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Educational Resource Hub

Learning about different cultures through music and stories from around the world 

The Phoenix of Persia is an illustrated children's book, with specially-composed accompanying music, based on a story from the Iranian national epic poem, The Shahnameh, by the 10th-Century poet Abol Qasem Ferdowsi.









The text is by Sally Pomme Clayton and the book is illustrated by Amin Hassanzadeh SharifThe Phoenix of Persia was published in May 2019 by Tiny Owl Publishers.


As well as being enjoyable in its own right, the book is a rich and valuable cross-curricular resource for pupils to learn about the music, culture, history, art and storytelling of Iran.

This webpage is a dedicated educational resource hub with a special focus on music,

with ideas and resources, as well as a space for teachers and others to share ideas and feedback. We look forward to hearing from you!

The book is accompanied by a teacher's resource pack packed with information and ideas for creative activities across a range of curricular areas, including music, art, literacy, numeracy, history, geography, RE and PSHE.

These activities are mainly aimed at Key Stage 2 pupils.

Teachers can also access the Shahnameh Resource Box via local school library services across the UK.


Watch a film about the Phoenix of Persia book, music and educational activities:


We are delighted that the V&A Musuem included music from The Phoenix of Persia in their major exhibition Epic Iran,  February to September 2021

The Phoenix of Persia is published by Tiny Owl Publishing, produced in collaboration with City, University of London, with support from Arts Council England and the Iran Heritage Foundation.


The Phoenix of Persia follows on from the ‘Shahnameh Project: Introducing Key Stage 2 Children to Iranian Music’ in 2011-12, a collaboration between the Music Department at City, University of London and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and involving composer David Bruce, the Bridge Project and Iranian musicians Arash Moradi and Fariborz Kiani:


For a performance of 'Prince Zal and the Simorgh' by David Bruce, performed by the Cornwall Youth Orchestra at the November 2015 Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, see:

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