A NEEDLEWORK project helped children from a Rawtenstall school secure first prize in a national competition.

Youngsters from St Mary’s CE Primary School, in Haslingden Old Road, learnt to sew while creating a woodland tapestry as part of their art curriculum.

The project was born when Jenny Kittos, who ran adult quilting classes from the school, was asked to work with the children.

Kate Crane, school business support officer, said: “We decided it would be fantastic for the key stage two children to have textile and sewing experience.

“Jenny helped the children create their own design around the theme of woodland and, once complete, around 100 birds, spider’s webs, leaves and other creatures were added to a tree.

“The idea is that each year the year six pupils can take home their designs and the new year one’s can add to it each year.”

Jenny Kittos, patchwork and quilting teacher, said: “The project went so well we decided to enter it into the Malvern Show, a national sewing and quilting competition, and won first prize in the under 16 group category.

“It was such a thrill when we found out and the children were so excited. It was a real group effort. We are already thinking about what to do next. We would love to retain the title.”

Due to its popularity, Jenny is now running an afterschool sewing class for those children who enjoyed learning the new skill.

A spokeswoman for the Grosvenor Shows said: “They were so excited when I rang them to tell them they had won. The headteacher was over the moon.

“The judges said it was an excellent idea.”