Halterworth Primary School children, parents and staff are celebrating a fantastic first place at the Southampton Guildhall Rock Challenge Competition last Friday.

Retelling the dramatic story of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, through the eyes of the bodies trapped and frozen in time by molten lava, the children took the audience on a thrilling journey back to Pompeii AD79.

Every year, the school enters 64 Year % children into the competition without audition or a requirement for any prior experience. As part of the P.E. curriculum the children create and choreograph their dance under the direction of Stacey Wilson, from Personal Best Education(PBed).

Staff and parents built the the set and created stunning make-up, hair and costume designs.

This year, a volcano, constructed by school caretaker, Kerrin Palmerino, took centre stage and an army of volunteers worked behind the scenes to prepare the children on the night.

Executive head teacher, Jo Cottrell, praised the performance of the children. “In all my years in primary education and coming from a theatrical background myself, I have never seen such a high standard. It was breath-taking.”

Partner school, Wellow, took second place place this year, having previously been Rock Challenge Southampton winners themselves.

Wellow’s entry “A Question of Pride”, danced to African music, dealt with the issue of illegal poaching and captured 12 individual awards, including best set, best choreography, best costumes and best make-up.

Both schools qualified for the regional finals to be held in Portsmouth.

In the senior category, Hampshire Collegiate School struck a topical note with their performance dealing with the recession. Their dancers performed to songs including The O’Jays’ For The Love Of Money, Jessie J’s Price Tag, Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5, and Sam Sparro’s Black and Gold.