Ipswich children to appear on Songs of Praise in Noah's Ark visit
PUBLISHED: 07:30 20 December 2019
Pupils from a primary school in Ipswich are set to shine on the BBC's Songs of Praise after being filmed visiting the Waterfront's Noah's Ark replica.
Around 30 excited schoolchildren from St Margaret's Primary School climbed aboard the half-sized replica to be featured in the popular national television show.
The children were invited by the ark's creator, Dutch artist and film producer Aad Peters, to learn about the history of the bible.
The 70m long vessel is the world's only floating museum of bible stories and includes statues such as Noah riding a scooter and King Solomon brandashing his sword - as well as a live snake and koi carp.
Headteacher Jo Kidby said: "We were delighted to be invited to bring some of our year-four pupils onboard Noah's Ark.
"We hope the children's visit to Noah's Ark will have brought to life some of the stories they have learnt about through the hands-on activities and artefacts on board.
"As a school we teach our children how to react in times of hardship with perseverance and resilience so we hope Noah's Ark will help them understand this further.
"This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and the children are very excited about being on TV on Songs of Praise."
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Mr Peters - who has regularly denied being religious, instead being an admirer of the bible's story telling - said he hopes more schools will visit the ark before it leaves later in the new year.
Mr Peters said: "We want the ark to be a centre of learning where people from a range of cultures and beliefs can come together.
"We were really pleased to welcome the children from St Margaret's to explore the ark and hope many more schools will visit while it remains docked in Ipswich."
BBC cameras are not the only ones to climb aboard two-by-two, with film crews from popular documentary channel Discovery also visiting in late November.
The Songs of Praise episode is rumoured to air before Christmas.
Jane Sheat, Diocesan director of education for St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: "We are incredibly grateful to Sir Aad for the kind invitation to bring some of our pupils on board Noah's Ark.
"To have a floating museum and exhibition bringing stories to life from the Bible is a fantastic resource to encourage pupils to engage with learning."