PUPILS at an independent school in Teesside enjoyed a visit from a well-known local Dragon to judge one of their projects.

Dragons’ Den star Sara Davies MBE, founder of Newton Aycliffe-based Crafter’s Companion, recently visited Norton’s Red House School to judge the design ideas of a group of year seven pupils.

As part of an English module on science fiction, the children worked in pairs to invent a futuristic gadget, produce a design specification and present it to the class in a Dragons’ Den style bid to sell their product.

The school’s Head of English, Collette Fryer, was behind the idea. She said: "I was extremely impressed with the children's work and the time and effort that each group had put into the task was truly amazing.

“I wanted to recognise the children's hard work and so I approached Sara to give them her expert opinion and choose a winner and two runners up.

“I was delighted that she was able to support Red House School by giving up her time and providing the children with fantastic feedback. The children were over the moon when she came into school to talk about their futuristic gadgets.”

The TV star and entrepreneur visited the school last month to review the entries from the pupils. She also awarded them with their certificates and prizes – all of the children involved received a certificate and some sweets, while the winning pair also received a £10 gift card each.

She said: “I was absolutely blown away with what the kids had come up with and how well everything was thought through! It was hard to pick a winning team, but in the end I chose MD1 Experience.

“I loved that they had made a prototype, but most impressive was their comprehensive costing spreadsheet. Their pitch was very dynamic and entertaining – I could imagine them in the Den blowing away the other Dragons with their amazing invention and thorough grasp of the numbers.”