There will be a sports day for this primary school - but with a pandemic-busting difference.

Teacher Alex Graham was determined to ensure that coronavirus related social distancing rules would not ruin Kingmoor Junior School’s annual annual celebration of sport and teamwork.

Alex, who is in her first year at the Carlisle school, devised the city’s first ever “Sock Olympics.”

It’s a brilliantly simple idea: get your pupils - whether they are at school or not - to take part in a series of challenges, each designed around the simplest piece of kit imaginable: a rolled up pair of socks.

Pupils can take part no matter where they are, allowing the sports day to be as ‘virtual’ as will be necessary.

Since she announced the plan on Twitter, Alex has seen massive level of interest, with hundreds of fellow teachers backing the event and saying that they intend to do something similar.

There has been interest from all over the globe, with enquiries from Egypt, the US, and Canada.

“I knew that we needed to have a sports day and I didn’t want any of the children to be left out,” said Alex, 22, who trained at Edge Hill University in Lancashire.

Like all other primary schools in the UK, Kingmoor Junior, at Lowry Hill, currently has fewer than a third of its pupils regularly attending because of the remaining coronavirus restrictions.

Alex, who teaches Year 5 pupils, said: “The lightbulb moment was realising that every pupil will have access to a pair of socks, so nobody would have be be excluded.

“Our Sock Olympics will feature eight different activities, which can be done in school or out of school.

“When I shared the idea on twitter, it got more than 900 likes.

“I’ve emailed the resources for the event to more 400 schools, so it looks like Kingmoor Junior won’t be the only school having a Sock Olympics.”

The Sock Olympic events - due to go ahead next week include:

* The Sock Throw: choose a starting position then see how far can you throw your ball of socks.

* Sock Catch: Throw your ball of socks up in the air, then try and catch it behind your back, seeing how many you can you do in one minute.

* Sock Keepy Uppies: Keep your ball of socks up in the air using just your feet.

* And Sock Basketball: Using a bucket or laundry basket, placed 4 metres away, throw your ball of socks into the bucket, collect, return and throw again, seeing how many goals you can score in a minute.

Alex spent hours responding to requests for her ‘Sock Olympics’ resources, with teachers contacting her from as far afield as Ireland, Wales, Isle of Wight and even Canada, Egypt and Texas. A school in Bolton has already held a Sock Olympics.

Mal White, the school’s deputy head teacher, said: “Miss Graham is a dedicated newly qualified teacher (NQT) working in Year 5 this year. She’s a very humble person but recently she was also awarded NQT of the week by True Education.”

To find out more, log on to Kingmoor Junior’s website, or follow Alex Graham on Twitter at @MissGrahamteach