AN OLYMPIC-themed project saw excited pupils from Great Preston CE Primary School dress up in exotic outfits inspired by different cultures from around the world and take part in an energetic day of games.
Year six youngsters launched the Spirit Alive event – which saw pupils hold an opening and closing ceremony, and compete against each other in a day of sporting activities – at the Preston Lane school last week.
Headteacher Debra Simpson said: “The ceremony was absolutely wonderful and the children have spent a lot of time working on ideas that would make the day special.
“Some of the year six pupils stayed late after school to sell buns, which were kindly donated, so they could raise money to spend on the event.
“Parents were invited to the event and they thoroughly enjoyed seeing the performances and the pupils in their costumes.
“We had children dressing up to represent countries around the world coming together to compete in the Olympics – there were children dressed in costumes from South Africa, Egypt and one group did a traditional New Zealand Haka dance.”
The Spirit Alive event is run by Leeds Gold – a partnership of Leeds City Council, the University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University and Marketing Leeds – which organises activities to involve residents and pupils with the London 2012 Games.
The project was originally piloted by four schools before the Beijing Olympics in 2008, but has now been run by more than 220 schools across the district.
Pupils are challenged to organise the opening and closing ceremonies of the event and raise enough money to fund their costumes and decorations.
Mrs Simpson added: “For the last two weeks the pupils have been working on this project and they have organised, planned and funded the whole event.
“The pupils have taken on huge amounts of responsibility and learned to work in groups and teams in order to achieve their goals.
“We are very proud of all the pupils that took part and put on a wonderful show for parents and staff it has got us all in the high-spirited mood for the Olympic Games.”