A VILLAGE primary school has started a big fundraising effort to improve its recreation and administration facilities.

High Coniscliffe C of E Primary School, near Darlington, which has 89 pupils, has set a £5,000 target in the hope of doubling it with matched Government funding.

The school wants to provide a soft play area, install gymnastics apparatus in the hall and extend the administrative area of the school to meet computer technology demands.

The first fundraising event took place on Tuesday, when the 51 junior pupils lined up to take sponsored penalty shots at Darlington Football Club's mascot, Mr Q, who was keeping goal. Money raised will be divided between the school and the Quakers' Football in the Community scheme.

A Fifties and Sixties social evening is being organised for May 18, at Mowden Park Rugby Club, Darlington.

Details of the event are still being finalised.

Headteacher Tom Lumley said any donations from the public, particularly former parents or pupils, would be gratefully received.

The school can be contacted on (01325) 374412.