A primary school has faced criticism for staging an elf murder as part of a writing task for Year 4 pupils.
Flowery Fields Primary School in Greater Manchester set up a fake crime scene in one of its classrooms, featuring drops of fake blood on desks, an outline of an elf's body on the floor and areas cordoned off with police tape.
Drops of fake blood on desks. Image: Flowery Field Primary School/Twitter
The Christmas-themed exercise aimed to get pupils aged eight and nine more engaged with writing by piecing together clues, but a handful of parents reportedly complained that their children had been left "traumatised".
One parent told The Manchester Evening News that her daughter was "very upset" and had suffered nightmares as a result of the task, and claimed other children in the group were also "very unsettled".
Evidence forms filled out by students. Image: Flowery Field Primary School/Twitter
On Twitter, the school posted footage of children dressed as elves with the caption: "Delighted to see that Santa and his elves are all in good health- especially in light of the recent incident!".
talkRADIO approached the school for comment, but they hung up the phone.
A discussion about the school's writing exercise was started on the content sharing platform Reddit, with a number of users dismissing parental concerns.
One user joked: "It's not good for their mental 'elf".
Another wrote: "Elf n safety gone bad!".
Headteacher Ian Fell told the Manchester Evening News: "The children were all excited and they really did buy into it.
"One of the children said to me, 'I am definitely being a detective when I grow up'.
"Of all of the 90 children who took part, none of them showed anything but full engagement."