WHILE most schools sat silent and deserted last week, some welcomed a stream of energetic children for a generous helping of holiday fun.

Thomas Reade Primary School in Abingdon was among them, and played host to a separate holiday camp called House of Fun.

Jake Motion, course director, founded the club in Oxford in 2012 while teaching at St Mary & St John CE Primary School.

It moved from the Cowley school to Thomas Reade in 2014, where Mr Motion now works as a Year 6 teacher.

The father-of-two said: "We have three main aims - for kids to have a go at things they might not have tried before, for them to make friends in the inclusive atmosphere in mixed age groups, and to build self-esteem that they can take home with them.

"As the name suggests, it's about having fun and trying something new.

"Everyone needs a break in the holidays.

"It's a very fluid course and it's moulded to each child."

Children can opt to take part in four activities centring on cookery, art and/or sport, but can just focus on one of the three subjects if they prefer.

Mr Motion said: "Our staff are very well-qualified; the person who takes art used to be a theatre set designer and our cookery person used to run her own kitchen."

The club provides activities every holiday, including during the first half of the Easter break last week, when about 45 children took part each day.

Its summer programme usually welcomes more than double that figure, Mr Motion said.

Some pupils are from Thomas Reade but others come from all over Oxfordshire.

The children mix with all age ranges within the bracket, so they can befriend people they might not necessarily get to know otherwise.

Mr Motion said: "It's very much part of the inclusive approach.

"They learn to respect each other and just be kind.

"This is a chance for them to put school aside and just be a child and enjoy themselves."

When the Oxford Mail's photographer visited on Thursday, some children were busy cooking different types of bread while others were face-painting and moulding clay in art classes.

Those who chose to take part in sport were playing tennis and football outside.

For more details about the camp, see house-of-fun.org.