Magical book casts its spell

12 March 2018

Rhiw Syr Dafydd Primary School is the first school in Caerphilly County Borough to receive a spellbinding book, The Lost Words.

The book, a collection of poems written as ‘spells’ by Robert Macfarlane and paintings by Jackie Morris, celebrates the disappearing words of everyday nature like dandelion, conker and acorn – all were removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary in 2007.

As our obsession with technology rises, getting outdoors and being at one with nature is on the decline.

And that’s exactly why one woman has taken the matter into her own hands. Sam Hicks, who runs her own social media company, has made it her mission to get the recently published book, The Lost Words into every primary school across Wales. Sam, whose children Cari and Evan are pupils at the school presented a copy of the book to Rhiw Syr Dafydd at morning assembly last week to kick off the #AcornIsToWood campaign.

“If you have seen, or heard about, or held a copy of this book then you will know what a magical thing it is. The illustrations and words cannot fail to engage and inspire everyone who reads it to connect with the natural world and its sights and sounds. It is the book I would have grabbed every day at reading time as a child. I aim to make that possible for every child in Wales” said Mrs Hicks.

Mr George, Headteacher at Rhiw Syr Dafydd said “We are delighted to be the first school in Caerphilly County Borough to receive a copy of Lost Words. We are now looking to raise some money from donations of small change to gift the book to other schools in our cluster and to encourage other schools to get involved and help spread the magic.”

Go to the John Muir Trust website ( for further information about the book.