Pupils were terrified after a school staged an alien crash landing which ended with a teacher being 'abducted'.

Children aged between seven and 11 at Southway Junior School in Southway, Burgess Hill, watched in horror as a 'spaceship' crashed near their school and aliens grabbed a member of staff.

The 'alien invasion' show, which was supported by Sussex police, took place without parents being informed, leaving some angry that they had to comfort their children.

The event, held on Friday, was designed to 'develop youngsters’ writing skills' and fire their imagination - but some children were left traumatised by the show.

Southway School has admitted that a number of parents complained after their children returned home in a 'state of shock'.

Youngsters had to be reassured that the abducted member of staff was safe and well after he was carted off by the 'aliens'.

Police contributed to the invasion by providing sirens and flashing blue lights to signify the landing of the craft just before morning classes.

Headteacher Diana Goss informed pupils that an alien craft had crashed near the school and pupils were encouraged to 'follow a trail of debris' before stumbling across the UFO.

A member of staff was then abducted by 'aliens' before the kids were sent back to class.

In a statement from Southway School it was confirmed that some children were upset by the 'realism' of the 'alien invasion'.

It read: "At the end of the afternoon the ‘missing’ member of staff joined the children at assembly where their accounts, poems, posters and reports were shared with the whole school.

"Parent Governor Richard Webb, who was in school that day, commented that many children had reported that it was ‘the best day in school, ever. ’ "Following the day, a few parents expressed concerns that some of the children had been upset by the apparent realism, and the headteacher has spoken with them personally.

"Others praised the day for its community links, the imaginative approach and the huge element of ‘fun’. One parent commented that the entire school ‘buzzed with the excitement’ and the fact that ‘the wider community came together to set up a real once in a lifetime event for our children was just fantastic.

"The school would never knowingly do anything to upset or alarm children."

The project was part of the Everybody Writes scheme, which is funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.