Schoolgirl uses snow days to create igloo inspired by Alps bar
When six-year-old Camille Stokes was challenged to come up with a snow sculpture, she had grand designs on her mind.
The St Michael's RC Primary School pupil, sister Claudia and other students were set the task by teachers after it was unable to open for classes due to the snow.
The Year 2 youngster, with help from sister Claudia, 10, who is in Year 5, and her dad Lewis, 39, set about creating an igloo in the garden of their Houghton home.
The idea was inspired by an igloo bar the sisters, dad and mum Gaynor, 39, a social worker with fostering and adoption company Fostering People, visited during a skiing trip to Les Arcs in the Northern Alps just three weeks ago.
Lewis, who works for property and energy company Banks, said: "We went to the igloo bar and they had lots of things to do and you could walk through and the girls loved it.
"When we got a message from their deputy headteacher saying the school was shut, have fun in the snow.
"So Camille wanted to construct an igloo, so we got two washing up bowls, compacted the snow and formed blocks and it's taken three days and like most kids, she was getting wet and cold.
"She's had a bit of help from Claudia and from me, and Bailey the dog.
"Camille has done the majority of work with a little bit of help from Claudia and from me, so she put down the first level and helped finish the roof and then decorated it with lights and the reindeer as well.
"All the neighbours have been round to have a look at it and she's had her friends round, so they've been sitting in it drinking hot chocolate.
"We're hoping it stays until July so they can continue to play in it.
"We live quite close to the school as well, so people will be able to see it when they go past.
"We're extremely proud of her, not just the fact that she came up with the idea but that she persisted with it and saw it through and it took a lot of hard work."
The school asked its children to create snow figures as well as sculptures during their days off, with the pupils to invited to send in photos so they can be shared on their return to classes.