A PRIMARY school in Leigh has sent their pupils’ aspirations sky high – after the school’s mascot was launched into the space.

Westleigh Methodist Primary School sent Brian the Lion, named after the esteemed physicist, Brian Cox, into space earlier this week as part of their plans to launch the school’s new values - Aspire, Believe, Achieve.

Tied to a weather balloon, Brian went on a journey lasting around 90 minutes as he went over 20km up into the sky before taking a selfie with the curvature of the earth’s surface behind him.

He returned to earth later that day, landing safely in a field near Middlesbrough.

Mrs Xanthe Moragrega, the Headteacher of Westleigh Methodist Primary School, said; “The launch was an amazing sight for all the staff and pupils.

"It was a once in a lifetime experience and I am so delighted that everyone got the chance to take part. The most rewarding part of the day was seeing all the pupils count down and cheer in excitement as they saw their mascot take flight.”

The mascot was created by Bear in Mind Keepsakes.

Julie-Ann Hewitt, CEO of the Acorn Trust, said: “It was simply fantastic – and what a way to mark the end of an amazing year. The school has received letters from Government ministers recognising the progress our children are making.

“Given that 18 months ago we were overcoming the devastation of a huge fire, this has been an incredible turnaround. We couldn’t have done this without our amazing staff, children and families! Community really is at the heart of this Trust.”