventive & Macmillan Children’s Books are the creators behind the Gruffalo Experience.

*Booking transaction fees apply.