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Highcliffe St Mark pupil's cracking invention wins classmates a model-making workshop with Wallace and Gromit's Ardman

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CREATIVE Highcliffe pupils had a grand day when they were treated to a model-making workshop with the team behind family favourite Wallace and Gromit.

The visit from award-winning animation studio Aardman came after one of Highcliffe St Mark Primary School’s Year 6 youngsters, 10-year-old Freya Jones, won a national competition for aspiring young inventors.

Freya’s innovative idea of a Lit Bag came top among 1,500 entries across the UK in the Wallace and Gromit Cracking Ideas 2021 contest run by Aardman and the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

Winning inventor Freya Jones with Jim Parkyn from Aardman
Winning inventor Freya Jones with Jim Parkyn from Aardman

The bag lights up automatically when opened to help people find items and, as Freya explained, it “uses the same technology as a fridge door”.

Supervised by the team, who also breathed life into iconic characters including Morph and Shaun the Sheep, the children got to work crafting their own Gromit.

Head teacher Karen Boynton said: “We were thrilled to receive the news that one of our pupils, Freya Jones, had won this prestigious national competition and learn that our school would be receiving such a brilliant prize.

Highcliffe St Mark pupils crack on with the model-making workshop
Highcliffe St Mark pupils crack on with the model-making workshop

“Experiencing first-hand how the talented model makers bring the world-famous Wallace and Gromit to life was a unique and special opportunity for our Year 6 class – and indeed us ‘bigger kids’ on the teaching staff as well. Wallace and Gromit are welcome in Highcliffe any time.”

The IPO competition encourages youngsters to take inspiration from the world around them to “make life better” by building on everyday inventions.

Merlin Crossingham, competition judge and creative director of Wallace and Gromit at Aardman, said: “It was great to see everyone such have incredible fun on the day as Wallace and Gromit’s world was brought to life, and the school can be rightly proud of budding inventor Freya Jones and her ingenious Lit Bag, that I’m sure Wallace and Gromit would find very useful!”

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