PUPILS at St Mary's RC Primary School in Radcliffe received a flying visit when a helicopter landed in their school grounds.

The children at the Belgrave Street school welcomed the pilot and his crew by spelling out "St Mary's" on the playground as the helicopter circled above.

The special flight into the school was arranged after a leaflet was delivered to St Mary's offering the visit, to link in with the science curriculum.

And a member of the crew took an aerial photograph of the children waving before landing safely on the grass.

The scheme, which is part of the government initiative, Excellence and Enjoyment in Education, gave the children a chance to find out more about flight and helicopters.

Once in the school's grounds, the pilot took a lesson outside on the grass and spoke to the children from each year in the school about how a helicopter stays in the air and answered questions from the children.

Mrs Barbara Eccles, a teacher at the school who helped to co-ordinate the visit, said: "The visit was wonderful. The children found out about the helicopter and the pilot used a little model to show them how it would fly if things were not done in a certain way.

"The visit lasted all afternoon and the children thought it was great. It was a great experience for them."