Delight as school receives handwritten letter from Sir David Attenborough

Date published: 21 February 2023

Children from Woodland Community Primary School are delighted after receiving a handwritten letter from Sir David Attenborough.

The letter came after the children chose the famous broadcaster and biologist to study during the second half of the autumn half-term.

Each half term sees the entire Heywood school study a famous figure, such as a historical figure, a scientist, an explorer, a musician, an author or an artist.

During the autumn term, the children had a day of enrichment linked to Sir David, based around geography, science and art.

The children learnt all about the countries that David Attenborough has explored around the world, the impact of his work on conservation, considerations linked to global warming and a deep dive into the thousands of species on our planet and the natural world.

Following this, teaching assistant Charlotte Mason wrote to Sir David to tell him about their learning as she wanted him to know what a huge impact his work has had on the children.

She also sent him some artwork that she had created herself and asked him which was his favourite animal out of all the many, many creatures he had observed in their natural habitat.

Miss Mason said: “I wrote to David Attenborough in secret as I didn’t want to get the children’s hopes up in case he didn’t reply.

“When I wrote to him, I told him about how the children had chosen him to be one of Woodland’s ‘famous figures’ and explained how they were excited to know what his favourite animal was.

“When I sent the letter to him it was December and I didn’t receive the reply until January so when I walked through the door and saw the letter, I couldn’t believe he had actually written back, I was so excited and couldn’t wait to tell the children.”


The children's wall display about Sir David Attenborough


Much to everyone’s delight, Sir David wrote back on 21 January, saying: “I am very complimented that the children in your school should have selected me as one of their Famous Figures.

“However, I cannot name any animal as my favourite, because I have seen so many wonderful creatures that I cannot pick just one.

“P.S. Thank you for the splendid drawing of me with a chameleon!”

Headteacher Jo Cunningham said: “We are all really excited with how our knowledge rich curriculum continues to develop here at Woodland and our ‘Famous Figures’ provide the children with a further focus for their learning enquiries.

“We were all absolutely delighted to receive a handwritten response from Sir David to Miss Mason’s letter and this really brought elements of the children’s learning to life.

“It was also incredible to see the excitement on the children’s faces when we showed this to them and read it out to all in assembly.”


The letter from Sir David Attenborough


One of Woodland’s pupils, Mia, said: “We really look up to our famous figures and I think that it’s awesome that someone famous actually wrote back to us!”

Another pupil, Summer, added: “I really like that our famous figures are brave and amazing and learning about Sir David Attenborough made me think that one day I could go out exploring the world too.”

Jayden said: “Our famous figures are really interesting, and it makes me feel good that we are learning more about the world.”

Darcey commented: “I like learning about our famous figures because they are people that we can then look up to and admire.”

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