GRANNIES and grandads made a return to the classroom at Prior Park Prep School yesterday.

Pupils at Acorns Nursery and Pre-Prep in Cricklade invited their grandparents into their classroom to get involved with an afternoon of lessons and to see the children at work and play.

It was an opportunity for grandparents to experience modern education in a traditional school and share in their grandchildren’s learning.

It was also a chance for the school to unveil its glass art decorations.

Over the past couple of weeks, children had been working with local artists Ann Jelley and Helen Lake, alongside the school’s head of art, Nicky Brookes, to create glass murals for the classrooms.

Headteacher Mark Pearce said the afternoon was a huge success with all grandparents keen to take part in the art activities.

More than 25 sets of grandparents turned out for the afternoon.

Mark said: “It is a chance for them to experience a day in school, see what school is like now and how learning has changed.

“The grandparents find it absolutely fascinating and it really is a delight to watch.

“The children were so excited that their grandparents had come along for the day.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for them to see the work the children had been doing and to take an active part in the curriculum.

“Normally it is the parents taking an active role in their child’s education but we must not forget the important role that grandparents play in supporting the children’s education.”

Judith Panter, the head of Acorns Nursery said: “All of the grandparents were enthusiastic and willing to get their hands dirty during the lessons.

“It was particularly brilliant to see all the grandparents perched on the tiny chairs in the nursery and reception class.”

The children loved of working alongside their grandparents for the afternoon.

Year 1 pupil Maddy Hinder-Smith said: “It was so much fun, I wish this could happen every day.”

George Streatfeild, who is the grandfather of five-year-old Hugo Fallon, said he really enjoyed spending quality time in the classroom environment with his grandson.

“It is so much more relaxed and friendly in the education system these days,” he said.

“I think it is a fantastic initiative to allow parents and grandparents into the classroom to see what goes on behind the doors, I have had a wonderful afternoon.

“With computers and interactive whiteboards, schooling has moved on a lot from the blackboards and chalk that we had.”