PUPILS at a Southampton school were evacuated after weaponry was discovered.

Management at Bitterne Park School made the emergency evacuation after the item was discovered on the premises yesterday.

In total 1,100 students from years seven to ten were evacuated for about 40 minutes.

The ten inch tip of a shell was brought in by a year eight pupil keen to contribute to the school’s commemorations of the Battle of the Somme.

Having found the item on a family trip to a Dorset firing range at the weekend, he brought it in as part of an “alternative history lesson,” head teacher Susan Trigger said.

She added: “Show and tell is alive and well, even at secondary schools.

“We have been doing quite a lot of work about the Battle of the Somme and students are very good at bringing stuff in.

“After looking at it we had some concerns over where it had appeared from as it was quite unusual and we realised we needed to take some advice.

“The pupil described it as being found on a firing range. We moved the item and secured it and then took advice from the police.

“We put a cordon around the area and then following that took the decision to evacuate students and then move them to the fire area.

“We were told that it was probably not a risk but we had done the right thing and it was disposed of.

“The pupil was a bit shocked but because we could place it and where it had come from we could reassure him.

"It wasn’t something he had had lying around for weeks.

“The experts confirmed it was part of a weapon.”

A Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman said: "On Monday, July 4 we dealt with an incident at Bitterne Park School, Southampton.

"At around 11am a student bought in an item, which was thought to be an old unexploded military style shell into the school. The school was evacuated.

"The Explosive Ordnance Disposal team were called.  

"They looked at the device, deemed it safe and removed it from the scene."