PUPILS at Hillside Community First School in Verwood got their kicks during a visit from Simon Bushby of The Black Belt Academy, a local karate club.

Each class had a session with him to learn some moves, and about the ethos of respect that the martial art promotes.

The children enjoyed learning the basics of self-defence from the Sensei, managing to release themselves from the grip of an “attacker” and shout for help.

EIGHT lucky children from the school had a whale of a time in London, accompanied by school secretary Anne McAleer and senior teaching assistant Yvonne Kemp.

They represented the school at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, attended by The Queen and other members of the royal family.

The children travelled by train to London and explored the sights, including Westminster Abbey and the London Eye.

Mrs Kemp said: “The children behaved impeccably and we are proud of the comments made from complete strangers about their manners and behaviour.”

Children from Key Stage 2 at Hillside went to a five-a-side football tournament at Emmanuel Middle School.

Both Hillside teams won three matches each and drew two, leaving Hillside 1 in first place and Hillside 2 in joint second place. They are now looking forward to the East Dorset Football Finals on April 3.