ACCORDING to the children it's a roaring success.

When head teacher Kevin Barnett realised he needed to get the pupils at his Freemantle Church of England Community Academy into reading he came up with a pre-historic idea.

He decided to bring history to life with a set of awe-some creatures designed to encourage kids to read.

Now the playground at the Mansion Road primary school is full of pterodactyls, stegosaurus, spinosaurus, velociraptors and even a diplodocus peering into a first floor classroom window.

The creatures - which tower above the youngsters at up to thirty feet tall - even have their own giant eggs, leftover bones and a nest, while a recording of what their fearsome roars might have sounded like echoes through the undergrowth.

Now the children get to spend time outside with the giants - in the hope they will spark their imagination.

Speaking to the Echo Mr Barnett said: "It's so hard to encourage children to read. But here they have this wonderful environment and they really enjoy the opportunity.

"We are having a big drive on literacy for boys - but this is for all children and all backgrounds. It's for the students with English as an additional language who need additional opportunities. It makes reading fun and exciting."

Pupil Amelia Drezek added: "I think it's really good that we have dinosaurs because we can eat our lunch out here. It becomes more of a game when we sit outside. And we can hear all the noises they make. And we are more encouraged to learn about them." At a cost of £15,000 the creatures weren't cheap - but Mr Barnett said the cash was raised with a Home School Partnership Christmas fair and help from local businesses.

He added: "The children deserve it. School isn't just about academic development - it's about providing social and emotional wellbeing as well. They work really hard."