SILENCE is golden – or so the saying goes.
But a class of eight and nine-year-olds is unlikely to be the first point of call for people seeking a few moments peace.
Not to be deterred Year 4 pupils at Long Melford Primary School are backing themselves to keep their mouths firmly shut and give their teacher’s ear drums a rest for a whole day next month.
All 26 children in the class – including Megan’s sister, Ruth – will attempt to refrain from talking for a sponsored silence in aid of the Free Press Megan Roper Appeal.
Deputy headteacher Chris Moulton, who teaches the youngsters, said he was confident his pupils were up to the task, earmarked for July 11.
“The children came up with the idea after seeing the pictures of Megan in the paper at the start of the appeal,” he said.
“It was the first time many of them had seen photographs of Megan and it really brought it home to them. They wanted to do something to help and thought this would be a challenge.”
Four-year-old Megan, from Long Melford, has a mystery condition which causes development delay. It means she is unable to speak, feed herself or walk.
Her parents, Sarah and Carl, say they may never know what is wrong with her and are trying to raise £20,000 to transform their Swanfield home to suit her special needs.
“I will be very proud of all those who attempt the silence and I know they can do it,” said Mr Moulton, who has been at the Cordell Road school for seven years.
“One of the class’s strengths is how well they communicate and the hard bit will be if they go to speak accidentally, but we will have pictures of Megan on the tables to remind us.”
Mr Moulton added that pupils would use other forms of communication, including notepads and a whiteboard, and could talk during break times if they wished.
He also said he had told pupils that their idea about taping up their mouths was ruled out.
“When we told parents about the silence they said “are you having a laugh?”, but it will just be a normal school day without words,” he said. “I’m very excited about it.”
Sponsorship forms have been sent out to parents and the class will also be selling “Silence for Megan” wristbands for 20p to the rest of the school as they hope to meet their target of £250.