YOUNGSTERS at a village school are hoping plans for a new playground and classroom will be backed by councillors in the New Year.

Pupils at Slingsby Primary School, near Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire, need more space as the tiny school looks to expand its numbers.

Now that their rusty old climbing frame has been declared unfit to use, the children are keeping their fingers crossed for the go-ahead from Ryedale District Council.

Headteacher Barbara Bennett said a new playground was the first phase of the proposed expansion.

She said: "Play is such a vitally important part of learning. We intend to put down an all-weather play area instead of some of the grass because it is too wet to use in winter.

"It means we will be able to have a football pitch on some of the ground, and also space for the children who want a quieter area outside.

"During the summer it will be nice to have somewhere to sit and eat packed lunches."

Plans put forward by the school include a much larger cloakroom and more classroom space.