A primary school had some unusual visitors to bring in the new term.

Year 3 and 4 pupils from Whytemead Primary school in Worthing were shocked when a pair wolves greeted them in their assembly hall.

Mum wolf Alice and her daughter Moonshine are part of a family of nine wolfdogs known as the Watermill Wolves.

Natalie Lagstrom, head trainer of Watermill Wolves, said: “We take our wolves into schools regularly and we love to see the children’s reactions.

“More and more people are out of touch with wildlife and wilderness.

“Nothing beats actually meeting these animals face to face and to actually touch them and feel them.”

The Argus: The pupils got to stroke the wolves The pupils got to stroke the wolves (Image: Whytemead Primary School)

The wolfdogs are a cross between wolves and dogs, as it is illegal to own grey wolves because they are a protected species.

They are part of an established crossbreed called British Lupines.

The children got the chance to pet the wolves as part of their topic on the animals and their habitats.

“In this topic the children have been studying the population of wolves around the world,” said Charley George, office administrator for the school.

The Watermill Wolves are highly trained animals and have featured in television shows ranging from I’m A Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here to Dracula.

Headteacher Clare Hornsbury said: “The children had an amazing experience

They were able to touch and stroke the wolves and even tickle them under the chin, where they like it the most.

“The children have come away realising that the big bad wolf from the fairy tales might not be so big and bad after all.”

The Argus: The headteacher said the children loved having the wolves come into their schoolThe headteacher said the children loved having the wolves come into their school (Image: Whytemead Primary School)

Instead of going to the zoo, the school arranged for the wolves to come in as staff felt it would be a more “hands on” experience for the pupils.

Ms Lagstrom said: “We do a lot of educational work because there is a lot of misunderstanding about wolves and their importance in conservation efforts.

“The children were really excited to meet Alice and Moonshine - young children always are.

“At first some get a little bit overwhelmed because they are quite big but they quickly realise their gentle nature.”

“In fact, we often find grown-ups are the ones who are more fearful because they have more prejudices about wolves.”