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Compass Pott Row pupils’ stories chosen for Crazy Creatures – East of England book

Blake Pain with his teacher Amy Condra. Picture: NHS Foundation Trust

Blake Pain with his teacher Amy Condra. Picture: NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Foundation Trust

Two pupils at a specialist school will have short stories published after beating thousands of others from across the country in a creative writing competition.

NSFT Clinical Psychologist Dr. Charlotte Montgomery. Picture: NHS Foundation Trust NSFT Clinical Psychologist Dr. Charlotte Montgomery. Picture: NHS Foundation Trust

A tale written by 10-year-old Blake Pain about a crazy cat, and a story about a monster buying football boots by 11-year-old Callum Goldsmith, will appear in Crazy Creatures – East of England when the book hits the shelves later this month.

The duo both attend Compass Pott Row School, near King’s Lynn, which is run by a partnership of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) and the Engage Trust.

They were given support to write their stories by primary class teacher Amy Condra.

Compass Schools at Pott Row, Belton and Norwich, offer therapeutic education to children who have been permanently excluded from mainstream education.

Pott Row caters for 12 children with more complex needs who are aged between eight and 14. It gives children easy access to help for emotional distress, as well as one-to-one teaching support.

“Blake wouldn’t even write his name 18 months ago,” said mum Claire White, who lives in Upwell. “To go from that to writing a short story and getting it published is incredible.

“He asked his teacher to ring me to tell me the news and he was absolutely buzzing. He has been walking around ever since saying I’m going to be in a book.

“It has not been a brilliant year for Blake as he has had several issues to deal with, so the fact that something so positive has happened is just absolutely brilliant.”

Callum’s mum Emily, who lives in Swaffham, said: “Callum struggles with writing but this was all his own work.

“He was so pleased when he found out the story would be published that he went back to school the next day and wrote a follow up.

“He doesn’t show his emotions very often but had a big smile on his face when I told him I had ordered a copy of the book. I am so proud of him.”

Dr Charlotte Montgomery, NSFT Clinical Psychologist, based at Pott Row said: “The primary class found the activity challenging, but thanks to the support of Amy and her teaching assistants, they all managed to write short stories.

“We were really pleased to hear that Blake and Callum’s stories had been selected for publication.”

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