IT is a slightly strange prize for winning an art competition, but children from Didcot’s Ladygrove Park Primary School yesterday got their hands on a skeleton that will be used to teach health at their school.

The life-size model was handed over by staff at Oxford’s Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre after winning an art competition to decorate its clinical trials unit.

They were also given a tour of the centre in Windmill Road, Headington.

Research nurse Catherine McClinton said: “It was fantastic to show the children around the unit and talk to them about our research.

“Their artwork has really brightened up the walls and it was lovely to see their faces light up when they opened the model skeleton.

“We hope it helps inspire them to become interested in health and research in the future.”

Unit director Prof Peter Taylor presented the children, including Lennon Hadland, seven, Amelia Stock, seven, and Eva Keeling, six, with the skeleton to be used as part of teaching at the Avon Way school.

He said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have such colourful drawings that really create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for patients who come to the unit.”

Ladygrove Park headteacher David Burrows added: “The children really enjoyed creating the paintings, along with the opportunity to find out more about the hospital and to see some of the equipment in action.”

The unit finds new treatments for conditions including arthritis.