Pupils’ balloons go up, up and all the way to Finland!

Nursery and Reception pupils at Hambleton Primary Academy launched balloons as part of their work on the weather, and were amazed to be contacted by a family in Finland who found one of the balloons.'The children cheer the balloons on their way.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'20-1-2015

Nursery and Reception pupils at Hambleton Primary Academy launched balloons as part of their work on the weather, and were amazed to be contacted by a family in Finland who found one of the balloons.'The children cheer the balloons on their way. PIC BY ROB LOCK'20-1-2015

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These youngsters are on a high after receiving mail from a very unusual pen pal.

The children at Hambleton Primary Academy let off 30 balloons in high winds, while learning about seasons and weather, and attached messages asking for replies, to see just how far they would go.

They could hardly believe their luck when not one but two responses came all the way from Finland!

Jelena Munkki’s dogs found the first balloon in Ulvila, on the south west coast of the Scandinavian country.

Then Maarika Rosenback wrote from Kristiinankaupunki, a small town on the western coast - well over 1,500 miles away, as the crow flies.

Pam Birch, headteacher at the Ofsted outstanding rated school, said: “We had a feeling that someone would come back to us, because people are kind and respond nicely when it’s children.

“But never Finland. It’s lovely.

“Because it was such a windy day we took the opportunity, filled some helium balloons and let them go.

“It was very funny when they were releasing the balloons, they were so excited.

“We were expecting Knott End or Lancaster - never Finland. The children were just wild, so excited.”

Four-year-old Oliver Stubbs summed up the mood of his classmates: “It’s the greatest thing ever.”

And Honour Fennel, four, agreed: “It’s brilliant.”

The balloon will likely have passed over the North Sea, Norway, Sweden and the Gulf of Bothania, before landing in a snow covered back garden in Finland.

Five-year-old Jemima Bradburn said: “It is snowy in Finland and their flag is blue and white.”

The children have since been learning all about their new favourite country, making their own versions of its flag, and writing letters back to their new friends.