Pupils at a Silsden primary school were in for a shock on Monday when they discovered an alien spacecraft had crash landed in their playground.

Upon arrival at school after the holidays, children at Aire View Infants School were greeted by teachers dressed up in masks and ‘protective suits’ and evidence of spaceship wreckage was scattered about.

Painter/decorator Alf Briggs was on hand to provide pupils with a witness account of the crash landing which he said occurred at 9.30pm on Sunday.

During an assembly, Mr Briggs told the children: “I was doing a job for my friend Bill when I heard this whirring sound in the air. I saw some red lights flashing in the sky and then this big round thing crash landed, making a horrible sound of grinding metal.”

He then told children that a family of three friendly, but shy aliens exited the spacecraft and entered the school building.

The Craven Herald were quickly on the scene with reporter Daryl Ames and photographer Stephen Garnett adding to the realism.

The ‘alien encounter’ turned out to be a big impact event planned by headteacher Vicky Bottomley and assistant head Tim Whitehead to launch a topic on space at the school.

“It’s very exciting,” said Mrs Bottomley. “The parents have been brilliant and the children were all very inquisitive.”

Mr Whitehead added: “We felt that this big impact event would be a good thing to do to inspire the children, particularly in their writing.”

Mr Briggs turned out to be actor Alex Fellows, who visits schools to perform ‘alien invasions’ or other similar events.