A marriage between a five-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy has been staged by a UK school with the idea of helping pupils to write better.
Staff at Warndon Primary School in Worcester came up with the idea so that pupils could then write about their experiences and boost their vocabulary.
AdvertisementTeachers took them and the rest of the Year One class from the school on a stag and hen night at a bowling alley, and five-year-old Callie Geary even wore an "L" plate.
The unusual nuptials were carried out in the local parish church, with a vicar, registrar and with parents watching, and a Mercedes car was donated to take the happy couple to church for the ceremony which was followed by a full reception.
But the bizarre lesson has sparked fury from some education and Christian campaigners who have branded it crazy and the sexualisation of children.
However, Sarah Allen, 29, deputy head, said the event was staged to encourage writing skills in the children.
"Year One staff came up with idea for the wedding theme. There was a small fee for the bowling hen and stag night but everything else was donated or made by us," the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.
"The idea was that children will be able to write about their experiences, so having the wedding was perfect. They had to plan everything and then experience it as well," she said.
But Nick Seaton, chairman for the Campaign For Real Education, found the idea crazy.
"If children need to be taught to improve their writing the way to do that should be through learning grammar, spelling and through reading," he said.
"I hate to think what this wedding has cost us, maybe not directly but in terms of wasted hours of staff time and the children's time in the classroom," he stated.
Religious groups have also expressed their fury at the idea.
"It seems like a really peculiar idea. There is this question about how the idea of being 'married' plays in a five and six-year-old's mind," Stephen Green, from Christian Voice, said.
"Marriage is for grown ups and this is a worrying idea to have this wedding for kids in these days when we seem to have the increasing sexualisation of our children.
"I'm not sure why a teacher is encouraging children to handle these kind of emotions. You have to start thinking what is going on in that teacher's mind?
"This is going far beyond teaching children to read and write. There is some sub-text here, and I would question the emotional state of the teachers concerned," he stated.
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