Flattened Cl�ment arrives home in Dereham

Characters created by Norfolk pupils have been exploring the sights of France thanks to their new pen pals.

Youngsters at Dereham's Northgate High School made their own Flat Stanleys – based on a series of children's books – to post to students at College Jacques Cousteau in Caudebec-les-Elbeuf, near Rouen.

Before sticking the characters in an envelope, they first took photographs of them to show what they do in their free time. The pupils then asked their French pen pals to do the same.

Amy Walpole, who lives in Shipdham, near Dereham, said: 'It was snowing when we sent them so I sent a picture of Flat Stanley in the snow with my dog.'

Now the 12 and 13-year-olds have received replies from youngsters in Dereham's twin town showing them what their characters got up to on their travels.

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The Flat Stanleys – or Cl�ment Aplati, meaning flattened Cl�ment, in France – visited their schools, families and friends, and even the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

John Watts, 12, of Bradenham, added: 'We even got a photograph of a Flat Stanley on a set of drums.'

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Along with the photographs were letters, written in English.

Jessy Portier, a 13-year-old from College Jacques Cousteau, said: 'It is the first time I see Clement Aplati.

'I don't like school because I have got lessons. Have you got messenger and Facebook?'

Northgate High School French teacher Kate Shepheard-Walwyn said she hoped the Flat Stanleys had worked as a way to get the students interested in having a pen pal and would lead to more links in the future. She said: 'It's a case now of trying to get them contacting each other through Skype and Facebook. That's what they want to do really. They never usually write letters but they do seem to have appreciated that excitement of opening up the envelope.'

The idea was based on Jeff Brown's Flat Stanley children's books. The main character is flattened by a door and takes advantage of the situation by posting himself around the world.


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