A NORTH Tyne primary school will be heading to the House of Commons next week as winners of a national competition.

Wark C of E Primary School entered the 'Farmvention' competition, organised by the NFU.

The competition, which had a focus on climate change, challenged schools to develop an invention, innovation or idea that would help British farmers care for the environment and reduce their impact on the climate.

As national winners, the school will receive £1,000 to spend on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning as well as having the chance to present their ideas at an event in the Houses of Parliament next Wednesday.

The pupils entered their design for an automated watering system for the crops they were growing inside the school polytunnel as part of their involvement in 'Stemterprise' - the NFU's classroom resource that takes children through the process of setting up a farm shop business, incorporating subjects from across the curriculum.

Teacher, Fiona McKay, said the school had decided to use Stemterprise as the basis for a week of learning across every class.

"We looked at how plants grow and planted our own crops," she said.

"We tried making butter and yoghurt, we planned and drew up budgets.

"It was a fantastic week of learning."

At the end of the week, they decided to enter the Farmvention competition.

Mrs McKay said: "The aim was to come up with a solution that used renewable energy and was sustainable.

"The result was a solar-powered sprinkler system, drawing water from the river, complete with a class-designed sensor to trigger watering when the ground became too dry.

"The children also realised that the village allotments were behind the school and so factored in sharing their renewable energy with other growers. It was really amazing."

NFU regional director Adam Bedford said he was thrilled to see a Northumberland school representing the region at Westminster.

"It was really wonderful to see the school using our classroom resources first to help kick-start their return from lockdown and then following through with an entry for Farmvention," he said.

"Now in its third year, the competition attracts some amazing entries from schools all over the country, each of them bringing STEM subjects to life with creativity and imagination.

"Wark Primary's entry is really inspiring – delivering a very practical but climate-friendly solution to a real-life problem that they faced for themselves when trying to produce high quality food crops. Congratulations to everyone involved."