THIRTEEN children pupils from Lyndhurst Primary School in Oldham - one of the 15 schools within Focus Trust – have been crowned winners of the regional finals of international robotics competition VEX IQ Challenge.

The Heron Street school was the only primary school to attend Greater Manchester’s regional finals with the team’s resilience and technical performance seeing them come out on top against teams of much older children to secure a place in the national finals, which took place in Telford last week.

Presented by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, which works to increase student interest and involvement in STEM subjects by facilitating the introduction of hands-on, sustainable and affordable robotics engineering into the curriculum, the challenge tasks pupils with designing and building a robot to compete against other teams in a game-based engineering contest.

One of only six primary schools across the country to make it through to the national finals, the team from Lyndhurst travelled down to Telford’s International Centre to compete in the two-day event and, following a tough fought competition, ranked 45th - placing them higher than around a quarter of the teams competing.

Head of science and technology at Lyndhurst, Collette Donnelly, who led the children through the competition, said: “The whole school are so delighted with how well the children have done in the VEX IQ Challenge – each and every one of them are assets to our school and should be extremely proud of what they have achieved.

“It was heart-warming to hear the team speak with such confidence and passion when the judges asked them about their progress and hopes for the future, especially since the vast majority of competitors were much older than our children.”

The team were praised by the competitions organisers for their ‘excellent communication skills’ and ability to successfully liaise with other teams during the collaborative rounds and the experience allowed them to gather ideas for improvement as they look ahead to take on the challenge again next year.