PUPILS at a York primary school returned to a whole other world when they went back to school at the start of the Autumn term.

Students at Park Grove Primary Academy in The Groves have been seeing things a bit differently thanks to virtual reality headsets which they have used to delve into their new topic, 'exploration'.

Rather than just talk about rainforests, deserts, under the sea and space, the children in Key Stage 2 were able to transport themselves there through the power of VR.

"It allows you to see places you thought you would never see but all in VR - it makes it look very realistic!" says Dariush, a Year 6 student.

Another Year 6 student, Nellie, said: "VR has been an amazing help to our learning. It's hard to write about under the sea when you can't go there and it has given us so many experiences that we might never have seen.

"I think I can speak for everyone when I say it is one of the most fun ways to learn!"

Park Grove Primary Academy is keen on using technology to enhance learning for their children, with chromebooks and iPads being used widely throughout all key stages and classes for the different range of subjects in the curriculum.

With children having access to tablets and other devices for entertainment from a young age, it is important for schools to keep up with the ever evolving technology available and use it to improve education and make learning more engaging and effective.

For children, it's much easier to learn something whilst experiencing it, so instead of reading a large amount of text explaining what it is like in the deepest depths of the sea, Park Grove students have been able to put on the VR headsets to instantly immerse themselves into that environment.

This has inspired the classes to explore more about the oceans, learning about key underwater explorers and the importance of marine conservation.

Year 5 and 6 teacher Charlotte Platts, said: "It is all thanks to our IT provider Vital who have allowed us to use this amazing technology to engage our children in their learning, making their lessons on our exploration topic more memorable and giving them some very realistic experiences - all whilst still sat here at school!"

Park Grove is part of the Ebor Academy Trust which currently operates 24 schools, which in York includes Robert Wilkinson, Haxby Road, Hob Moor, Hob Moor Oaks, Lakeside Primary Academy and Osbaldwick Primary.

It also has other schools in Selby, the East Riding and on the Yorkshire Coast. Two more schools joined the trust in July. The Press reported last week that Debbie Simpson has taken the helm as chief operating officer.