24/03/2011 14:51 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Head Teacher Told Kids: World War III Has Begun

Headteacher Mike Richards A head teacher told his primary school pupils that Britain was at war and London was being bombed. The children were then shown a film of the Blitz and led to believe it was live footage.

An air-raid siren was sounded and the children were led to a cellar where a bomb explosion was simulated with a firework.

The events - part of a history lesson on World War II - left some children 'terrified' and suffering nightmares. Outraged parents said the school - St Mary's Roman Catholic in Bacup, near Burnley - had lacked 'common sense'.

One mum said: 'It was really unpleasant. The kids were upset as soon as they were told and yet the school let this thing continue.

'There are some very angry parents. You send your child off in the morning and they're told there's a war. No one with an ounce of common sense would put them through it.'

Headteacher Mike Richards admitted many teachers were 'very upset' that pupils were distressed by the project.

He said: 'We saw advice from schools that suggested we introduced the topic as if it was really happening,the idea was to get the children to empathise with what it was like.

'The bulk of the boys thought it was great but a few girls were upset and had a sleepless night.'

'We we went too far and the school apologises for any distress caused.'

What do you think?

Did the school go too far, or was it a good way of showing children what war is like?