New film tells true story of the day an ALIEN arrived in Milton Keynes

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The bizarre day an alien dropped in to an estate in MK is the subject of a new film to be shown next month.

It was an ordinary day in 1988 when children on Fishermead woke up to a loud bang.

They found their school was cordoned off and police officers and a professor from the Science Museum was awaiting them.

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A spaceship had landed in the playground. And when its door began to open, nobody knew quite what to expect…

Children crowd round the alien that landed at their MK school in 1988Children crowd round the alien that landed at their MK school in 1988
Children crowd round the alien that landed at their MK school in 1988

Suddenly an ‘alien’ emerged from the spaceship. She was called Zerena and she was friendly but lost and far from home.

The children at Newlyn Place First School were fascinated and adopted the visitor as one of their own, teaching her to speak, showing her what was safe to eat, how to cross the road and how to shop.

They made a replica of her space house, helped her communicate with her parents back on her home planet and then worked with a Professor from the Science Museum to help get her back home.

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For six weeks the youngsters put all their maths, English, science, art and design skills to work to educate and care for their visitor until they finally found a way to return her to her home planet.

The Zerena Project was one of the innovative ways city community arts charity Inter-Action MK has been bringing arts to life for the past 40 years.

The project is now the subject of a fascinating film made by Living Archive MK. Called Educating Zerena: An Alien Encounter, it premiers at MK Gallery on October 8.

At the same time, an exhibition in the gallery’s Project Space celebrates the children’s and teachers’ creativity.

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It leaves an inspiring legacy for parents and educators today to look for equally exciting ways for their children’s learning to be brought alive, say the Living Archive producers.

A spokesman said: “This chapter from Milton Keynes’ untold history tells a tale of hospitality and kindness as the Fishermead children, teachers and wider community took Zerena to their hearts and made her welcome.

Educating Zerena Exhibition runs from October 8 to October 30 at MK Gallery. The public screening of the film will be on October 29 in the Sky Room.