SCHOOLCHILDREN in County Durham were treated to a surprise visit from SpongeBob SquarePants after flexing their creative muscles to design him some new gear.

Pupils at Sugar Hill Primary School, in Newton Aycliffe, welcomed the famous Nickelodeon cartoon character yesterday after youngsters won a national competition as part of Jeans for Genes Day with their ideas for his new pair of jeans.

Headteacher Paula O’Rourke said: “We were thrilled when we heard our school had won. “Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all the parents for supporting the charity.”

The whole school was tasked with coming up with a new design as homework and was selected as the winning school out of hundreds of entries.

In first, second and third place were Charlie-Lewis Elder, Imogen Evans, and Conner Bennett. SpongeBob handed out prizes including a drum kit, scooter and games.

Pupils, who wore jeans for the visit, have helped raise £290 for Genetic Disorders UK.