Elson Road, Ellesmere, Shropshire, SY12 9EU

Ellesmere Primary lands a rare RAF helicopter visit

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More than 400 awestruck pupils looked to the sky as the RAF swooped on Ellesmere Primary School’s playing field on Monday.

Flight Lieutenants Tom Knapp and PJ Howard landed a Juno helicopter within the school’s Elson Road grounds as part of an unforgettable surprise for the children.

A parent at the school had arranged for the crew, based at RAF Shawbury’s training facility, to make the flying visit as part of British Science Week.

Headteacher Stuart Roberts revealed the spectacular event had been kept secret from pupils, who squealed with excitement as the chopper came into view.

He said: “They had absolutely no idea why I was taking them onto the field.

“Then they saw the helicopter start its descent and gave the biggest cheer as it came in to land!

“I knew it was going to be good, that’s why we kept it as a surprise. But it was so much better than I expected!”

He added: “Thanks to everyone who was involved in making this happen. I’m told it’s not something the RAF do very often, so we feel very privileged indeed.”

Lieutenants Knapp and Howard disembarked to rapturous cheers, and then spent several hours answering excited pupils’ questions and showing them around the 12ft aircraft, which can reach speeds of 287km/h.

British Science Week is a celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects, and this year’s theme is ‘journeys’.

The youngsters are taking part in a wide range of STEM activities and viewing demonstrations during the week.

The school is part of North West Academies Trust (NWAT), which is one of the highest performing Trusts in the country, overseeing a number of schools in Shropshire and Cheshire.

At all NWAT schools, children are encouraged to learn through new experiences and challenge themselves to achieve their very best.

Having joined the Trust in September 2016, the school is showing consistent improvements in attainment across all subjects and increased pupil numbers, with maths being a particular strength, moving from 67% in 2016 to 80% last year.

The school is also proud to have been awarded the Gold School Games mark in recognition of the vast range of sporting opportunities available to all pupils.

For more information contact Ellesmere Primary School, email: admin@ellesmereprimaryschool.org.uk or tel: 01691 622 288.